Dr. Krishna Guranath rao Kulkarni
Retd. Prof / Freelance Journalist - KARNATAKA STATE, India
“REFLECTIONS”, is the second anthology out of the five collections I have read, enjoyed and contemplated by me, which is composed by a young friend of mine who is a quadragenarian called Dr. Tholana Ashok Chakravarthy, Litt.D, serving as a Manager of well-known agricultural bank, named “The Telangana State Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd.” (TSCAB) having its Head Quarters in the Charminar-famed city of Hyderabad.
This anthology is a compilation of one short of hundred poems (Ninety Nine) which are all perfect lyrical poems. In this collection of poems the poet’s lyricism, imagination, mode of expression and emotion, have found a relief in a joyous outburst of spontaneous expression.
It is an admitted fact that the study of such poems will certainly help the reader to enjoy the beauty of the expressions of those thoughts. Till today I got an opportunity of reading nearly 200 such elegant poems composed by the peace loving poet Dr. Tholana. I confess cogently that every poem of him has added a millimeter to my mental horizon.
I am of the firm opinion that Dr. Ashoka is a man gifted with great poetic talent and powers. He composes his poems as ebulliently as a great poet. As a poet he is enormously popular not only in India but also abroad. The chief quality of this great poet is his sincerity both in his life and in his poetry. In short simplicity is the core of his lifestyle. Simplicity is also the characteristic feature of a good poetry. I personally like his robust simplicity, veracity and directness of concept. No doubt he is a poet of first water.
Being a lyrist the poet has used the English language with mastery and music. There is the wealth and variety of vocabulary and poetic expression in his poetry. As there is a magic of enchantment in his songs, his lyrics have a sweetness and poignancy all their own. So it appears to the reader that they sing themselves into the universal heart. He is able to do by means of words what the musicians does by the meter and the painter does by means of colours. The following lines of the poet upheld the remarks made above –
In his poems sound and sense are inseparable :
1. To break the trust,
To bridge the trust,
Which one is easier,
Unhesitantly the first – (Break-Even Point)
There is a slight variety in the rhythm of his poetry:
2. Why can’t we be apart in restoring “Peace”
To make our planet Earth, “A SANCTUARY OF PEACE” - (A Sanctuary of Peace)
He uses words for the sake of their sound effects :
3. At midnight under the moon light
I stand beneath with a drowsy delight – (When Shall We Awaken)
The poet is gifted with remarkable power of speech. While reading his poems one will notice the importance given by him for communication in his poems. He writes not for his own pleasure but primarily to communicate his own thoughts and emotions to his readers. That’s why his poems are full of messages:-
In this stanza the clarion call of the poet is sounded to awaken the people from a state of stupor:
1. The Mother Earth with wounds all over ,
And the lurking shadows of devastation,
Looks at us, mournful, painful and disgraceful,
Can we Awake now at least, O Humans ! - (Awake Now At Least)
Plain familiar words in their natural order form the bed-rock of his style:
2. Like buzzing bee swirling around the lotus-petals
We humans should encircle humanity, like love pearls. – (Love begins with me)
The philosophy of this couplet is that forgetfulness of our duty results from self indulgence :
3. Let us be perfect for a future perfect,
In a perfect way for a perfect world- (Nature And We)
The poet is a hero by virtue of the fact that he reveals truth to us. He has a direct insight into reality. That’s why; he is able to describe reality so vividly to us. The below mentioned lines go to prove this statement.
This couplet reveals complete understanding of human psychology:
1. Though I desperately try to break this silence ,
I find no one near to grab the fleeing chance – (Lo! What Can I Do)
There is the flow of rhythm and brevity of expression:
2. Unless the Sun sets there won’t exist an iota of life ,
Yes, let us think positive and brave the paths of grief – (Think Positive)
His poetic diction is mostly simple and clear:
3. Lo! Where are we heading to haunts me often ,
Encircled by ecological break and crying orphans. - (The Disorder)
Dr. Chakravarthy is a poet of nature. He loves nature and worships nature .Like Wordsworth he loves nature as he finds it. He describes nature with admirable simplicity .There are several graphic descriptions of nature in this anthology. He laments for the exploitation of this good Earth. He criticizes this selfish tendency of man in his poems through soft words and in a milder way. To quote his own lines :
He describes vividly the nature of the exploitation of man in this stanza:
1. When the doors of nature in the universe ,
Were wide open with a pleasant view,
We with selfish motives and ill intention,
Have let loose a reign of mass destruction – (Nature And We)
No aspect of the activities of nature remains hidden from his searching eye:
2. The moon and stars are duty bound to enthrall ,
Nature performs its task to help human survival – (Think Positive)
Thus nature seemed to him also divine, unspeakable deep as high as heaven.
The poet describes the pathetic conditions of the poor very minutely but it is with a more moving sympathy, a deeper pathos and brilliance of phrase. This pitiable plight of the poor has been depicted by the poet in these lines –
He paints the pitiable condition of the poor exactly as it is :
1. The hour after hour pounce ;
Of the dreadful hunger
Spreading its fatal tentacles,
Deep in to poverty-stricken slums - (How Can You)
There is in him an eye to see and soul to do:
2. Hunted by death trampled by hunger
Poverty knocks the tolerance of the poor,
Where do the strings of Mercy dwell? - (Mercy)
The poet is a propagator of world peace. He gives much importance and priority for the maintenance of world peace in his poems. The following lines of the poet deserve to be quoted here :
1. On the ripples of freedom , float the thoughts of peace,
Devoted! Let us honour and strengthen the ideals of peace - (The Ideals Of Peace)
2. Peace has become a distant mirage ,
Unmasking violence with a fit of rage – (The Moments)
3. Lo! The so called protectors of peace ,
Why not the wars could be averted - (A Sanctuary of Peace)
In almost all the poems of this Anthology the poet has expressed his unique emotional experience which is really a source of pleasure for the reader. To put the point in clear terms he sublimates emotions and offers aesthetic pleasures to the readers. So his poems have rather the value of a piece of creative literature than of mere emotions. He possesses a direct insight into reality .That’s why he is able to describe reality so vividly to us .
In fine “REFLECTIONS”, is a collection of short poems which set the readers imagination ablaze with lyrical fragrance. His poems are all realistic which serve as the yardstick to measure poetic talent. Moreover these short poems of him definitely reveal that he has a redefined and charming soul, a noble and amicable nature. Those who read his poems with devotion will certainly praise the qualities of his head and heart. What I observed and found in his poems is that realism does not lie in the themes of his poems whereas it has been brought out through his magic of writing. He has expressed in his poems a noble Philosophy and it is the study of that philosophy that one should read this collection of poems, with a seeing eye and an understanding eye.
I personally feel proud that I got an opportunity to express my sincere opinions about the poetry of Dr. T. Ashok Chakravarthy in the form of a FORWARD to his collections of poems entitled, “REFLECTIONS”.
I think that I am really BLESSED !
- Dr. K. G. Kulkarni