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(3)Prose>Ali Azgor Talukder - Al Mahmud Poetry: An Introduction (part-3)
Al Mahmud presents these daily events, domestic activities and things in such a way that creates a sense of mystery. Instead of adorning poetry with magic similes and metaphors an effort to make mystery is evident in his later poetry. He says that ‘for the survival of Bangla poetry now it is necessary to rejuvenate a penetrating, spiritual and suggestive language. Poetry will disappear without mystery.’ The poem ‘kobor’ (The Grave) in Ek Chokkhu Horin (A One-eyed Deer) is about past love. But it creates mystery when ‘blooming flowers’ in ‘the grave’ are compared with the lover’s ‘fuming eyes’. A dove chirping flew on to the branch of Jarul That came out of the broken grave. The bird’s breast swelled singing. Looking into the grave I saw Enumerable flowers blooming Like your fuming eyes. In ‘Korotoa’ of Mythyabadi Rakhal love, peace and silence intermingle. The silence reminds us of eternal silence i.e. death. In ‘bertho bedouin’ (The Thwarted Bedouin) the thinking of a lady’s comparison leads him to the thought of the creator. Exploring the whole universe in ‘deho nei daho nei’ (No Body No Pain) the poet finds that everything is worshipping god. Consequently his heart becomes vaster and powerful to negate atheism. Even here his thought doesn’t exclude his beloved: ‘A fine sheet of affection/ Like atmosphere covered you and me’. In ‘porishamaptir bisram’ (respite at the end) of Ami Durgami (Going Far Away) his language mixes the desire to meet his beloved with the desire to meet God. What if I fail to reach you at last? Even after reaching there what if I don’t find you? Or you are there But for unknown reasons if you didn’t meet me. Think What else would remain for me? Is he confused here? A poet can employ words to look into the mystery of the creator only when a poet achieves completeness of thought and feeling. In the opening poem of Ditio Bhangon (The Second Breach) he hears a sound of a name. He tries to feel whose name it is. Is it of his lover? Or is it of some eternal self? Before he reaches a clear feeling, the sound disappears into mystery. And this glimmer of mystery has made the poem more attractive. Not am I a prophet. But hark! A poet’s eyes Can pierce the planets, and pass all endeavors and thirst, Why then so much bleeding, so many dead sighs Weave the thread of failure and make your sketch first? The mystery in his poetry embodies his innermost feelings, patriotism, love instinct, his thought about the power of the poets, and the worldly affairs. The common familiar things ‘soil’, ‘earth’ and ‘the bosom of the man’ are defamiliarized in the title poem of Birampurer Jatri (A Traveler Towards Respite) giving a strong sense of life after death. I want to have the taste of soil. This soil is not only the sweaty blood soaked mud. This is the bosom of the man. Who terms this soil earth? Counting the beads of stars so many saints have gone through The stony Iron Gate. They were the travelers towards respite So am I now. Here death is seen as attractive not fearful. It is the gate through which one can go to an eternal life where he may see the face of God that each believer craves for throughout his life. About his philosophy of life Al Mahmud says, ‘I know I may live at best 15 years more. Where will I stay then? Here I am, another me is not in this world. Where will I go then? These questions are coming in poetry. I think these have everlasting value’ : Where is my home? O my boy, who is there for us? Is there any ancestral homestead? Thatch, earthen wall? Hennaed hands holding a plate of sticky white boiled rice of binni? With a fried koi fish in the middle? Tinkling of her bangles? Let’s go then, my boy, with all the toys, away from the fair Walking through the autumnal field in sandy feet. (bela sheshe ke balok?) These mystic thoughts make him a Sufi. About his own Sufism Al Mahmud says ‘almost all my ancestors were peer (a religious guide). My father Mir Munshi Abdur Rob had been so far the disciple of Shah Mastan. I myself am also a disciple of a peer. So naturally Sufism will have influence on my poetry. But Sufism doesn’t grip me fully. I have my own aesthetic thought.’ His ‘mukh o mukhush theke berea’ (Coming Out of Face and Mask) reads his mystic journey. Here he reaches a stage of Sufism that excites him to say: No more can I regard anything as the shape of a face. For, he Who creates needs no face, body, hands or feet Of his own. Why then should I have a face Before reaching the goal? Why so big a name Consisting of six letters? Why Should I wear this tinsel-embroidered big cloak Made by a tailor of Damascus. This turban? Look! I have come out of the face and the shape. He reaches that stage through the way suggested in the holy Qur’an that tells human beings to think about the natural events of the world to perceive the mystery of creation. ‘Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed signs for the people of understanding.’ (Qur’an 2: 164) Al Mahmud’s Sufism grows indulging in the pleasures of the flesh. He finds mystic suggestion even ‘in the violent pangs/ Of childbirth, and in the moans of the lovers coupling/ With firm pledge.’ This mysticism flowered during his later years because of his blindness. A number of his poems introduce us to a new world (i.e. the world of a blind man’s feelings, emotions and thought) so far unknown. He says that the reality under the appearance of a man can be known only when one is in the world of mist. Since I have lost The distinguishing features of appearance I can recognize man as man. As, when a shoal of rui fish suddenly floats on the pond water, all at home Say in a voice - look! rui fish, rui, rui. (olaukik kuasha, A Miracle Mist) In ‘Kana Mamuder Ural Kabya - 2 (A Tale of Blind Mamud’s Flying Trip) he says, ‘Sensing the presence of the body I assume whether I know the shape or not.’ Many usual experiences are changed in the world of a blind. In the past in literary chats, the word insight was uttered frequently. Now as a blind I feel the word to the kernel of my being. This is like playing with a harpoon. Like hunting a wild fish with a spear. In this condition he finds his similarities with prophet Khijir, although a tone of loss and sadness is evident. Often I see I am within water. Though incredible, this sense pleases me. And I wonder does prophet Khijir foresee the future of the world through this unending liquid? And my eyes become the big transparent chanda fish of sweet water. Transparent but the eyesight can’t go through. Who said clear eyes are necessary to see the future? I wanted mysterious eyes like the rubbed up glass. My Lord has bestowed me with that. The poet Jibanananda Das loved pale eyes like rattan fruits, but can sadness without mystery help a poet? And he thinks that he can now see the final truth of the world. In bhut bhabisyathin ei andhakar (Without Past and Future This Darkness) he says: It is right that I am waiting for light. But the stare of my eyes without eyelash Has set me on time’s horse to move in an unclean darkness And has stilled the rising and setting of the sun. I will see the final truth in the darkness. About this final truth Al Mahmud says, “I have expressed my faith about my destination in my later poetry. I think as a poet this faith is my success.” And his collection of poems Na Kuno Shunyata Mani Na (No Emptiness I Accept) clearly declares his faith and philosophy. This collection of poems tries to grasp almost all the themes of his long poetic life: women, sexuality, carnality, love instinct, nature, country, poetry, poetic power, immortality, blindness, freedom, the negative impacts of capitalism & imperialism, and other world affairs, nothing escape this collection. The train of all these themes prompted Al Mahmud to fling himself up to ‘self digging’ and ‘seeking for the mystery of self-existence’ and thus analyze the philosophy of nihilism to finally declare ‘no emptiness I accept’. The thinking of the sky causes human sight come back. But why Does the flight of human knowledge go to tumble down on some waterless Gray gravelly planet? Actually, human knowledge does not want to Float in the emptiness. Does not want to dissolve in the endlessness. All sorts of knowledge need shelter. Wants to stand on some supports. As I am holding you in the void of the domesticity. You Are neither the Venus nor the Mars. But for poetry’s support An enchanting satellite you are. You or a whole planet. The thought of the heaven naturally absorbs me now. You know I don’t accept the logic of being perished, being vanished Or being dissolved. My spiritual sense has so strengthened The confidence of my being imperishable that sometimes I feel Maybe I don’t need to depend on you. No emptiness I accept. No dissolution. For before my eyes I see my eternal home. The vital force of my Love is the desire for getting you back over there.
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