Dwelling with Denial

Dwelling with Denial

Rajiv Khandelwal. Yayati Madan G Gandhi Group of Publication; First Edition (15 July 2020); Yayati Madan G Gandhi Group of Publication. Pp.130. ASIN: B08D7NHVJ6 . Price Rs. 320/-

Poetry in the mundane affairs: A book review of “Dwelling with Denial”

By Ansulika Paul

Rajiv Khandelwal is an award winning poet with 4 volumes – “Conch Shells and Cowries” – published 1998, “Love is a Lot of Work” and “A Monument to Pigeons” both published in 2013, “A Time To Forget” published 2017 and “Dwelling With Denial” published 2020, all to good national and international critical acclaim .

Has three books of critical appreciation published on his poetic works. Is widely published and finds space in several Anthologies.

The book “Dwelling with Denial” has 75 poems. It is a book bound with a large collection of poetry. Poetry as it immerses in itself rhythm, allegory, metaphors, simile and something one could prevalently find in the poems is a style of writing articles as published in the newspapers, short articles depicting a certain situation, a certain condition; the poems are a certain article as a bundle of information. The words are clear, straightforward, simple and to the point. This is what makes the poems a latest article in the front page of a newspaper.
It is a rhythmic depiction from the eyes of a vigilant reporter. The poems are dealings between humans. The conversations they have. The day-to-day chores humans cherish and lament.
The talent lies in finding aesthetic values in the everyday thing and bring it to life through poetry.
Poems of longing love, poems for a lone lover to poems for mother, wife, daughter , son-in-law or even a stranger.
The dynamism with which the poems are stringed together in poetry is paramount.
There is a line of poems about poet and poetry as well.

The simplicity with which the poem reports a life and living is exceptional.

The poem “Petition” is pain, longing and the anxiety that blooms through the same.
The language of poems is lucid and clear. The poems are a straightforward talk between humans and the world. The mundane affairs of life is transformed into authentic songs.

With many poems based on the theme of vulnerable, ductile relationships like of spouses, lovers, parent-children, friends and even in-laws, the book holds a wide genre of emotions in its bosom.
“Wandering Thoughts” is a beautifully stringed verse on daughter.

That’s when
I see in you
Dear daughter
The reflections
Of bits and pieces of myself
And I fondly admit
That you are my pride and joy (P.no.09)

There in the other poem “Critical Comments” one could find a grand dad’s strenuous work in creating a story for the grand child, only to be failed at the end.

My little grand child
Wrapped in warm comforter
Lying snuggled 
             Skin to skin contact
Demanded a story (P.no. 11)

The poem “Mother in Our Joint Family” is a dedication to mothers, a theme that resides forever in the poet’s heart.

Dear Mother
No one who sees you
Sitting on the kneeler bamboo stool
Almost bent in C section
Weeding out grass like weeds
With the soil scoop
Will believe that you are an octogenarian (P.no.13)

Eminent use of simile and metaphors in the poems make it living, believing, imagining.
One could discover these poems in between the four walls of human ties. The four corners of human relationships with fellow human and a roof of longing and togetherness. One could also signify the poetry in the title as a short speech; as commentaries for an event like a write up of a third-eye observer.

The poem “Job Trackers” very aptly is the mirror to the poets crafting of worldly affairs and newsfeed as rhymes; as poetry.

So, for Placements, come to ‘Job Trackers’
We will train you
As we have confirmed ongoing demand
For would-be-terrorists (P.no. 42)

Another poem to place under the tangles of human ties is “The Sun Will Never Set”

Getting a wife like you is indeed an exceptional 
An act of divine intervention

Things you do daily to make my life perfect, dear wife
Makes me feel like the most important thing in our life (P.no. 45)

One will advertently agree that the poems are a gift wrapped in words to the near and dear ones the poet is surrounded with and the poet makes no less effort to manifest the gifting.

The poem “Happy Birthday Son-in-law” is one such laid out evidence to living with a poet in the house and the asset of being part of the poets poetic imagery now and then.

When without yourself knowing, you do something nice
Then we know that a part of our heart, a big smug slice
Knows, you are everything we could hope for in a son-in-Law (P.no.48)

“Resume” is one of many newspaper read feed with poetically splashed puddles of words that makes the mundane affairs artistic.

Yes! It is documented
You are an expert in instigating communal hysteria
Your organizational capacities are well known
But have never incited hatred by mailing false SMS
Or incited fear through perceived threats
It is well known
Have never used modern media
For creating divides
Are not even a member of scam perpetrator’s club (P.no.51)

A poet has no better gift in poetry than to gift words for moments like birthday and death anniversary.

One could read with ecstasy poems of love in mall and in rain forest. The poems depicts dream sequence as the plethora for the poetic play.
Here is a verse from “In Rain Forest”.

It was her first visit
After her death

And before she could continue

The alarm went off (P.no. 72)

The social trends that technology has succeed to monarch with time could be seen in “Dreamy Expectation”.

Five feet away
My nephew
Chose to use WhatsApp
Rather than a chat
To compliment me (P.no.73)

The book holds a line up of poems about poem, poet and poetry. In the poem “Poem In The Poet’s Palm” one could read jest and jostle, the beauty and bustle of poetry writing.

And if , the overall effect
Keeps the reader engaged

Their expectations met

The poet
Has the perfect poem
In the palm of his hand (P.no.93)

Another poem in the title “A Successful Poet” equally stands in line with the artistic description of poetry writing.

Then the poet
Is victorious in bringing
The sacred body of his poem home (P.no. 98)

The idea of the poet spreads pristine with poems on poems evoking the style of poetry.

“Pain Desiring Understanding” is a poem of real time rhythmic reporting. Every verse in the poem evokes a thought individually, socially and psychologically. It is a poignant piece of art that the poet has dared to pen it down.

When you judge us
As societies lowest of the low
The fallen ones

Let your mother, sister, daughter
Or say your wife
Let them just merely imagine
Living my life, a single day
Like a piece of meat

Only then, dare to
Point moral compass towards us (P.no.114)

The poem “The Poem Unborn” very well illustrates how the poet’s poems picture the mundane affairs of life and living in an elegant ebb and flow of words.

But each night
The unfinished tired poem

Goes to bed
With the pen

To wake up once again
To the same mundane routine (P.no. 115)

The poet Rajiv Khandelwal has the knack of poetry in visualizing the world everyday, as witnesser of the chores human is tangled day in and out, of poetifying the same into an appreciable piece to art.

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Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul is a poet, author, researcher and filmmaker. She is a filmmaker by heart and a film critic by words.

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