- By Varsha Singh
“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.”
- Terence McKenna
This saying is apt for the prolific author Kiriti Sengupta’s recently published book The Reciting Pens which embraces the mélange of three variant poets from the artistic land of Bengal. The book is enriched with the interviews of three eminent poets Joya Mitra, Ranadeb Dasgupta, and Suddhasatya Ghosh along with few of their selective poems translated from Bangla into English by Kiriti Snegupta himself. Sengupta has come out as an explorer who gives his best in order to bring out the hidden gems from this nation, India. Being from a plural country, we have had remained unknown from our multicultural prospects, concepts, beauty and ideology since long. The crisis was because of the absence of consciousness. This newly found consciousness of the author/translator Kiriti Sengupta works as a quick healing balm in the present context.
The book begins with a beautiful poem of Sengupta (translated by Rituparna Sarkar into English) chosen purposefully to give a hard blow on the construct of society, where people are seen longing for son; whereas Kiriti’s poem indulges his longing for a daughter.
My friends were aware of the wish I nurtured.
If I had a daughter,
I would name her Srividya!
The foreword written by W.F.Lantry from Washington, DC is another surprise for the reader which becomes a bonus point for all. His crisp, detailed and subtle writing makes the concept of the book crystal clear in the beginning itself. His reflection on Bengal seems to be a real tribute for one of the most creative space of this land.
The volume deserves attention because it shows a nearly unknown side of the anthologized poets. Joya Mitra, the only women poet included in this book is considered as “The Captivating Joya Mitra” who is an accomplished Bengali author from Calcutta, India. Being deeply involved with the Naxalite movements in West Bengal in the ‘70s, she was imprisoned for few years but she never lost her spirit for writing. Kiriti has made the impossible task possible by making her viewpoints available to the readers by his heartwarming interview. He has dealt with the questions from each aspect of Mitra’s creative mind taking from the Naxalite movement to poetry, society, translation and few other captivating discussions. Four of Joya’s poem are included in this volume entitled; Water Festival, Yellow Coloured Earth, The Sandalwood Town and The Fishing Village: 1978.
Another section of the anthology includes the interview with poet Ranadeb Dasgupta as The Enchanting Ranadeb Dasgupta. Kiriti makes it possible to witness the poet who believes in difference between “making of a poet’ and ‘producing of a poet’. Sengupta’s witty questions release a surge of high tide from the prominent poet Dasgupta. His answers are full of knowledge and experience as well. The four poems of Ranadeb Dasgupta included in this collection are; Prelude, From the Crossroads, Approach and Zero and One. All of these poems are translated into English by Kiriti Sengupta from the original Bangla works.
The last section of the anthology comprises The Lavish Suddhasatya Ghosh. The eminent poet Ghosh was born in 1974 in a politically vigorous family. As the chapter suggests, Kiriti makes the generous behavior of Ghosh very clear in the beginning. The extravagant interview has too much of offerings for the readers. Ghosh’s four verses included in this book are Birthday, Have Held Unfathomable in Hands, The Night and Magician.
The book ends with a postscript, marking a significant impact on the mind and heart of readers; by asking for further suggestions and rating from the readers’ desk.
It would be better to conclude with the rating of this book, as any suggestion is not possible for such an endeavor. The anthology deserves a 5.5 star rating on the chart of 5 stars. Worth reading book for all; who respect the value of words from each sphere.
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