The Prophets August 29, 2007Posted by astralwicks in Emily DIckinson, Gibberish, Love, Namdeo Dhasal, Nav Rasa, Nonsense, Poem, Poems, Poetry, The Prophets, Truth.
People become sane or mad in love. I am in love. Was I out of it for so long? That’s sad. What have I become? I can’t tell. The others can. For starters, we try to impress the person you are in love with. You be nice, you be courteous, you open doors, you smell good, you generally follow Jack Nicholson’s confession from As Good As It Gets that ‘I want to be a better man’. All that talk and feeling is good. Very good in fact.
Impress you can in numerous ways. Yesterday I went to a mall here in Mumbai. Bought tickets for Chak De, ate at a pretty good Rajasthani joint and then was saddled with 2 hours to kill. So Landmark beckoned. If you don’t have money and you love books or music then it’s better to avoid such destinations.
For a change I had some money. I browsed. That’s a pleasure. Smell of papyrus of all kinds, normal, recycled, hemp, old paper, new paper and what not. Now what to choose. I got suddenly reminded of libraries. Lines, rows, stacks and trays of books all with their peculiar smell, texture and taste. Brown, yellow, red, pages dogeared or torn, the spine broken, marked in pencil and ink, notes on the side, old letters, notes and sometimes flowers sandwiched, remnants of history.
So back to Landmark. I read the jackets, the blurbs, the inside pages. Poetry is best. A page can be read, imbibed and enjoyed. Not the same with novels alas.
The first book that caught my fancy was the new collection of poems by Namdeo Dhasal. Strangely it looked like a coffee table book but the price was right and the content great. I had read his poems on and off, in a magazine and some journal. But I moved on.
Other books and more books. Then I chanced upon my old favourite – Emily Dickinson. Have been reading her poems from an age when I could not understand what she was saying. I fell in love with how she was saying what she was saying. Brevity, lateral, tangent, obtuse, simple, transcendental, tactile are some words that come to one’s mind. I have read her time and again. Like Blake.
I moved on. More wandering. What shall take my fancy now?
Gibberish. The 10th Rasa. The Indian Book of Nonsense. Very interesting I thought. They were translations. Imagine original gibberish or nonsense..that would make more sense.
So I dilly – dallied. Up and down I bargained. What to pick and what to leave behind. Arduous, very tiring process. Wish there was more money in my bank. But then resolve got the better of timidity and Emily Dickinson, Namdeo Dhasal and The 10th Rasa…the Book of Nonsense emerged victorious.
‘The Mystic’, ‘The Rebel’ and ‘The Madman / Woman’ – can anybody else speak the truth. Love.