Khilda Phool Hansda Pat: A Signature in Garhwali Poetry History
Notes on Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Sian Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; South Asian language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; SAARC countries language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Indian subcontinent language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Indian language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; North Indian language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Himalayan language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Mid Himalayan language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Uttarakhandi language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Kumauni language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Garhwali language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History
When Carl Sandburg said , “Poetry is a shuffling of boxes of illusions buckled with a strap of facts.” , as if he read Lalit Keshvan who takes on the path of fantasy but shows us the reality on the surroundings too. Keshvan .
Lalit Keshwan is among Trimurty (Three greats) poets -Kanhayalal Dandriyal , Lalit Keshwan and Jayanand Khuksal who transformed the Garhwali poetry into a real modern poetry. Keshwan and two others initiated for changing the form, emotional expressions, manifestations, of Garhwali poetries and tried to make Garhwali poetry competent enough to stand with other languages poems of world . In other words, Khuksal, Dandriyal and Keshwan initiated to bring contemporariness in Garhwali poetries in terms of form, realism, expressional aspects, experiencing, providing scope to readers or creating close relationship with the readers rather preaching the readers as their predecessors used to do , new and existing experimentations, uses of existing symbols and images into new patterns.
The Garhwali language critics as Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna, Rajendra Dhashmana, Parashar Gaud, Prem Lal Bhatt, Shivanand Nautiyal, Bhajan Singh Singh, Shambhu Prasad Augean , Bhagwati Prasad Bahuguna and other praised Lalit Keshwan for narrating the reality of rural Garhwal and Garhwalis with transparency , effectively. The readers can experience easily the pain, pleasure, detachment of rural Himalayas in the poems of Keshwan.
The poetry collection ‘ Hansda Pat Khilda Phool’ is the true representation of what Keshwan created in Garhwali language and will also show the reasons behind big demand for Lalit Keshwan to read his poetries in Kavi Sammelans (conferences for reading poetries) . There are thirty three poems in this collection and each verse is capable to be an International standard poem.
Phass class ho:
The poem Phass class ho of Keshwan reminds the lines of famous satiric poem created by satirist Ezra Pound. Ezra writes :
O GOD, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobacco-shop,
With the little bright boxes
piled up neatly upon the shelves
The modern civilization in India bringing new desire for having wife a smart, wise, beautiful and the same time the link and characteristics of orthodox culture too . Lalit Keshwan attack on those paradoxical desires to have two magnet poles together in Phas Class ho
Color kwee bhi ho
Par swee swee na ho
Size medium ho
Par chal freedom na ho
Keshwan experimented mixing English with Garhwali and became successful in creating Dhabadi kavita ( poem of dual languages)
Andi si ta :
This poem is all about dream of an average migrated Garhwali for accomplishments of life. However, Keshwan did not narrate the subject directly but he used metaphoric way in this poem and shocked the readers when he disclosed the reality of wishes for winning the Delhi state lottery. Lalt is successful in showing the similarity between beloved lover with winning a lottery.
Tyara nam par
Aandi see t
Dilli ki lottery
: The philosophical lines are those , which are interpreted differently by different analyzers. That is why the subject of philosophy is still a mystery. Take the example of Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta. Shankar was first scholar who interpreted Geeta and till date, hundred of scholars interpreted Geeta with their own views. Even one western scholar could interpreted the homosexual relation between Krishna and Arjun from the narration of Geeta As Gosvami (2005) analyzed homosexuality differently from Mahabharata ‘s stories .
Different readers will interpret the poem Limba (Lamon) differently. Philosophically, the readers may understand the poem as preaching that the day dreaming will not fetch you ascending results :
Jaika limbu tode
The literal meaning is as :
Last year, She stole Oranges , in Dream
This year, She stole Lemons, in Dream
However, other meaning is that since, last year she saw positive dreams (sweetness-oranges and blessing of Pundits in the form of oranges in dream) , she is pregnant . The symbolic word Limba (lemon ) in this poem is also related to pregnant woman eating lemon pieces.
A reader may also read between the lines that it is very simple that dreams are just dreams. A few readers may infer that the wishes even in dream do not die but take newer and newer shapes. The poet is successful using subconscious mental activity by Garhwalis. Garhwalis have many symbols and their interpretation of dream out of those symbols and Keshwan created perfect poem related to reading the dream by Garhwalis .
That is the beauty of Keshwan for creating such poems, which compel readers or audience for thinking or making many judgments out of a poem.
He meri bwe kan mori ge chhe mi:
The poem is about an accident took place and how the victim suffers traumas, pains , frustrations etc physically and mentally .In low number of words, Lalit Keshwan also showed the anxiety of sufferer about the worst conditions of his family members in case the wounded would have died at the spot. Lalit Keshwan could portrayed the physical- mental pain, ache, hurt, fear, trepidation , horror, twinge, throbbing with tendered, touchy and emotional words as Jessica Zombiee (Ref-2) narrated accident and its effects on the wounded in the Crash poem and Teller (ref-3) . The readers will definitely feel the chills of accident recited By Keshwan is this He meri bwe kan mori ge chhe mi poem as successfully as Teller (ref:3) could revealed the chills, horror of reaching nearest to death in her poem The Final Act.
Ratyun main jab nind nee Aund
: In Mahabharata, Vidur says to Dhritrashtra that one of the biggest pains in life is to be in debts and inability to return the debt in time. The ‘Ratyun main jab neend ni aund ‘ poem of Keshwan is about passing the sleepless night in the emotions of worries, regret , pain of inability , sorrow , frustration for not completing the difficult most task, embarrassment, labor in trying to get sound sleep etc. Keshwan has been successful in creating emotions of sleeplessness nights and readers may feel those agonizes, throbbing, repentant , disturbances, irritations, discomfitures arise because of debts , which could not be returned.
Ratyun ma jab nind ni aund
Haudu-haudu farki farki uthwapodi see honi round
Jaun man lhe chhau , yunku diye nee
Ya bharman bi pwadi siye nee
Jithaa jee :
jitha ji poem is a poem which expresses many meanings to this author and same way readers will conclude different meanings according to their imagination.
The poem is as----
Kyanko path ch ibari
Vut ladies ma ji
Lagda chha achha
The meaning of poem is as :
Hey elder sister!
Elder brother in law (your husband and my husband‘s elder brother) ---
What is his part (in Drama)?
Listen younger sister !
He told , this year, he will perform the role of Dashrath (in Ramleela)
And children will play the roles of females
O ! elder sister---
He is better in female roles
The poem looks very simple that a person used to play part of females in Ramayan drama. This year, he is supposed to play the role of Dashrath that is role of male. However, his younger brother’s wife appreciates him playing the roles of females than playing the role of male. But the poem is not so simple as it looks from the surface. Jtha ji is somehow also indicating illicit relation between the person and his younger brother’s wife and the younger brother’s wife is not satisfied with the manhood of her husband’s elder brother. That is why she says that Jitha Ji (husband’s elder brother) fits in the role of females and not on role of males.
Indirectly, Keshwan is also indicating traits of lesbianism among females for their liking female characters played by males in the stage drama.
! : Keshwan has created poems for children too. Therefore, Lalit knows the psychology of children and is well versed with the curiosity of children, the unanswerable questions to elders by children. And the irritation of elders from the questions raised by innocent children. Ann Skea (2000) , while reviewing a world famous poet Ted Hughes, who created poetry for children wrote, “Ted Hughes learned that children’s world "is not just a miniature world of naive novelties and limited reality" but a world where there is still much to be explored. And Ted Hughes gained knowledge that children discover the world with curiosity, perception, a keenness to modify and "a no-holds-barred approach to problems" which mature people, mostly, have lost.”. Same way, the poem Pani witnesses that Lalit Keshwan has knowledge about children discovering the world and the children want to change this world from their angles. Keshwan does not treat children as miniature adults but innocent discoverer of this galaxy.
Lalit Keshwan , successfully could show the innocent but logical curiosity of children about the ratio of water that is there is two third water and one third land in this earth. However a question by a child is always unanswerable for a common man that what is the destiny of water which came in this earth.
Chala , aunu bhi holu
T janu kakh holu
Pandit ji you ithga panee?
Badi Jhangora khai-khai ki
: There has been regular talk that Garhwali language is in danger or may extinct by end of this century (Bhishma Kukreti, 2008-9). UNESKO, SIL Organization, Michel E Kraus, S.Tapani, Mark Abley, Lyle Campbell, Nicholas Evan, K.David Harrison, Patric McConvell, T Nicholas, Marianne Mithun, T Sebeok, Kangas, Skutnabb, William Shetter, Tasaku Tsunoda, and many more researchers, social activists showed their grieve concern over endangering of languages from the globe. A report of UNESC says that 192 Indian languages and 2500 our of 6500 language of the world will diminish very soon.
The true poetry is the reflection of the contemporary society. Lalit Keshwan showed his concern over the worsening position of Garhwali language in 1982, when there was less talk about endangering of hundred of languages. Badi Jhangora khaiki-khaiki ki is the example of senility of Keshwan for social issues. He cautioned all Garhwalis that the language is walking to extinction because its speakers are leaving speaking in Garhwali.
Apni pani boli mna
Apni apni bhasha man
Sabi rvaine, sabbi hansnai
Ham mand pe peki, badi jahngora khaiki ki
Na hansi sakna chha na roi sakna chhan
In his introductory note of this collection, Prem lal Bhatt interprets this poem that the poem Badi jhangora …shows the hassles of Garhwal .
There have been corruption, misuses of public money and authorities, carelessness among government staff for public utility works, no serious concern for durable building or water reservoirs among politicians and government work force, It is common fact everywhere in India that the dams are built this year and these dams can not sustain water pressure next year. Keshwan explained such painful status of developmental works or public works in India in only twelve words .This poem shows the vocabulary power of Keshwan and he used figure of speech to express his views in lowest possible words. If profound Urdu story writer Manto is the craftsman of story telling in least words, in Garhwali poetry world, Keshwan is an expert of using minimum possible words to tell the volumes of story as :
Bal banige dam
Bal pwadige ‘dam’
The meaning of the poem is
Built the Dam
Collapses the Dam
A grave penalty for us !
poem shows the high sensitivity, awareness, concern , care, worries of Keshwan for bad happening in the society. Dam is one of the best created satiric poems of Garhwali language. In Garhwali language “Dam’ means to brand or burn by read hot ion rod and another meaning of ‘Dam’ word is used as punishment. Keshwan used the word ’Dam’ for water reservoir and grave penalty as well. This poem proves that words are slaves of Keshwan .
From the early time of civilization, human beings are busy in discussing and trying to conclude about which is important the luck or the action and till date , there is conclusion. The poets and philosopher also created literature about luck and the importance of industriousness in becoming achievers. An American poet, Dickson (1955) created a poetry as :
Luck is not chance-
Its Toil -
Fortune’s expensive smile
The Father of Mines
Lalit Keshwan supports that apart from depending on the luck or superstitious acts the human beings should rely on industriousness in his famous poetry Ghunda Hilai.
At the end of poem, he says :
Yankai bharwasu na rai
Apna bi ghund hilai
The meaning of above verse is :
But, (For getting child)
Don’t depend on hocus-pocus
Shake your knees too
Ghund Hilai , poem is one of the most heard and talked poems of Keshwan.
Apart from humorously preaching, the poet is successful for providing space to the readers for imagining the sexual intercourse . Keshwan, Kanhayalal Dandriyal have been successful , in providing the space and scope to the readers that they expand the poem themselves. This is one of the reasons that Dandriyal and Keshwan are called the heroes of neo-modern Garhwali poetry.
Gwair chhwara is a satiric and humorous poem and shows the escapism among Garhwalis for education and struggle for more civilized condtions. The world’s one of the best story tellers Prem Chand also narrates a condition in the story Kafan that when society witnesses that when struggle and industriousness do not fetch the results the society adopts the path of escapism. In this poem , In poem -Gwair Chhawar, Keshwan describes the cause of escapism in the society with wit and humour
Chwara bachyun ralo
T gor charalo
If son is alive
He can survive as shepherd
: If birth is a truth, the death is also a truth, as Benjamin Franklin says in his one poem, “ But death is sure all he (death god) can get”. It is just not possible that the poems on the death phenomenon, orally or in written form, is not created in any language, Every poet has different experiences and unlike objectives for creating poetry on the subject of death. Poets as G K Chesterton, Ella Wilcox, Herbert Trench, Arthur Conan Doyle, Anne Finch, William Blake, Aleister Crowley, Walter de la Mare, John Dryden, R.L Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, P.B . Shelly, and many more created poetries on death and each poet wrote differently with varied purposes. The top most notable French renaissance poet Pierre de Ronsard , also wrote poetry about death .We may find many poems related to death written by European poets in Sonnets of Love and Death (European Poetry Classics) (Paperback), (Author: Jean De Sponde and translated by David R. Slavitt) .
Garhwali language literature is also rich about the poems about death. However, most of the poets as Sushil Chandra or Jaggu Nautiyal .There is extreme pathos in the death related poems of Naudiyal or Sushil Chandra . The poem Naren Cha in this volume of Keshwan is about death. However, Keshwan described death as philosophical happening. In the Narain cha poem, Keshwan depicts a cheerful, mockery expert, helpful, agile, amicable, playful character who died suddenly and without any pain. This poem again clears scope and space for finding the questions of causes of death and becoming sad themselves too. Lalit Keshwan does not create any sad scene in the poem but leaves everything on the audience for becoming dejected or sad . This is a specialty of Keshwan to describing serious subject in light version without let loosing the seriousness of centre axis of the poem.
: Hunger, poverty, sleep without taking food had been the reality all over world. The poets of all languages depicted hungry people, hungry children in their poems.
For example, famous Irish poets as John O’ Hagan, James Tighe, Jane Francesca Wilde (Mother of Oscar Wilde). Amelia Branford (Ref-7)created fine and memorable poetries related to hunger, famine and they all became successful to attract the attention of the audience.
Rotya ban poem by Keshwan is of international standar and is also very memorable poem about the hunger of child and sleep without food by whole family. The specialty of ‘Rotya ban ’ poem is that Keshwan humanized the whole room, wall, earthen oven, vessels to weep on the weeping of a child’s hunger because parents do not have anything to feed the child.
Sairo bhitar rwai
Bihtaro pali rwain
Chauka rwai, chula rwai
Patkaband means to stop or to close. This poem is all about population control. However, Keshwan did not provide any preaching but in light mood, humorous way, he , successfully, could impress about the importance of small family . This is the difference between Keshwan and old Garhwali poets as Chandra Mohan Raturi, Mahant Giri, Rudola etc is that old genres preach/teach directly but Keshwan say the same subject in humour and light version.
: ‘Mangan’ means engagement. Keshwan describes the Garhwali engagement ceremony as it is happening before you . However, the best part of this poem is the ending stanzas, which portray the uniqueness of Garhwali community. Garhwalis have an uniqueness about relationship between Jeeja-Sali and Samdhee Samdhan (father of son/daughter and mother in law of son/daughter.) .
Yan se badi bat kya hon
Jab samdani n ithga boli de
Ki tum nauna ka pita ji chha
Janni meri sundri ka pita ji chhan
Tanni tum bi chha
This author positions the poem ‘Mangan’ with the status of famous Garhwali poem ‘Satyanarayan brath katha’ by Kanhayalal Dandriyal.
According to famous Garhwali poet and critic Prem Lal Bhatt , the poem ‘Bhair gadda’ is a humorous and satire verse. There is no disagreement on the note of Bhatt. However, the poem is fine example of poetry with humour, satire and realism too. A person may be world famous person but he requires honor, respect at his own family too. The poem is about perusing wife for recognizing her husband’s greatness at outside world.
Umrausingh Bada :
Aging is an universal truth and world famous poets as William Shakespeare,
Donald Hall, William Butler Yeats, Jenny Joseph, Lu Yu, David Wright, William Carlos Williams, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Reznikoff, Czeslaw Milosz, Thomas Stanley, R. Ammons, Robert Creely, R W Emerson, Julia Kaddorf, Henry W Longfellow, S. Kunitz, Thomas hardy and many more wrote about aging . Each great poet portrays aging from her/his own angle and created superb poetry. Laly Keshwan is not behind for creating the marvelous poetry on aging and his poetry is an emotional poetry with difference that the person became old not by age but by migrating or displacing his own motherland.
The dowry has been an evilest custom in Indian subcontinent and in other regions of the world. Tamil poetess , Vaaransi Banumuty Rao (2002) writes, “Dowry is the social evil in INDIA. Thousands of young brides, women are dying and committing suicides everyday.” . Poets of all Indian languages wrote against Dowry as Tamil poet Vaaransi Banumuty Rao (2002) and Saliha Rashid (Ref-10) etc wrote fine poetry against dowry, Lalit Keshwan also attacked dowry but with his own style in humorous and with sharp satiric words. The poem Sabbi Goal of Keshwan makes you laughing but wounds you by the net result of dowry custom.
Chhain ch Kuchh:
When the nation or society faces the political or government author’s corruption at each level, the sensitive poet can not resist creating criticizing corruption through their poetries. As Japanese poet Ishikava Takboku , Korean poet Pak Tujin, John Gey, or Indian poet Naunihal Singh of English language created poetries against political/authorities corruptions, Keshvan also wrote many poems against the corruption . Chhain ch kuchh is a poetry about corruption in police department. As usual, Keshwan dealt police corruption with wit, absurdity, hilarity, and criticizes the system which brings corruption at the lowest level in Chhain cha Kuchh poem.
Bhukha petan, nanga gatan:
It is a fact of matter that in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America , many poets created poetries about hungry children, children without clothing in hard winter. The author have already provided the example of best poems related to hunger or famine from Irish poets. All the referred poems and the poem ‘I had been hungry all the years ‘ by Emily Dickinson (Ref-11) . All the referred poems are touchy and have pathos rapture or emotion. The poem of Keshwan ‘Bhukha…’ is also touchy but with difference. Keshwan brought here a specific culture of Garhwal that is hantya. In this poem, the dead parents or their souls watching the hungry and naked children. The souls are experiencing the pain of children. This innovative type of narration in the poem makes Keshwan exclusive or different from all poets of the world who wrote poetries on hunger and pain of hunger.
: From the surface ‘ Lalngi Gaudi seems to be a humorous poem wherein a myopic visionary person perceives a woman as a cow and describes the cow , which also fits with the description of the woman too. However, if the readers study the poem carefully and understand the wordings the poet attacks on the way we make wrong perception about anybody. English poet Jones Faye (Ref-12) also says the same thing that :
There is many a time
You seem to read my mind.
But in the end
You can't know what I intend.
Your view of my actions
Are clouded by your past attachments.
But Keshwan says this matter of perception with hilarious way and with lot of Garhwali symbols too. That is why Keshwan becomes a one of the world class poets in the world poetry world.
Child abuse, child beating by adults is a social crime but this crime is happening every second in every society. The child abuse leaves a psychological wound in the mind of child and this scare is dangerous for the natural growth of a child. The sensitive poets as Misty Nicole Ramsey (2009), Kyara Lee (2006) , Pamela (ref-15) created very fine pieces of poetries and these poetries are enough to disturb the readers about the consequences of child abuse. ‘Matai goli’ poem by Keshvan is also fine piece of poem about child abuse and proves that Keshvan is also authority on writing on the subject of subconscious mind .
The other poems in this volumes are also likable by Garhwali readers but those are meant to entertain and there is very little for compelling the readers for thinking or there is less scope and space for the readers to expand the poetry further , which is specialty of Keshvan.
Keshvan broke the conventional path of Garhwali poem running from 1850 or so in many terms. Structurally, he totally transformed the structure of conventional poetic form that is Doha, Chaupaya etc. he is one of he Garhwali poets who brought realism and experiencing aspects. Keshwan proved by this volume of poems that he is the master of fine blending satire, humour and realism together that attract the readers and at the same time, readers are compelled to think about the subject too. His one specialty is that the readers start expanding poem further by their own too . Keshwan also used the scope and utility of describing subconscious mind in Garhwali poems.
He used the symbols and imagery in the poems which make his poems simple and understandable easily or by symbols and imagery, the readers feel the poems are created for them from their own life.
Whenever, necessary, Keshwan used Hindi , Urdu and English words to enhance the readability of poems. Keshwan never backs from doing beneficial experiments and does not do experiments for the sake of experiments only.
Keshwan also narrates his experiences easily that readers are hooked to the poems.
Lalit Keshwan has the same place in Garhwali poetry world as W.H. Auden, T.S. Elliot, Robert Frost, James Joyce, Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, William Butler Yeats in English; Baudelaire, Hugo, Lamartine, Mallarme, Rimbaud, Verlaine , John Perse, Paul Claudel of French language; Xu Xhimo, Guo Moruo and Wen Yiduo who broke Chinese poetry from past conventions; Masaoka Shiko who brought modernism in Japanese language poetry; Vicente Aleixandre, Antonio Machado, Federico Garcia Lorca, Jorge Guillen in Spanish poetic field; and Umberto Saba, Eugenio Montale and Giuseppe Ungaretti of Italy have places in their respective languages.
Khilda Phool Hansda Pat’ is one of the mile stones of Garhwali poetry world.
1- Gosvami, Hridayananda Das , February 2005, Vaisnava Moral Theology and Homosexuality,
2- Jessica Zombiee , Crash,
5386653 (Accessed d on 20th
3-Teller, Lisa , The final Act,
sad/0028006.htm (Accessed on
21st September, 2009)
4- Skea, Ann, 2000, TITLE: Ted Hughes: Collected Poems for Children
http://ann.skea.com/THCPC.htm (Accessed on25th September, 2009)
5-Kukreti, Bhishma , 2008-9, Ava Garhwali bhasha tain Moran s e bachava, Shailvani, Kotdwara, India,
6-Dickson, Emily ,1955, Luck is not chance , The 1350th poem of Complete Poems of Emily Dickson.
irish/unit_7.html (Accessed on
26th Sept, 2009)
Poems about Aging
viewmedia.php/prmMID/5877 (Accessed on
27th September, 2009
9- Rao, Vaaransi Banumuty, Dowry, July, 7, 2002
(Accessed on 21st September, 2009)
10- Saliha Rashid, The Curse of Dowry,
11- Dickson, Emily, All the referred poems andhttp://www.
familyfriendpoems.com/sad/ poetry.asp?poem=18656 the poem ‘I had
been hungry all the years’
12-Jones, Faye , Perception,
13-Ley, Kyara, Speechless, 2006,
14- Misty, Ramsey, Misty,
15- Prentiss , Palmela, ‘There is no peace”
Copyright @ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai, India 2009
Notes on Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Sian Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; South Asian language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; SAARC countries language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Indian subcontinent language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Indian language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; North Indian language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Himalayan language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Mid Himalayan language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Uttarakhandi language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Kumauni language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History; Garhwali language Poetry Collection as Signature in Poetry History to be continued…