Poetry and philosophy
Randeep Wadehra

The Rain Inside
by Mangari Rajender ‘Zimbo’ (Translator: D. Kesava Rao) Prose Poetry Forum, Hyderabad. Pages: 71. Rs. 70.

A poet tends to look beyond the mundane. His restless mind seeks answers to life’s posers, often impelling him to look within and also beyond the self. Zimbo’s poems are both introspective and ruminative. For example, in Permanence he dwells upon the nature of relationships, in Readiness he asks ‘Is there anything/ in this world/ more horrifying,/ more unusual,/ more pleasing/ than life?’ You detect angst and anger in Spider in Ink even when he turns cryptic in When I see these people. However, he is at his best while talking nostalgia in poems like The Leopard and Memories. One enjoys reading this volume although, occasionally, Zimbo gets a bit brooding and didactic.

Whispering Rocks
by Thechano Kithan Unistar, Chandigarh. Pages: xiv + 62. Rs. 295.

This anthology of verse is comparatively syncretic. Khitan deals as much with a woman’s woes as with nature’s varied aspects. She too, like a good poet, gets reflective but, unlike Zimbo, is an extrovert. She is inspired as much by a stone’s cold beauty (Ode to a stone) as by the serene spring in Nagaland or the mountains of Lahaul-Spiti (The woman and the willow). Some of her poems evoke strong and haunting images as in He still waits for the last train. In The difference she contrasts the selfless nature of flora and fauna with our motive-driven actions. The poet’s heart beats for her birthplace, her Naga roots, as illustrated by this stanza in A warrior’s dream forgotten, ‘And here I come, a Naga daughter/Far into some midnight fantasy/ Lamenting my soul’s sad dreams/Invoking the divine by way of hope;/For you my homeland/I have only these lines`85’. You will find this volume engrossing.