By Gopal Lahiri & Dr Santosh Bakaya
When two poets – one from Kolkata and the other from Kashmir, merge their poetic voices together, believe me, one starts believing in magic! The City of Joy, Kolkata, proud of its lineage, pulsates and throbs, juxtaposed exquisitely next to the Paradise on earth, Kashmir, equally proud of its lineage. The Dal Lake, and Prinsep Ghat shimmer in golden hues as the twin pens script a saga of beauty and peace. Before our very eyes, the wilted flowers of memory are resurrected and get a makeover, drenched in hues of sublimity. One finds oneself trying to decipher the undulating contours and nuances in the poems as though counting the ripples and waves of the Lidder and Hooghly.
Playful and intense, real and surreal, nostalgic and wistful, the poems in this collection are a visual treat – it is as if all the senses are tingled and the olfactory senses, long-clogged get a new lease of life as the forgotten smells are remembered once again. All the ancient bruises and scars seem to get the much needed healing touch, as the fragrance of parijat and yambarzal [daffodil] erupts magically. In the backdrop the Hooghly and the Lidder continue to create an unending symphony – immensely soothing to ears calloused with years of a jarring cacophony.
So, get ready to listen to this disarming duet, which erupts from some innermost recesses of two sensitive poetic hearts, their alchemy almost palpable in these poems. Together they create new metaphors, and along the way, succeed in infusing jaded and tired symbols with a new and robust symbolism- and the captivated reader finds himself/ herself calmly drifting towards self-introspection and soul-stirring epiphanies, looking around with new eyes to find hope and innocence holding hands and pirouetting, silhouetted in a new morn’s eastern horizon.
About Gopal Lahiri
Gopal Lahiri is a Kolkata-based bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 22 books published mostly (13) in English and a few (8) in Bengali, including three jointly edited books. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. He has been invited in various poetry festivals including World Congress of Poets recently held in India. He is published in 12 countries and his poems are translated in 12 languages. He is the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016, Setu Excellence Award, 2020, Pittsburgh, US and Indology Life-Time Achievement award, West Bengal, India.