Deveriya Unmesh: The Burden of Second Coming, Publisher, Muse Bombay, 50 pp, Rs 80.00
THIS collection of poems by Deveriya Unmesh points to his disillusionment with all what he sees around him. In the first poem itself, he begins by deriding the practice of paying capitation fees and that we should rise above it and that we should abhor bureaucrats masquerading as litterateurs and stop propagation of secularism to gain votes.
In his poem entitled ?Afghanistan?, he puns upon the word ?shrink? by saying:
The conscience that shrank continues to be so.
The ?shrink? who shrinks is also shrunk.
Shrink, shrank, shrunk is the new paradigm,
Sanity being the only casualty.
Unmesh has made fun of the latest trend in fashion when wearing of clothes has become unfashionable. In his poem entitled ?Globalisation?, he says:
Budding beauties await their turn
as guardian aunties bargain their lot.
The innocent model proclaims with a pause
?Cloth is for curtain, Mama.?
Another interesting poem is titled ?The Birth of a Nation? in which the poet refers to the Pakistan carved out of India:
The invaders brought a Sufi saint who appeared to praise the native religion.
Then, they bastardised the local folk, offered incentives for conversions, bloodshed for refusal.
At length, they carved a separate state of intruders and converts who practiced circumcision.
Meanwhile, the native discovered vote-banks and ?signifiers?,
a new nation and the ?signified?.
The poet seems to be playing with Semetic metaphors on the structural plane though he succeeds to have transcended them psychically. He says,
Jerusalem beguiles the awaited Prophet as Laden succeeds Arafat.
Kiss me oh departed wisdom!
Kiss me oh Judas!
He voices his dejection at the ?second coming? and the poetic burden of Jesus Christ thus:
John the Baptist being already at large the prophecy of ?second coming? is perhaps a farce
Recycled e-mails continue to bombard:
Christ, anti-Christ and the decisive war.
The poet wonders which and where is the ?promised land?! He takes a dig at religion too that teaches us falsehood and prejudice:
The burden of Mahaveer, Buddha and Gandhi befalls India
that preserves self-annihilation.
The burden of Moses, Jesus and the last Prophet
befalls Kabul, Baghdad and Jerusalem
struggling to preserve the survival instinct.
I being Indian refuse to acknowledge or refute either Buddha or his Semitic counterpart although a pallbearer of prophetic illusions.
His extreme disappointment can be seen when he says, Perhaps I may overcome fame and frolic! Perhaps I may demolish
the asylum that was raised by the followers of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed.
In short this book may be read to enjoy the thoughts and observations of the poet.
(Deveriya Unmesh, Muse Bombay, P.B. No. 674, GPO, Mumbai-400 001.)