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Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation [A Critical Study Of Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry]

CONCERNS and CREATION [Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar] ISBN : 978-81-7341-

Edited by :

Dr. R. K. Bhushan Sabharwal

© Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar Pubisher Indian Publisher's & Distributors 166-D, Kamala Nagar, Delhi — 110 007 Ph. 23846233, 23840715 Fax 91-11-23846233 Email : ipd@ Website : Laser Type Setting : Sahib Computer Service Printed in India at G.S. Offset, Navin Shahdara, Delhi First Edition 2012 Price : 275/-


Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :



A Reader Recollects : Enjoying the strains of unpremeditated art [with reference to Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry]


Dr. Narendra Sharma 'Kusum' [ Jaipur / Raj.]

Concerns and Creation [A Critical Study Of Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry]


Mahendra Bhatnagar : A Lyrist of Love and nature


Aju Mukhopadhyay [Pondicherry]


Multi-Dimensional Props in the Poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar


Nature Poems The Poetic Spectrum and Dimension of


POET MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR Bijay Kant Dubey [Midnapore / W.B.]

Dr. R. K. Bhushan [Jagraon-Ludhiana / Pb.]

9 2

Selected poems of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Patricia Prime [Newzeland]



Depiction of Poverty in the Poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar


'Lyric-Lute' : A sheen of subjectivism and lyricism


Dr. Kalpna Rajput [Badaun / U.P.]


Dr. A. K. Chaturvedi [Gwalior / M.P.]

Mahendra Bhatnagar : 'Lyric-Lute' Dr. Anshu Sharma [Jaipur / Raj.]



'Lyric-Lute' by Mahendra Bhatnagar


Anita Saxena [ Badaun / U.P.]


Reflections on Mahendra Bhatagar's Philosophy of Death

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Dr. A. K. Chaturvedi [Gwalior / M.P.]

Wider Perception of Human Society in Mahendra Bhatnagar's 'Lyric-Lute'


Dr. Ram Sharma [Meerut / U.P.]


Dr. MahendraBhatnagar : A Critic of Life, Men & Matter Prof. P. V. Laxmi Prasad [Sultanabad / A.P.]

Concerns and Creation :


35 13

New Enlightened World [Foreword] Dr. Mukesh Sharma [Gwalior, M.P.]

Concerns and Creation :




‘New Enlightened World’


Kedar Nath Sharma [Delhi]


Interview : Literary Legend Speaks


Anil Kumar Sharma [Chandigarh]

New Enlightened World


Dr. Patricia Prime [Newzeland]




Interview : Bilingual Poetic Voice


Dr. Neelanshu Agarwal [Rai Bareli / U.P.]

A Critical Survey of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s ‘New Enlightened World’

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An Indian English Poet



Dr. Anshu Bhardwaj [Jaipur / Raj.]

In conversation with Prof. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi [Allahabad / U.P.]


'New Enlightened World'

114 Appendix Bio data : Mahendra Bhatnagar

Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh [Badaun / U.P.]


NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD Revolutionary Poetry of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Jitendra Arolia [Gwalior / M.P.]



Unraveling Humanism In The Poems Of Mahendra Bhatnagar


R. Karthikeyan & G. Baskaran [T.N.]


Death 138 Beyond the Borders of Despondency in the Poetry of D. C. Chambial and Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Kalpna Rajput [ Badaun / U.P.]


Poet of all times :


MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR Dr. Sunil Sharma [Mumbai]

Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :



FOREWORD A simple look at the picture of this living literary legend tells the moving and inspiring tale of courage, endurance, growth, advancement and humility incarnate. This is the tale of decades of grinding and grueling in the mill of life; senseless slappings by the stormy and tempestuous waves endangering the very existence on the sea of life, unceasing dust storms and sultry weather of the earth showing no signs of retreat and the prey hardening inside silently facing the stiff challenges with the undying resolve to emerge triumphant with the invincibility of the soul. However, a fixed look into the eyes glowing with the rusted tears makes us silently ponder over the unfathomable and unseen beyond. This is how Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar graduated in the school of life adored with the multi-hued plumes and feathers on this uncrowned bi-lingual poet. One may not be born as the most preferred and favorite child of destiny but one becomes so by sheer diligence, clear vision, honest commitment to life around, thinking mostly beyond one’s self, enduring for a noble cause and standing by the rock of faith. Carlyle, the Victorian Prophet, says in Hero As a Man of Letters: “Genius is infinite capacity for taking pains.” The life and poetry of MB shows how great a genius he is. His picture reveals his poetry and his poetry reveals his picture. Honest living through such a tenor of life shaped up the make-up of MB’s character and Concerns and Creation :


personality. He understood life and its governance in its comprehensiveness and allembraciveness. He could see and view the rich panorama of social, economic, political and cultural diversity against which the drama and dreams of human life have been playing hide and seek for ages. This sensitized and sweetened not only his humanism but also humanized his writing with play and interplay of nature and human nature as a forceful living entity. This awakened MB to the romance and realism, mystery, magic and mythology, celebrations and festivities, failings and frustrations of mankind clouded with sunshine and brightened with the radiance of youthfulness bursting into spontaneous lyricism saying-my heart sings and soul dances at all in God’s plenty.(italics mine) The present volume of critical articles by scholars and critics- Progressive Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar: His Concerns and Creation- is a great appreciation of the creative genius of the octogenarian poet whose poetry has been translated into English, French and Japanese. That itself speaks goldenly of the universal appeal of MB’s concerns in his poetry. However, his interviews to subtle intellectuals-Mr. Anil Sharma and Dr. Nilanshu Agarwal- are remarkable for their sharp insight into the life and poetic sensibilities of MB with a particular focus on the theory, content, spirit and influences. The interviewers and the interviewed are frank and straightforward in their task to present the inside out. Madam Patricia Prime has explored a new angle in the poetry of MB when she says: “Central to the poetry is the desire to know and understand the self, to place the self in the deeper context of community, history or politics.” And she notices the poem Concerns and Creation :


as a “space of self-interrogation.” Her new enlightened world of the poet is well-viewed by Kedar Nath Sharma also. Dr. A. K. Chaturvedi has studied the socio-economic and metaphysico-philosophical aspect whereas Prof. Laxmi Prasad finds MB as a keen observer and critic of life. Dr. Narendra Kusum enjoys the unpremeditated, of course the spontaneity of Shelley’s skylark, in the strains of Mahendra Bhatnagar. Dr. Kalpana Rajput, one of the translators of MB’s poetry, has not only reflected on the lyrical intensity of the poet but has also made an illuminating comparative study of the theme of death in the poetry of D. C. Chambial and Mahendra Bhatnagar. Karthikeyan and Baskaran trace the poetic beauty of humanism in the concerns of MB. However, this volume is far from the complete study of the poetic concerns and cares of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar. But I hope that this book will inspire many more scholars and critics to explore the unexplored in the eleven volumes of MB’s poetry. In the end, I express my gratefulness to this living legendary artist for entrusting me with the responsibility of writing the Foreword to his book. I hope that this doesn’t disappoint him. If it does, I shall never forgive myself. — R. K. Bhushan Sabharwal

Concerns and Creation :


MULTI-DIMENSIONAL PROPS IN THE POETRY OF MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR — R.K.Bhushan Mahendra Bhatnagar is seemingly an easy poet. But he is not. The caravan of images keeps constructing thoughts of varied hues. Passion adored with simplicity, spontaneity, stillness and sonority- sole delight of poetry anywhere-baffle the reader of Mahendra Bhatnagar. These characteristics reveal less the style, more the spirit and subject of the poetic creations of Bhatnagar. The subtle artistry of even the translators of his poems, with all their wealth of linguistic, language and situational equivalence and the excellence of their insight have faltered at most of the places, though their sincerity deserves all appreciation. That is why the translations of the original are a rare delight and its near-accomplishment is still rarer. The difficulties in such a venture emerge because of the complex intermingling of the philosophy of the metaphysics and the physics of daily life handled with excellence, conscious and unconscious, by Mahendra Bhatnagar. May be the scholarly translators also experienced the bumpy rides on the roads, which appear smooth and uncobbled, to Bhatnagar’s citadel on the wings of their own poesy. Once the journey begins on a happy note with a flowering heart, soon the road is seen branching off into different directions. And we move on the horns of dilemma. Even then, we reach there huffing only to Concerns and Creation :


relax after a good sleep amidst fresh and fragranced breezes blowing across the poet’s landscape. The profundity and the intensity, the richness and variety of passion and pain, yearning, fulfillment and frustration of love, melancholy and despair of life- all incessantly lead to dreams and destinations where man is eternally seeking eternal solace in his emotional entanglements, rational unfoldings and revelations, spiritual enlightenment, hope and faith. These are the inexhaustible treasures in the poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar. What astonishes more the curious and the serious reader of his poetry is how Bhatnagar resolves these contradictions pertaining to the existential issues of the everyday life of the high and the mighty, the humble and the meek. His asphyxiated soul releases itself with the dare and the strength of its convictions and regales the audience with its liberated, luscious, lascivious, lurking and longing fancies. If romance means the love of the far-off, if romance means love of the open fields, challenging high mountains, rocks, infinite star-studded skies, if romance means sweat of the soil fructifying into dreams, if romance betrayal of the beloved’s love to embrace the full bloom of the cosmic love, light and colour, if romance means the youth and the youthful venturing out to seek fresh pastures, if romance means to dream and enjoy the maddening fragrance of the beloved’s beauty, if romance means to empathize and work for a life of freedom, dignity and happiness for the suppressed and the storm-tossed, if romance to have a rendezvous with death and let him caress you and be caressed in all preparedness, Mahendra Bhatnagar may have few peers but no superior seems to be in sight. Bhatnagar weaves a splendid pattern of enchanting colours and images reminding us of the romance of the ReConcerns and Creation :


naissance and the Romantics of English poetry like Spenser, Shelley, Keats and even beyond that- Tennyson, Morris, Rossetti and Yeats. Dr. Vidya Niwas Mishra in his Preface to the “Selected Poems of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar-1” remarks“ Mahendra Bhatnagar is Browning, Shelley and Maykovsky welded into one, he is a visionary, he is a comrade-in-arms and he is an architect.” Mahendra Bhatnagar’s relentless pursuit of beauty and wisdom to explore the meaning of truth and reality as commonly believed and the philosophical truth is the marked characteristic of his poetry, though it is tinged with lament and elegy at times. Patricia Prime in her understanding of Bhatnagar’s poetry – “Selected Poems of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar-2” has aptly observed, “ His poetry is a combination of sublimity and wisdom, and is a way of exploring the meaning of subjectivity and of pursuing philosophical beauty. The poet figure is presented as a humanist, visionary and compassionate ideologist. Spiritually-minded, and open to the greatness of feeling and experience through such vistas presented by the Indian landscape and its people, Bhatnagar’s work offers a relentless and vitalized search for the fullness of human experience, and the fulfilment of destiny…….” His “Selected Poems-1” [40 Poems] and “Selected Poems2”[25 Poems], “Death Perception”, “Poems for a Better World” are indeed a rich harvest from the ageless fields of poetry. The poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar can be categorized very conspicuously as under(a) The poetry of nationalism, patriotism, the poetry of rejuvenation, regeneration and resurgence; the poetry of hope and faith and message of the New Age, the Golden Age for the masses living under repression and suppression a life of Concerns and Creation :


total denial; this may also include the poems for a better world; (b) The poetry of youth and youthfulness with the undying and living spirit and enthusiasm for adventure for an enduring life; (c) The poetry of personal sorrow, love, beauty and romance; (d) The poetry of Nature in her varying moods and fancies at different times of the day and in different seasons; (e)

The poetry of death.

A poet’s chief concern is the dilemma of man under various pressing and depressing situations. An ordinary man with his ordinariness of situation may find the triumphant emergence quite difficult or even the escape-route a blind alley. But the poet, gifted with the insight and far-sight, overcomes the crisis caused by the conflicting interests, finds progressive movement pleasant in faith and the message thus transcends. Social, economic, political and religious awakening in man has always created a transitional phase in the general setup of life. Such a transition leaves its deep marks and scars on the value system also which sets in a new era. People prosper and seek happiness in their shared experiences of matter and spirit but these glitteraties, with all their material and intellectual attainments, suffer miserably from their moral and spiritual impotence. This not only disturbs but also aggravates the crisis in everyday life and living. The poet alone is alive to his concerns and the poetry is born. This is how the poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar is born. Dr. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi, in his “Preface to Selected Poems of Dr. Mahendra Concerns and Creation :


Bhatnagar” says very aptly, “He is endowed with the gift of free imagination dedicated to bring about change in our soulless, heartless, dead, disintegrated, disunited, disillusioned capitalistic world where common man is foredoomed to be exploited, cheated and looted at every step.” As a champion of the common mass of down-trodden mankind, the poor peasants and workers, Mahendra Bhatnagar not only indicts but also condemns and crushes the forces in the establishment or outside it. Dr. S.C.Dwivedi observes, “He is alert, careful, and cautious, sometimes reminding us occasionally of Brecht, Auden, Pablo Neruda and of Carl Sandburg….Like them, he is the spokesman of the people, and he employs a rare sensitivity, a rare intellectuality and a rare humanity.” The poems of resurgence have message of hope, faith, understanding, goodwill and humanity. These poems transform us and regenerate and rekindle our faith in the basic goodness and dignity of man as man. These poems awaken us to even the need for a rebellion against what degrades and debases and also dehumanizes us and sounds a clarion call to the ignorant and the suppressed to wake up from their aged slumber, open their eyes to the new dawn of freedom and life. Mahendra Bhatnagar is at times painfully aware of the dismal and bleak situation around and his conscience as poet shakes him thoroughly to attend to the call of his duty. “Lust for life”, “Reap the Paddy”, “Woman Reborn”, “Lose Not Your Heart”, “Vision”, “Not Alone”, “Life-Stream”, “Future”, “Light”, “Conviction”, “The Firmament Will Change Its Colour”, “With Flags of Peace”, “Gala of National Celebration”, “The Masses”, “Resurgence”, “For the First Time” etc are a few such poems as are packed with Mahendra Bhatnagar’s rock-like faith and convictions in the glory of the nationalism, patriotism, humanism whose resurgence will Concerns and Creation :


give birth to the sanctified beings who alone will inhabit the New Age, the Golden Age of the dreams of the prophets and visionaries. This Age will be free from injustice, exploitation, loot, inhumanity, atrocity and parasites. The manifesto of the poet’s faith divine that love alone is the guiding and leading force of human life since and till eternity, though “The death’s orchestra plays on.” This is expressed in “Lust For Life” wherein the chief burden of the song is“The man lives on By the cravings of love.”

“Green, red, yellow and rosy gardens Are in full bloom today! Man is being initiated into humanity….”

The seeds of world’s resurgence now find fulfillment and fruition and their “fragrance embraces the whole universe.” The tragic plight of even “Woman Reborn” is purported to be a poem of regeneration and emancipation of woman, notwithstanding the fact that it remains a far-cry in the din and pandemonium of Women’s Lib. However, “Lose Not Your Heart”, a song of rebellion sings on a note of high optimism“Your destination itself will arrive one day And meet you half way!” That is why, the poet’s “Vision” is a pledge for the realization of those dreams and ideals. On this pilgrimage, Mahendra Bhatnagar is “Not Alone”. He is so self-assured that he asserts“I am not alone, Not alone am I, The resurgent age is with me.” This is a poem of message for the New Age in which his Concerns and Creation :

optimism sparkles with a rare glow; this is a poem of faith and confidence which creates the atmosphere of constant cheerful movement of myriads of men with inexhaustible energy advancing towards the golden blooming world on the splendid peaks of liberty unhaunted by even by the remote shadows of despair and helplessness. It is today and today alone- undying today becoming forever! This is to be the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan where-


“Life-Stream” sings“The new song of life’s revolt! A new song of creation ……………………………….. On the wall of the age Descends a brilliant crimson light, Of conviction bold and glamour rare!” Imagistic pattern here is more spell-binding than the thoughtcontent. The poet feels in “The Future” that man’s future path is enveloped in limitless darkness and thick darkness governs it. We can easily see through the mind of Bhatnagar working in symbols and understands that there is needed bright light, the flood light. He wants to hear the laughter of every man in his roaring spirits. So“And let hopes bloom Concerns and Creation :


Of a future happy and glorious!” His unflagging faith and optimism are further strengthened when his firm , bold convictions anchor his spirit. In “Conviction”, Mahendra Bhatnagar says“The tiny lamp of man’s undying faith Has flickered strong as ever!” His conviction sees the transitional darkness vanishing“And wrest from heavens A rosy dawn of life new!” There is sure to be a new awakening, new resurgence, New Age, the Golden Age when “The Firmament Will Change its Colour” and “The Flags of Peace” will reinstate our strong faith in “ peace and humanity”. The innocent dreams of “Resurgent Man” will re-write the history of the world with its aglow with love, freedom and dignity, understanding and brotherhood. All walls dividing man against man, man against God, shall collapse or stand demolished. This planet will become the habitat of sanctified beings working for the evolution of cosmic civilization. The poet can see a new awakening blazing and the world’s history taking a turn. So“From the world will banish The dense darkness of sufferings, And the close atmosphere of dejection heavy! Surely will the firmament take a new colour!” -The Firmament Will Change its Colour Concerns and Creation :


The jubilations of national liberation, “the eventful day”, bring forth “the soldiers of freedom universal” and “This is the day Universal resurgence/ This glorious day/Of the famished, the naked and the suppressed!” The ecstasy of the poet is overwhelming“Impediments have turned friendly, Magnificent is the current of history! That is the landmark of Victory!” -Gala of National Liberation History bears ample testimony to the enduring truth that masses are never lost in age-long slumber otherwise the era of dark despair and despotism would not have died so soon and “the myriad lamps of life sublime” would not have been lighted to “to sow the seeds of vibrant life on earth.” It is always the awakening of the masses, the thunder of the “collective voice” that fructify the vision of the prophets of mankind. Mahendra Bhatnagar has given fine, splendid and subtle ex-pression to the working of the divinity of life in the universe age after age in his poem after poem. Of course, Bhatnagar’s leftist leanings also come to the fore when he asserts that “the demon of capitalism is “the root cause of hunger, starvation, suffering and misery. Then we feel constrained to ask ourselves, and also the poet, if the God of Communism has ever succeeded in alleviating and mitigating these social and economic ills and ailments! There may not be an answer to this question, and if there is any, it will be the subject of futile heated controversy, but the poet sees the wonderful resurgence“A new flame is blazing in every direction; Life is lit up with red twilight. Concerns and Creation :


…………………………………… The age and the civilization have taken a turn The creeper of culture is blooming with flowers new.” - Resurgence Again, in another poem-“For the First Time”- Bhatnagar blows the bugle of the New Age fight for human rights; a call of the red revolt for the liberation of the common man trodden down since ages. He says“The new age is busy struggling For the rights of all, The coming years will follow suit, The world will stand guard On rights of all people!” So there is no reign of terror, no king, no beggar! He is right that concrete convictions never collapse. His poetic rebuke to Mao and Chou are also his message of national resurgence. Similarly, “O Winged Steeds of Destiny” is a poem of challenge and indomitable will as sons of the soil and the toil show their determination coupled with confidence to lead destiny and shape up their own. They have the will to achieve the unachievable with the virtues of steadfastness, perseverance and endurance to take away even the brilliance of stars to adore our daily life. The poet says“O winged steeds of Destiny! We will hold thy bridle And give ye direction!” “Gift of a Lively Faith” is a loving welcome to the dejected Concerns and Creation :


and the discarded as he is gifted with a lively faith. In “The Offshoot”“The brilliant sprouts into a new life!” This is also a poem of resurgent life in a revolt against whirlwinds. “We Know it Well” – “That lightning flashes not in the blaze of noon!” “Stop It”- the very title is a command; this is a poem of forceful but silent protest against starvation, misery, suppression and atrocity. Mahendra Bhatnagar uses dreadful images of exploitation, social and sexual, because, in such a disgusting and dehumanizing situation, all slogans and appeals of peace and faith and love sound hollow and dirty and carry no meaning. He says“The naked carcass of culture; When your vulture teeth are red With blood of the teeming millions And your breath smells of deflowered virginity…..” Hence the poet makes a wonderful appeal to the helpless, hapless and exploited millions to open their eyes and see the glimpses of the new purple dawn with a new message of bright cheerfulness and happiness for themselves. This is a message of the New Age and beauty. The poet says“Dear! The love is still alive with all its aspirations, Steeped in the flowery sweetness of spring, Several nights of enchanting mad moon still remain, …………………………………………………….. Concerns and Creation :


Smile and smile a little And be with me, my company!” Mahendra is romancing freely with moon and moonlight in “To the Moon” and “Moonlight”. The very opening of the former leads us into a life of sensations“Please smile not and tempt me thus, Or else I shall kiss your cheeks!” He is enchanted by the lavish beauty of the moon “Where dance the naked damsels”. Than he says in “Moonlight”“This moon-light speaks not to me none knows why, Fills the heart with strange nectar of love, this Moonlight!.” These are highly picturesque poems reminiscent of the pastoral moonlit nights in the poetry of Coleridge and where life has not been assaulted and bruised by the jungles of concrete enveloped thickly by the dust, dusk and soot or threatened by terrorists, political or religious. Mahendra Bhatnagar is frequently a poet of fresh moods and memories in “No Grievance” and in “Conviction”, we see the blush and shyness of the full-blooded love of youth and it is all a graceful sight with not even a remote reflection or shadow of physicality. “Day-Dreaming” is a lyric of intense of intense love and beauty, a superb example of tension, intention and extension. He says“Like a love-lorn bee, I’ve only kissed and kissed. The buds, bright, ravishing, drunkConcerns and Creation :


And drenched in honey! How tormented am I By your beauty!” “Betrayal”, another poem of beauty, romance, love and lust, is a betrayal of the beloved’s love to hug the cosmic love to find “a new kingdom of joy and smile.” “Accept Me” is a poem of love in all its purity and brilliance. He says: “My wishes: Like the twinkling stars On the breast of the blue!” Then- My passions; My feelings“Like the most beautiful garlands Of red roses Fresh, fragrant and blossoming!” He offers these all in adoration to her persona of love and idolization, celestial beauty! We roll in romance in other poems- “The Worship of Art”, “A State of Mind”, “Life”, “Through the Unwanted Moments”, “The Irony of Fate”, “How to Suffer Pain”, “The Incredible”, “Who Are You?”, “A Submission” etc. They all give to us a relish of romance and beauty- lusty and gusty! Almost all the poems here are the poems of desires and dreams and hopes and happiness. Mahendra Bhatnagar has the cardinal feeling of the song, music and beauty of life but this crashes against the inevitable pains, agonies, sighs and tears. The ironies of fate awaken Bhatnagar to the dread“Oh, Providence! Concerns and Creation :


That the body is tightly tied with countless snakes And is encircled with sharp thorns;” “The Incredible” is a poem of the life of loneliness without love and romance. Such a life adds to the woes, pains and misery verging on the tragic; the poet, the actor, the hero, the performer, the singer- all alone on the stage of the auditorium completely empty of the audience and the spectators. Singing in broken voice his own requiem from where come out the notes- “so pathetic, monotonous and uncharming.” However, from the background appear the intoxicating images of the divine dancers and belles, and they, vanishing so sudden and so fast further aggravating the tension of loneliness and horrifying the romance of emptiness. In fine, we observe that Mahendra Bhatnagar leads us from the sowing season in the fields of life instilling and enthusing mankind with new hopes, aspirations and dreams to the beauty and lore of ripening and the ecstasy of rich harvests- all a fruit of ever-adventurous human youth- leaving behind the stubble plains whereon we walk bare-footed collecting the leftovers passing on into the dusk and dread of wintry night. With this, we move from pastoralism, retreat into medievalism and then to antiquity and eternity! • • •

Concerns and Creation :


SELECTED POEMS OF DR. MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR [2] — Dr. Patricia Prime In his Preface to the Selected Poems of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar, Dr. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi says, “Of the many Indian poets whose literary careers were shaped by poetry in the post-independence India of 20th century, the name of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is one of them. He is a progressive poet of renown. His poetic career demonstrates his humanistic vision from beginning to end.” This is praise indeed for a fine poet, a significant voice in both Hindi and Indian English Poetry. As we shall see from the poems, Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar seeks a “universal” or “collective” self, uncovered through poetry. In part this takes the form of a search for cultural roots, while producing a literature of revelation and prophecy that speaks in equal terms of the grandiosity of the universe and at times of the self. Bhatnagar’s work closely centres on an individual experience and voice. Poems such as “O Winged Steeds of Destiny”, “Gift of a Lively Faith” and “Accept Me”, lament the transience of youth while celebrating the individual’s place in a greater cosmology. Maintaining a tension between human consciousness and the world beyond it, Bhatnagar’s poems read as myths of creation and metamorphosis, which bring to mind the poetry of Auden and Neruda. Concerns and Creation :


Throughout there is an elegiac quality to Bhatnagar’s poetry that while communing with the greater universe, its generation and renewal, allows a subdued lament for the individual’s mutability to escape: I throw open the gates Of my small habitation To give shelter to the life and honour Of those who are hit Hard by Nature’s ironies, or, by worldly ridicules. (“Gift of a Lively Faith”) Bhatnagar expends equal energy to his philosophy as to his Indian heritage. His poetry is a combination of sublimity and wisdom, and is a way of exploring the meaning of subjectivity and of pursuing philosophical beauty. The poet figure is presented as a humanist, visionary and compassionate ideologist. Spiritually-minded, and open to the greatness of feeling and experience through such vistas presented by the Indian landscape and its people, Bhatnagar’s work offers a relentless and vitalised search for the fullness of human experience, and the fulfilment of destiny, as we see in “the Offshoot”, where we are not to stunt the new growth and development of humanity: So do not come In the offshoot’s way. Do not interfere With their growth; Let them sprout and grow In the sun, Concerns and Creation :

In the open sky! “We Know it Well” and “Stop It” are two of the outstanding poems in the collection for their understatement and clarity. “The Dawn” is also a very sharp expression of the pathos and beauty of the poor who dream optimistically of a new dawn: But they dream of a new dawn (Can ever groans eclipse faith?) as increases the cold, Nearer moves The ember of a new life; The eyes will behold a little while hence A new dawn, a new millennium, And the passions of a new life! In some ways a political poem, “I Appeal” speaks more directly to the politicians and bureaucrats on behalf of the exploited: I appeal today To the millions of the exploited world; To the sighs of the starving, The naked and the oppressed, The helpless ad the hapless ones – Do not grope in the dark any more; Oh, do not cherish in your eyes any dreams Open your eyes, my friends! “The Tremor of Trampling Feet” offers a wry retreat from the grander movements of history and struggle of the oppressed to the slighter, though just as meaningful, struggle of the downtrodden:


Concerns and Creation :


When the thick walls of the exploiters’ citadels Cracked with the reverberating sounds Everyone thought – There rocked the earthquake But lo! that was the tremor of the trampling feet Of the downtrodden! The poem “Many a Man” satirises the man who, although thirsty, refuses to drink the water of the new Ganges, believing it to be poisonous and dirty, or the many men who shiver despite the new breeze of freedom blowing through the land: The new breeze blows Through the fields and barns, There are many who breathe in freedom; Still many a man shivers and sighs!

Extend them A hearty welcome. Accept them gladly Who have brought for you A gift of pain! Sustain on your weak shoulders The great mountains! Fill deep the heart With anguish And the compassionate eyes With tears! For his part, as a humanist, Bhatnagar develops a poetry of metempsychosis, by using poetry as a vehicle through which the speaker not simply communes but merges with the natural. Where “The Irony of Fate” acknowledges the desire to cause

For Bhatnagar’s politically acute acceptance of life and its inconsistencies, I am left a little humble. Here, political and poetic “truths”, give way to the facts of life, the everyday and psychological survival. Some part escapist, some part realist, the speaker is profoundly conscious of humanity’s actions and reactions to his environment. It is a politics that centres on the community as much as it rejects hypocrisy. The final image in “An Awareness Within” is as skilfully crafted politically as it is tellingly human and real, and a recognisably truthful and exact presentation of the community where everything is shared: hardship, short-comings and pain:

“How to Suffer Pain: A Point of View” charts the experience to speak of things as themselves, and not as metaphors, within the transformative nature of poetic language, creating a meditation that while desiring realism recognises its impossibility. It is a masterful piece of writing where language and the “real” are set into play evocatively.

The clouds With the deep salty sea And the destruction beaconing storm Have knocked your doors,

Bhatnagar’s work is open and vulnerable, but couples this with a sort of ebullience, a hunger for experience that sometimes tips into anxiety, as if signalling the source of his energy. Central to the poetry is the desire to know and under-

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“the bewitching birds of fancy - like silken slips of multi coloured cloth To fly free in the immense sky!”

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stand the self, to place the self in the deeper context of community, history or politics. For Bhatnagar, the poem is often a space of self-interrogation, where melancholy is mollified, and where the persona is an actor on the stage of life as we see in “The Incredible”: DEPICTION OF POVERTY IN THE POETRY OF MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR

Inside the auditorium There are no spectators It’s only me – The actor, The hero!

— Dr. A.K.Chaturvedi

Some part dialectic, Bhatnagar’s poetry affirms a self not at odds with the world but unlocking its rhythms, accepting its limitations and nature, not making-do but witnessing and celebrating. “Submission” and “The Dusk’ richly evoke brief moments of the persona’s experience and the questioning of how it is we are in the world, and the knowing of its particularity and fleeting nature. Finally, in “New Life” a short play in verse is taking part on stage where a young man sings in “a pathetic tone”. Poems such as this make experience and emotion almost tactile, while drawing the reader into the shared space of the poem, the shared space of being human and knowing helplessness. Reading Bhatnagar’s work is one of those rare moments of discovering a poet whose voice and experience seem wholly integrated, so that in the reading not simply communication but a kind of communion is achieved. • • • Concerns and Creation :


Since times immemorial, society has undergone the menace of divide between the rich and the poor, the mighty and the weak. The rich and the mighty, on the one hand, enjoy an upper hand in all matters and miss no opportunity in staking claim over the wealth that should naturally and equitably fall to the share of all those who are born on the earth. They spend this wealth on the enhancement of the means of physical comfort and personal glory. The poor, on the other hand, are forced to live from hand to mouth notwithstanding their diligence and austerity. Given these conditions, the rich grow richer and the poor poorer. This dismal phenomenon invariably hurts the heart of a poet who has either faced himself the curse of poverty at any stage of his life or has closely and minutely observed the plight of the poor. In the present day world that is buzzing with the overtones of globalization and industrialization the existence of acute poverty is a serious issue that needs to be addressed so as to minimize the wide divide between the upper and lower strata of society. The treatment of this issue in literature can create an awakening to the harsh realities associated with the life of poverty. This work has successfully been done by the great Hindi poets like Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' and Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. The trend of high lighting the hardships, problems and challenges of the Concerns and Creation :


poor has been furthered by Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar who, having eighteen published poetic collections to his credit, has emerged as a distinguished contemporary Hindi poet of India. Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is a keen observer of the ground realities of human life. His poetry holds a mirror to the luxuries of the rich, the corrupt and condemnable practices of politicians, heinous activities of the criminals, fanaticism of the fanatics and struggles of the poor. On the one hand, the rich and the mighty, the criminals and scoundrels have been severely whipped by him, whereas, on the other, the poor and the underprivileged have elicited his sympathy. He is very harsh while dealing with the suppressors. But when he uses his pen to depict the problems and challenges of the poor and the suppressed, he is excessively soft and sympathetic. The following stanza reflects his sympathy for the poor : For those who are not able to make both ends meet life is not a bed of roses or a pleasant dream. For them life is just a struggle, a day and night drudgery, a treadmill that grinds life till its end.1 There is no denying the fact that the lives of the poor are replete with hardships, sufferings and struggles. Culture and art have no significance for them. Their diligence and austerity fail to minimize their miseries : Despite ceaseless, life long toil Concerns and Creation :


they remain despondent and melancholic.2 Literature and music may be the source of pleasure for the rich. But for the poverty-stricken people they hold no attraction. This fact is revealed in these lines : For those who do not have leave for leisure, dance, drama, literature and all the exhibitions and television are just ironic.3 In his poetry Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar has forcefully championed the cause of the poor. The way the poor live their lives and their sense of self-respect and self-satisfaction have endeared them to the poet. In the following lines he underlines the need for their emancipation from abuse so that they can earn their livelihood with self-respect : They first need deliverance from abuse, and then gracious dignity, respectful two meals a day, security and education. They need no power, kindness, pity or alms neither from the State nor from an individual.4 Change is the feature of time. If the change is fairly constructive and growth oriented, it, more or less, benefits all sections of society. Along with the widespread change in the socioConcerns and Creation :


cultural conditions, the economy of India has undergone a stupendous change in the last few decades. Like other developing countries, India has made remarkable strides in the direction of the betterment of the economy. Since independence, India's economic health has improved considerably as a result of the implementation of the multi-pronged economic policy planned by the eminent economists of the country. However, the matter of serious concern is that the benefits of this improvement have not percolated down to the marginalized section of society. A host of contemporary poets have devoted their poems to the reflection of the concern. Mahendra Bhatnagar has revealed his concern for the poor of India in a touching manner :

beneath is the bare earth! Desolate looks cold sighs! Crippled helplessness winter rain storm!6 Thus, Mahendra Bhatnagar has championed the cause of the poor by portraying the harsh realities associated with the life of poverty. His heart overflows with pity and sympathy for the poor. Through his poetry Dr. Bhatnagar has vented the acuteness of his pain arising out of the sight of the plight of the poverty-stricken people of India. • • •

In my country O ye crores of the oppressed! ye are not rid of foot-paths still, swimming in the sea of boiling blood got not the shore!5 The poet is deeply pained to see the heart-melting condition of the poor. He appears to be restless for doing something to alleviate their agonies. Born of the pitiable and deplorable condition of the poor, his restlessness finds expression in these lines :

References : 1 Mahendra Bhatnagar, Poems For A Better World, New Delhi, Lokvani Prakashan, 2006, P. 37 2 Ibid 3 Ibid 4 Ibid, P.39 5 Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry, Tr. by Dr. H.C.Gupta, Delhi : Indian Publishers' Distributors, 2002, P. 59. 6 Ibid

Even in this eighth decade of twentieth century overhead yours is the open sky Concerns and Creation :


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acceptable, the inevitability of death increases the beauty and desirability of life. Swayed by the attitude of gratitude the poet in his next poem Gratitude : Again gives credit to death for the metamorphosis of this world into heaven and of men into higher beings. REFLECTIONS ON MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR’S PHILOSOPHY OF DEATH — Dr. A.K. Chaturvedi Mahendra Bhatnagar with eighteen published collections of poems to his credit occupies an important place among the distinguished contemporary Hindi poets of India. A poet of high stature, Mahendra Bhatnagar has been widely acclaimed as a versatile genius and literary luminary gifted with in-born poetic competence. A number of his poems have been included in the curricula of a host of Indian universities and school education boards. This article is exclusively based on the contents of the poems that constitute his seventeenth poetic collection titled Death-Perception : Life-Perception. Death is the last reality of life and marks a great final change. It is conceived as a bitter and ineffably painful experience of life that no living being can escape or avoid howsoever powerful he may be. Like other knotty problems and riddles of life, the riddle of death has occupied the attention of a host of thinkers, poets and dramatists across the globe. Regarded as a serious subject, death has been treated by them in different ways. Some of them have treated it as a cruel enemy, while others have regarded it as a gateway to the other world. Mahendra Bhatnagar's perception of death is worth attention. In his poem Gratitude he holds that there is a co-relation between life and death. If the transcendence of life makes death Concerns and Creation :


One of the important features of Mahendra Bhatnagar's philosophy of death is a blend of pessimism and optimism. In the poem The Wheel of Death the poet has expressed his pessimistic views about the ferocity of the wheel of death that indiscriminately destroys all animate and inanimate things . The following lines of the poem reveal pessimism : Cruel is the wheel of death very cruel! Under which lifeless — living gradually grinding and changing every moment, every minute! This earth rocks horribly! The poem Contemplation represents poet's pessimistic approach to the riddle of death. The poem begins with a question mark on the rationale of human efforts to know the mystery of death and ends with the pessimistic revelation that : All efforts futile — to explicate the meaning of death; it's very intricate difficult to contemplate. Concerns and Creation :


The poet begins the poem Conclusion in a pessimistic mood, but he grows surprisingly optimistic in the last lines of the poem quoted below : The mystery of death to be unmasked .... revealed sure sure some day!

Mysterious! Death has many forms. It may come in any form at any time. In the poem Forms of Death the poet talks of two forms of death — natural and accidental. Natural death signifies the endless sleep, the cessation of active life and stopping of the palpitation of heart. Accidental death, on the other hand, means the termination of life by suicide or murder. But the final result of both forms of death is always the same. As the poet puts it :

The poem Free From Worry reveals poet's keen awakening to the impact of the fear of death on human mind. According to him, talking about death is considered ominous for the reason that the very thought of death makes life dull, burdensome and unworthy of living. While the poem Contemplation represents his negative approach to the enigma of death, the poem The Truth shows that he is very positive in his perception of death. Here (in The Truth) he regards the fear of death as a boon in disguise. He is of the view that if it had not been for the fear of death, the divine attributes like the fear of God and faith in his benign power would have been conspicuous by their absence in human mind. Haunted by the fear of Yama, man turns to God for succour and seeks relief in belief.

Birth and death mark the extreme ends of life. Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar has drawn a contrast between them in the poem Life-Death. Questioning the propriety of jubilation at birth and lamentation at death he asks :

The poem Puzzle is interrogative in both form and sense. The universal question as to where soul goes after leaving the body perplexes poet's mind. Under the spell of perplexity and puzzlement the poet utters : Unknown, Everything unknown! A pitch dark night, Everything

Drawing a line of difference between birth and death he writes :

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Be death natural or accidental conclusion is the same — end of a conscious life.

Birth : Why a jubilation? Death : Pain ...! Why? Birth-death when equal?

Birth — known, Death — unknown! Concerns and Creation :


Birth — beginning Death — end, Birth — initiation Death — an earthly end! Dr. Bhatnagar's views about birth and death are, at places, paradoxical. In his poem The Opposite he holds the view that death is different from birth in that it brings forth a cry or loud lamentation as opposed to birth that causes jubilation. In the next poem Equal the poet puts forth the view that true wisdom lies in treating birth and death as equal. Extreme pain at the death of a dear and near one is a natural phenomenon. Humans have no option except to bear it. Through his poem Sakhi he suggests reconciliation to the game of death as a palliative. But, this palliative proves ineffective in the case of the untimely death of a child or a young man. That is why the poet in his poem Desire wishes that all children and young men should live long. The poem Philosophy of Death presents the essence of poet's perception of death. In the beginning lines of the poem the poet questions the very logic of being afraid of death and suggests that instead of fearing from death man should remain prepared to welcome it with gaiety. He says : O, tell death — 'Come; when you please.' At this time come, Let's sing and dance! Play on varied musical instruments! In the poem titled An Invitation the revolutionary in Mahendra Concerns and Creation :


Bhatnagar wakes up all of a sudden and invokes death to come at its appointed time and lead him to hell so that he may unite the victims of the cruelties of Yama and hoist a flag of revolt so as to prepare them for a change in life. How can the dictates of Yama bend those who did not learn to yield to the dictates of the earthly rulers? With his indomitable will the poet vows to lead the sufferers of hell in a fight against the cruel rule of Chitragupta, an official in the court of Yama who keeps record of righteous and unrighteous actions of living beings. His confident and indomitable spirit manifests itself in these lines : I'll challenge them! just, let me jump into the hell-pond! just, let me mingle actions of living beings. His confident and indomitable spirit manifests itself in these lines : I'll challenge them! just, let me jump into the hell-pond! just, let me mingle with the huge crowd of hell-denizens! The poem To the Fairy of Death presents death as a naughty girl who always prefers to surprise her lover by her sudden appearance. Here, the lover in the poet shows his preparedness not only to welcome death as his beloved but also to happily accept its sudden arrival as a part of its game. Not only this, he restlessly waits for the point of time when he Concerns and Creation :


will enjoy the blissful company of death. The following lines show the poet's preparedness to face death gladly :

Early or late all in an eternal sleep have to fall, dust unto dust! O unfortunate! Then, why to weep?

come O death, come I'm ready! Awaiting you I've bedecked myself I'm ready! Having regard to the femininity of death the poet in his poem A Request extends an offer of his friendship to death and requests it not to be shy of responding to his offer. Here, the poet has personified death as a female friend who likes to be teased and taunted while being accompanied to the land of the dead. The poem titled The End describes death as the cessation of all struggles and activities associated with the journey of life. In the first stanza of the poem the poet raises the question as to where the struggles of life have gone. The following lines of the poem provide a solution to this question with the use of simile : Everything stood still The running, jumping, the liquid river water Everything frozen — like blood in veins! Each and every moment of our life leads us to death. No living being can escape the mighty hand of Yama. Human efforts can effect miracles. But when death comes, all efforts fail. The only thing that we can do in the face of death is to reconcile ourselves to its game and it is only herein that true wisdom lies. Weeping over death is absolutely foolish. To Concerns and Creation :

bring this fact home the poet writes :


In the poem Truth the poet compares death to the flight of a bird and declares all human efforts and prayers meaningless in view of the impending disappearance of life-bird with no possibility of its return. In the next poem Preordained the poet espouses the universal truth that the departure of the life-bird is predestined and no power on earth can protect the body from being reduced to ashes. As he puts it : It is preordained that You one day renouncing name and fair form will be reduced to ashes! Man's fear of death stems from his ignorance of what may happen to him at the time of death and where death may lead him. It is for this reason that he does not want to register in his mind the bitter fact that one day death will detach him from the worldly things that he fears to lose even in dream. But the great saints and poets happily accept this bitter truth and mentally adapt themselves to the conditions death may lead them to. The following lines reveal Mahendra Bhatnagar's inclination to accept death : Concerns and Creation :


O immortal death! You may consider me helpless, end, I voluntarily accept you accept you from body and mind! (A Proclamation)


There is no denying the fact that truth eludes in the beginning and dawns in the end. In the first few poems of 'Death-Perception : Life-Perception' Mahendra Bhatnagar's perception of death is marked with fear and perplexity. Here he regards death as invincible, 'uninterrupted ... unchanged' (The Wheel of Death). Towards the end of this poetic collection poet's fear and apprehension, doubt and delusion disappear and are replaced by the conviction that death can be defeated by following the path taken by the great ascetics like Gautam Buddha. In the poem An Ascetic the poet vents his determination to overcome death by singing 'songs of life at the edge of doom'. Thus, his poetic competence is a weapon in his hand that he intends to use in the fight against his impending death so as to defeat it in the manner a successful warrior defeats his enemies in war. • • •

Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar, an established poet in Hindi and English, an accomplished scholar, held honorary positions as member of various organizations and a reputed teacher having coveted awards to his credit. A post-independent voice in Hindi and Indian English Poetry, Dr. Bhatnagar rooted his poems into the Indian soil expressing lyricism, pathos, aspirations and yearnings of the modern Indian intellect. His poems trace out features of a complex age where life of a human-being is always a subject of interest for poets world over. The poet appears as a crusader for communal harmony in the poem ‘The Bigots’, the poet questions the very basis of obsession for religion. He pities that civilized states are in the grip of gruesome and brutal prevalence’s where there is slaughter of man by a fellowman. In the end, the poet pleads for rational thinking by all human beings who are bestowed with wisdom & power of thinking : In the modern world what is this obsession in the name of religion? × Rational men hope for the best

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and face the bigots. × Man / is human / and not an animal. An optimistic and ever hopeful Bhatnagar sees that the world would be inhabited by loving citizens. He wishes that there would be no need for temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches, hatred, animosities. Love would prevail everywhere and all mankind lives in one brotherhood : How nice would it be when this world would be inhabited by Only agnostics But loving people! × Who will kill whom? Who will hate? (‘Wishfulness’)

The poet in ‘The other Age’ goes pathetically painful when he puts before his readers a perpetald question that isolates man from man and his identity. Man will lose his identity as long as he remains linked to a country, a religion, a caste, a language and a dialect, colour, race. The poet goes universally prophetic and says that his world is one & the same :

‘Invoking Modern Man’ is a poem rich in thoughtful lines beautified by structures meaningful message as the poem proceeds to take the readers. The poet feels that man goes selfish in the beginning of life about house or family then, he thinks of religion, caste, state, language or script, faith and convictions. As he advances to such irrational way of life, he loses the basic tenets of life and indulges himself in unlawful activities. The poet calls for abolition of such evil-minded dictums. He invokes man, modern man to draw near and create a better world for the sake of humanity : First / we think about our houses, our family, Concerns and Creation :

then about our religion our caste, our state our language and our script × Modern thinkers come, draw near us and for the sake of humanity let us create our society having no religion and no caste and eradicate geographical boundaries of nations. (‘Invoking Modern Man’)


How long will his identity remained linked to a country, a religion, a caste and sub-caste, a language … .. × His world is one his species is one his attributes are the same his needs are the same his birth is the same” his end is the same” ‘The Destitutes’ is a poem addressed to the hapless, cursed people who struggle to make both ends meet. The poet here is socially knowledgeable while dealing with the plight of Concerns and Creation :


destitutes :

sub-castes, castes, sects and religions! The poet hopes for universal love and affection :

For those who / are not able To make both ends meet life is not a bed of roses Or a pleasant dream … × They first need / deliverance from abuse and then / gracious dignity respectful two meals a day security and education. The poet through one of his poems titled ‘Atmosphere’ squarely puts the blame on the saviours of the nation by calling them wicked crooks and rogues. “The so-called saviours of the nation; the leaders, bureaucrats and contractors the grabbers of nation’s wealth, × These notorious swindlers are wicked crooks the condemnable rouges! In the poem ‘Dictum’ the poet Bhatnagar pleads for equality among people by ridding them of casteism, religion, discrimination & obstruction :

‘Victor Ludorum’ is a poem traced in the aftermath bloody pictures of terrorist attacks : Terror : morning / riddled / blood soaked dead bodies of the innocent are lying in the heath and the fields, mutilated bodies lie scattered / on the roads! Poet Bhatnagar recalls with world happenings that the newspaper brings to him day after day, Ah, what / day after day you deliver / blood smeared newspaper at my door! × the marks of indiscriminate firing appear apparent / on every page. ‘People’ is a poem that traces people moving aimlessly in the world :

May equality among humans / be set up the equality wished for / since ages! × May this world be cleansed of Concerns and Creation :

May love germinate among human beings the opiate, inflections, loyal love! Destroy/ blind orthodoxy.

People are following their flock They know not / their aim are ignorant, 48

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completely deprived.”

(The macabre Leeches and Ticks)

‘Remain watchful’ is a clarion call by the poet to his readers to be vigilant, alert and watchful against the onslaughts :

‘Aspiration : Sun’ is an optimistic poem evocating poets’ aspirations :

Remain Awake, Till it is morning the world over! Fear frowns every where hurt humanity is wailing bear the brunt till organized protests ensue! × Fight death, feel not tired march unto the end, stop not till the tormentors cower and crumble!

May every person be a sun full of energy / and pure as heat! × May every person be like the sun Bright , / punctual and / a plume of light! × May every person be like the sun radiant / full of warmth!

‘Corruption’ is a poem that is rooted in its depths :

As life began the end followed just when it dawned darkness prevailed!

Corruption is rampant and is life like weeds overgrown every where. × It is a forbidden and an ignoble deed a blemished / and a fraudulent conduct. The poet shows that how a country like India was deprived of its glory in its blooming years of independence : The blood sucking, greedy hungry, countless leeches and ticks are clinging to the body politic of the new-born nation. Concerns and Creation :


‘A Fact’ is a poem rooted in universal truths :

To conclude the paper, I reckon that the poet Mahendra Bhatnagar is a poet of stature, understanding and of life. Men and matters. In most of the poems, he has repeated his thoughts in the garb of different words (Kedar Nath Sharma). His poetry is rhythmic, racy and spontaneous. At times, the poet goes socially emotional, factual. Philosophical and imaginative. Each poem has a distinct identity and carries something relevant to modern world. All the poems are poet’s observations on modern man’s existence in the mundane world. Truly, he stands like a typical poet cum critic who has composed poems on critical perspectives. • • • Concerns and Creation :



[WITH REFERENCE TO MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR’S POETRY] . — Dr. Narendra Sharma ‘Kusum’ While going through the enchanting lyrical poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar both in its Hindi and English versions one may be highly impressed not only by his prolific output but also by the inward emotional quality of his lyrics. This is, in fact, a very rare combination in a creative artist but in the poet of Lyric-Lute it is there in its distinctive form. At a time when lyrics or lyrical compositions in Hindi as well as in other languages have come to face a phase of decadence, though only temporal, Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry fills us with a nostalgic feeling and moves us by its spontaneity and lyrical charm. It is hard to understand why should people become averse to lyrics and their magical spell particularly being ignorant of the fact that lyric is eternal and timeless. It is in a sense, man’s second nature. Man cannot afford to be unlyrical and unmusical. In all his moods and in their touching expression he ever needs lyrical outburst. Lyric is very close to his heart because it gives an outlet to what he deeply feels and which he wants to share with others, Shelley has very rightly sung this in the following lines : . “ We look before and after, And pine for what is not : Concerns and Creation :


Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” . I have quoted Shelley here with a specific purpose of underlining the universal appeal of lyrics which have ever been a potent vehicle of our joys and sorrows, emotions and passions in their varied form weaving the warp and woof of our life. We all know that we live today in a world of hard times with its mounting tensions that have made our life un-lyrical and unmusical but can’t we think of a substitute in the form of lyric to give us lyrical respite for sometime and thus lessening the burden of our materialistic pressure? . On enjoying the lyrics of Mahendra Bhatnagar compiled in Lyric-Lute almost to satiety I am, as it were, under a magic spell, and for a moment I feel like having no befitting expression to approximate my response to these lyrics. When I write all this one may not have the impression that I am trying to exaggerate and over praise the poet! I am, in all candidness, giving forth my experience as a reader of lyrical poetry, especially of Bhatnagar’s poetry which I have tasted and enjoyed earlier also. To me, it appears that few poets can write such lyrics which are in a sense ‘profuse strains of unpremeditated art.’ There is hardly any laboured effort here because the poet has an innate superb poetic gift manifest both in its content and form. . These lyrics cover a wide range of human passions and moods that are common to all of us. This accounts for our liking of these lyrics since we seem and feel to sing with these lyrics. These 125 lyrics in their variegated charm take us at times to a world of hopes and fears, warmth f love and romance, beauty Concerns and Creation :


of nature, pangs of separation and alienation; and universal human concerns also, of course. The poet sings of both joys and sorrows but he believes in combating with life’s challenges and struggles. Though we pass through various moods as we read and enjoy these lyrics we do not feel depressed or dejected even for a while for a very simple reason that the poet believes that life has a two-fold reality and as such we must accept life. In fact, life is a spectrum of various colours both dark and bright. We have to experience everything that life has to offer, but in any case we have to fight and never to lose heart. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s lyrics have an inspiring quality in them not by way of sermons but by their musical form and rhythmical pattern. This captivates us and makes us the lovers of his lyrical poetry.

nearly impossible to capture the feel of one language into another. In fact, words can undoubtedly be translated but cultures can’t be translated vice versa. This puts compulsive limitations before the translator how sover they might approximate to the original thought, emotion and feeling. And, finally it is not at all possible to capture the musical charm of Hindi lyric into an English translation. Nevertheless, English translation is not an unwanted thing, it at least, offers an opportunity to a non-Hindi reader of poetry to feel inclined to enter the realm of a Hindi poet. Translations are a bridge between various cultures of the world. • • • .

.In this collection of lyrics the poet appeals to us by his very positive view of life rendered into these wonderful lyrical outbursts. No amount of commentary may be a substitute for the enjoyment of these poems. As the taste of pudding is in its eating so the real enjoyment can be had only by reading these poems in a mood of unconditional surrender to the poetic fervour of these creations. The musical quality of these poems may be termed almost as ‘unmatched’. The poet has a wonderful talent for casting his deeply felt emotions into a lyrical mould : a talent hard to imitate without having such a similar talent. . The lyrics in their original Hindi forms deserve all our praise and acceptance owing to their very high poetic quality but it may be rather disconcerting to feel that their English translations can hardly be matched with the poetic charm of these poems in Hindi. As the nature of both Hindi and English is different especially with regard to their idiom and culture it is Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR : A LYRIST OF LOVE AND NATURE — Aju Mukhopadhyay Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is a poet writing mostly in his mother tongue, Hindi. He is an octogenarian, prominent Hindi poet. His complete works in Hindi have been published in six volumes. Ten volumes of his poetry in English and one in French are poems translated from Hindi. In tune with his nature, he is a satisfied poet who has worked as teacher and educationist for decades and has retired for more than two decades. In a recent interview taken by the editor, Contemporary Vibes and published in its April-June 2008 issue, Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar claimed to be a realist: ‘My focus remains to eradicate the pillars of exploiters of humanity by the medium of poetry and create a candid and enlightened vision in the minds of my readers so that they may rise and fight the devils of injustice and liberate the humankind from the shackles of slavery and ignorance.’ He talked of progressive humanism and of depicting a realistic social environment of our time. These are ideas of a poetactivist who is fully dedicated to the cause of the oppressed, who is bitter about the contemporary society and is out to destroy it first. But from his life and work we find that Mahendra Bhatnagar is a grand old gentleman with all roConcerns and Creation :


mantic ideas about love and nature, devoting himself in composing lyrics. Though he took part in Prabhat Pheris and anti gamesters’ processions during the British rule at his teens he never confronted the brute police force and managed to safely escape. He had written some fiery poems, as he claims, but never the actual cants; he never threw a poetry- bomb at the British for which Kazi Nazrul Islam was incarcerated. Mahendra Bhatnagar wrote hundreds of poems on moon and such objects but never wrote like the disgusted teenaged fiery revolutionary poet, Sukanta Bhattacharya: ‘The full moon is like a singed roti’. His dreams of a classless, casteless and raceless society has remained far away from reality. His collection of poems are mixed out of different original collections of poems, reproduced in different volumes. The collection, Lyric-Lute has some 125 poems in translation, mainly by Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh and Dr. Kalpna Rajput besides some others. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s love for nature does not lead him to the wilderness; he does not confront a vast wild forest, rugged mountains, cruel desert, wild animals or turbulent rivers. Nature is usually limited to his surroundings; heavenly bodies in the sky, wind blowing on our bodies or flowers blooming in our garden. But he is a pure lyrist, a singer of life and nature, enamoured of moon. ‘Sing; so that life a lyric may become!’ (Sing)- is his motto. Poets have always loved moon as an integrated symbol of love and beauty despite the realistic approach and adventure over it by the daredevils. To the present poet moon is usually a lady of whom he is enamoured but sometimes it is shown as a masculine figure too. The poet has played with it variously Concerns and Creation :


throughout his life. ‘O, Beautiful lady! my ages’ homeless love Got support in you!’ (You smiled) ‘With my hands and face openly plays the moonlight! Sleeps not herself nor allows others, the moonlight, (Moon Light) ‘Please smile not and tempt me thus, Or else I shall kiss your cheeks!’ (To the Moon) ‘My moon is away from me! Solitary night is crying in empty sky,’ (My Moon) The object of nature like the moon is personified and the poet is in love with it, anthropomorphic love is often a special feature of his poems. Moon and Stone, 1 and 2 are two more of such examples where the poet seems to admit the illusion. The night flashes in his otherwise dark life evoking a feeling of intense love. ‘Like a flash of lightning You came in the dark sky of my life!’ ....

Dense Clouds and O Winds are good nature poems. Though short, they remind us of the creations of Tagore and Shelley on the same themes. Song of the Dawn and Pleasant Morning are time specific. Pleasant Morning carries the same thought as in my poem, Morning. Personified nature becomes the poet’s lover. But sometimes a kind of frustration eats into his gay mood. He realizes that in all this he is alone, he is ageing relentlessly amid the destruction all around. ‘I am fading each moment’, he suddenly realizes in Destruction. ‘In the dark night of despair no ray of hope glows’, he finds in Unstopping Feet but he keeps the light of hope burning in him, agrees to march on, even all alone. ‘I shall not bow down before misfortune’ (Irrestible), he says and takes the vow‘We’ll march removing hurdles, Cleaving the dark We’ll march!’ (We know it well)

‘Like the music of anklets you chimed When the tri-yama became fragrant!’ (One Night) Concerns and Creation :

Poet’s yearning for the love-life weaves itself in Tagorite fashion in Passion and Compassion. Suddenly- is such a love song echoing the emotion of the poet as best as possible in English translation. Sleep, To the Beloved, Birhan are some other examples of good love poems based on Nature image.


With faith in democracy and joy of independence he sings the song of Indian Republic, spreading wishes for the world Concerns and Creation :


in poems like Beauty of the World, Faith in Democracy, Republic-Relic and Resolution. Confident about his ability to always hew a new path, the ageing poet loves to declare‘Like a flower, I am blooming in the ruined garden of the world, And shall keep on!’ (New Construction) Though the translations are generally good they do not carry the rhymes of the original poems. And the onomatopoeic, exclamatory sounds frequently used, though a bit old fashioned, in the originals are absent in the English translations, as almost untranslatable. All the poems are free translations of the originals in Hindi but are faithful to the ideas and thoughts of the poet. With metaphors and similes, notes of exclamations and passions which seems sometimes to belong to a bygone age, the poems are really enjoyable if read with mood of love, song and appreciation of beauty. • • •

Nature Poems The Poetic Spectrum and Dimension of POET MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR — Bijay Kant Dubey Mahendra Bhatnagar, born in 1926 at Jhansi in Uttar-Pradesh, is one of those poets who write not only in Hindi, but try to translate into English the best of his poems from time to time. A nature poet, he marks mysticism in each and every object of the wide world which he views, comes to feel it personally. Exotic flora and fauna, nature in bloom and the seasons with specific scenes and sights take the canvas away from the poet and he longs for an utterance as the outburst of songs. The six seasons and the shift in time, thought and scene tempt him for poetic delvings. Nature poems as a work is inclusive of all he seeks to penetrate and perceive. The first poem in the series tells of the herald of delight in the form of clouds gathering, darkening to shower forth : "Rain has started, Rain has started! The thick clouds auspicious Began to surge, The bright blackish beauty spread all around!" (‘Delight’)

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Clouds and rains give relief and joys, shading the heat which appears to be baffling and unruffling the dust. Painted against such a backdrop, the poet pictures the scenery and the landscape. The clouds as the harbinger of delight sometimes save man from sizzling heat and swirling dust. His attachment is one with life, nature and the world as because something it is that he wants to play with and repose in :

Mahendra Bhatnagar, apart from being bewitched, charms others with floral beauty, scenery and sensuousness of his poetry. Such an aspect is but a Keatsian feature. We may consider the poem ‘Bewitched’ as for our deliberation: “You are a deep puzzle, O, creeper-jasmine!

"As the day breaks — Little and gentle birds wake and get rise me up Flying, peeping curiously and chirping melodiously through doors and windows!" (‘Attachment’)

* * * From where you brought such fascinating fragrance to your flowers / in your body!” (‘Bewitched’)

His rambles, roamings and loiterings; his purview of nature and its landscapes take him away from this world of busy schedules, routined living, dull and drob dwelling of our mechanical thinking. The poet at least spares some of his time to devote it to the writing of a series of nature poems. The nature poems which they have come to us tumbling or wringing out of the Hindi counterparts are all about his photographic snapping, picturesque detailing, perceivable joy and reflective thinking which he seeks to incorporate in this work of a bunch of poems, dealing with the serene and dazzling beauties of nature. Somewhere the jasmine keeps him awe-struck with its fascinating spray of scent, somewhere the Indian belli bloom calling to take a whiff of its scent. The poet lover is madly in love. Herein the sensuous quality of the poet can be Concerns and Creation :

marked and taken into consideration. Mahendra Bhatnagar is pursuing his art and craft as Francis Thomson and M.N. Sharma take their own recourse.


As the title of the bunch itself states for, so there is nothing as to debate and discuss it. The pictures of summer, rainy, winter, light winter, autumn and spring seasons seen against different purviews and portrayals speak of the general and individual mode and trend of writing. In ‘Exuberance’, once again the beauty of a fine evening has been painted against the backdrop of the imagery of a maiden, wetting and trembling: “The evening, Caught between light and shade The rain falls, The sky drizzles!” (‘Exuberance’) Concerns and Creation :


Most of the poems which lie included in Nature Poems are picturesque, scenic, landscapic and lyrical no doubt. The poet has succeeded in drawing the pictures and images of Nature, the panorama of seasonal world-view and the mysticism connected with it. Mahendra Bhatnagar's nature poems are the poems of natural beauties seen against the backdrop of six seasons. An Indian poet, he draws scenes from the picturesque shift in mood, time, temperament and scenery. A bilingual poet, he has been trying his best to wring out the best of Hindi poetry into the realms of English, and that too Indian English poetry. The poems which they have come tumbling down to us are without any doubt the beauties of nature and the world. If one has not read, one will miss the joys of reading. The poet writes keeping in view scenery, landscape, loveliness and finery. There is nothing to be repelled by. Loving is one of the finest poems ever jotted down by the poet : In this season of joviality Rose! Why sad? (‘Loving’) Such is the poetic heart of Dr. Bhatnagar that he can take a red rose for his if not the missus, definitely the sweetheart to whom wants he to reveal the whole of his heart. To express in such a way is but the colourful romanticism of the poet. A few of the poets can really touch the heart as Bhatnagar has been doing all through his poetic lines and overflows. Dawn is another beautiful write-up which can really astonish us with its charming capacity, fair illustration and sweet diction, rarely to be found : Concerns and Creation :


Uncovering the blanket of the cosmos coming the dawn! (‘Dawn’) The poem is no doubt good, but the imagery tends to be bending to man-woman relationship. Dawn and Song of the Dawn are almost alike, but the latter is more powerful than the former in colour, beauty and presentation. One can see it that there are a few which deal with the dawn-time. So, the titles tally with and this is just a note of caution to be on the guard of committing mistakes. The mysticism, romanticism we have been searching to put on display is there in the poem The Dusk by name. It is really a very beautiful description of how the evening descends by the hillocks. The poet follows the Indian calendars for depicting the drizzling time, not with the bolt from the blue, but with showers, specifically the months of Shravan and Bhadra. Nature poems from Bhatnagar deal with the beauties prevalent in Nature, the colour, dream and fragrance of flowers, the sweetness bestowed upon. To be a Nature poet into be a lover of Nature and the poet perceives the intrinsic relationship between the two. With the change in time and season, the moods and sentiments go changing and this is not all. Even the feelings and emotions of man take a turn. The spring season the flowers in bloom, the sweet cooings and twitterings of song-birds and sparrows take him away from the dim and bustle of life, the sick and hurry. The poet comes to mark, feels within and relays to all through the manuscript. What the senses perceive, the poet scripts in to register his presConcerns and Creation :


ence. Kachanar is one such which really takes the imagination and fancy of ours through its finely sweep : For the first time at my door so bloomed Kachanar overwhelmed with joy every branch overloaded! (‘Kachanar’) Mahendra Bhatnagar first writes in Hindi then he translates into English which is no less than like writing in English. To sidetrack his poetry is to dampen the spirit of translation studies and transcreation. In one poem after another, included in Nature Poems, he has presented them afresh to be put into an English garb of expression. Had he not contributed, we would have definitely missed an exponent from the realms of Hindi poetry. Today we talk of ecocriticism and ecology-laced nature poems and keeping it in our view, his poems open our eyes as well as the horizon of new studies which we ought to have stressed upon earlier. The poet sees the world around, catches up with scenes and sights to flash upon the stuffs of his poetic selection. The beauty of the six seasons, namely spring, summer, rainy, light winter, winter ad autumn, take the canvas away from the poet and he feels lifted away. The seasons in beauty, dream, reflection and situational reality twitch him for an expression. Most of the poems which he has put in for our scrutiny and perusal touch he dreamy side of presentation and the writer of these lyrics seems to be an escapist. A lover of Nature, a mystic, he dwells afar, goes about floating and dreaming, searching beauty whenever it can be perceived. Concerns and Creation :


In his poems, flowers talk to, winds sigh by, brooks sing, hills magnify the nature and scope of his poetry, as he continues to take us with his sound, sense, rhythm, guage and measurement. One such poem is ‘Charming Flowers’ wherein he speaks of the beautifulness, dreamy fragrance and the spray of scent so nicely, so sweetly that we forget it to believe that we are reading a poem rather than a flowery plant of some garden or courtyard. The intensity of emotion and feeling, the verve of passion and the beautifulness of expression are some of the poetic features of the poet and he has been carrying them forward so elegantly, so graciously. If one seeks to derive something, one must get a lesson from the wide, varied and multi-hued world of Nature. Mahendra has just felt about and has given words and touches to the artistic aspect. A reading of his poems shows it clearly that herein the poet is for the art’s sake rather than morality and didacticism. His poem Gouraiya, translated into English would mean Sparrow obviously brings to our memory the depleting house sparrows, but here the context is one of joy, bliss, nestling and chirping. ‘Cloud and Moon’, ‘Moon Light’ and ‘Poonam’ are alike in theme and expression. • • •

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remains hopeful and calls moon a companion of pleasure and grief as the lines explain, “She will smile with us / in the days of happiness, / will show compassion and shed tears to see us.” LYRIC-LUTE — Dr. Anshu Sharma Lyric-Lute, is a collection of 125 lyrics by Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar, a bilingual (Hindi & English) poet. The title of the book is in itself very interesting and important as sweet and musical. Lyrics echo in the mind like the sweet sound of ‘Lute’. In fact, Bhatnagar considers life a lyric that may be sung in all circumstances. In happy moments it adds the charm in our happiness and makes up jump on our feet or dance. In sorrow it diminishes our sorrows because music is the voice of the heart. A song is sung by heart so song unburdens the heart. The poems touch many field and spheres of romanticism, mysticism, humanism and have a wider perception of human society and go directly to the hearts of men. The volume opens with the beautiful lyrics Gift of Gold and Song of the dawn in which Bhatnagar appears as Aurobindo Ghose. These poems bubble with optimism and romanticism that lead human beings to the light from the darkness and help them to get the gift of heaven found in the Song of the Dawn and compel to “bathe in golden sea / decorate the body with ornaments / sing song of a new morn / and let the heartpeacock dust lustrously!” in Song of the Dawn. The poem Dawn Just to Appear presents Bhatnagar’s optimistic attitude when he writes that dawn is approaching so there is no need to shed tears for the defeated traveler. In Company the poet Concerns and Creation :


Irresistible opens with the line, “ I shall not bow down before misfortune, / Though remained unsuccessful in life, today!” and ends with the lines, “I shall not stop in the crippled dilemma of mind, / Though I may not have any support!” The poem ‘Unstopping Feet’ begins with the line, “ In the dark night of despair no ray of hope glows!’ and ends — “but even at this dreadful time, / My eyes did not fill with tears.” These poems are full of optimistic attitude and encourage the readers to be hopeful and never leave the ray of hope but to face the problems boldly. In Bhatnagar’s poetry, beauty of nature and the music of words are co-joined together, fascinate the readers very much. A number of poems have been written on this theme. Rain brings the gift of sweet feelings for every dejected heart. Spring spreads fresh odour breeze in green fields far and wide and creates a beautiful scenery of nature as : The garden bloomed with varied flowers and leaves, Silently sky is singing the song, moving to and fro, Dawn is blushed, being a auspicious, moment for union, Full of newness, freshness and oddness! In the next poem Sawan has come clouds f love appear pouring down and fill the whole atmosphere with the musical notes during bird’s union. In Moonlight stars slept, shutting their eyes are running towards the horizon. In The Darkness of Concerns and Creation :


Amavas the poet asks silent glittering stars, incessantly flowing streams, free and slow gusts of wind and trees, and in Evolution he keeps glowing every moment and his words also getting tuned when cuckoo started cooing. In the poem Dense Clouds fresh dense clouds are giving thousand blessings to the distressed earth. A beautiful description can be found in Tum when the poet tries to identify the innocent bird who loiters forest to forest becoming a spring-air. She is so innocent that she can’t understand gestures and nobody can perceive or know her heart’s sweet feeling. She is lost in self and becomes one of the supernatural fairies. The poem The Beauty of the Sleeping Moon is also a wonderful piece of nature in which the moon sleeps on the star-spangled carpet holding somebody’s loving anchal and having a world of dreams. The poet in Moon and Stone — 1 calls moon stone-hearted but present in storms, winters’ cold, someone’s love and hope and the tune of song in someone’s heart. It is present everywhere but not on the earth. Bhatnagar’s treatment of nature is unique. In Bhatnagar’s poems love appears singing. In Who are you? He seems very excited to know who has made his love honest auspicious beautiful. The beloved also confesses her love in song and she herself expresses her heart singing that song. In You Smiled the poet’s aged homeless love gets support when his love smiles and his heart blooms like lotus and attains his attainable. In O, Destiny he is sure that the beloved’s love can never get hurt and be indifferent. The poet beautifully describes the innocent love when the lover and the beloved become crazy and unknowingly devoted to each other in love, in the poem What Wrong I Did. In You Are Away the poet becomes restless in the absence of his beloved and feels Concerns and Creation :


as if somebody has snatched the essence of his life. He awakes the whole night and his eyes don’t fall asleep even for a moment because his beloved’s separation is unbearable to him. This echo also seems in the next poem To The Beloved. He asks why she lived in his heart, fixed in his thoughts and impressed his songs so much if she had to leave him. In No More he desires to pass his whole life in his beloved’s memory. In many of his poems, he shows his love and admiration for the great Indian festivals like Holi and the festival of light and lamps (Diwali). In Merriment of Holi the girls are dancing wearing silver payal on the welcome of their desired lovers. In Holi the people welcome Holi by playing on drum and spreading Gulal all round. The poems entitled Kindle the Lamp celebrate festivals of lamps and performs the circular dance of lamps. Bhatnagar also sings the Song of equality and teaches that human beings must bathe in the colour of human equality and forget the false pride. Thus his poems have moral values. Each poem is full of music as Bhatnagar desires to fill life with music and happiness. The poem O Wind! Is a wonderful piece of music. When he addresses O Wind! Come tuning a song Come, sweeping, Shaking the boughs Come, raising the dust! Lovely fragrance filled Concerns and Creation :


Republic in the hearts of the people.

O vital Eastern wind! Come skipping Over the distant mountain peak! Music goes on throughout the poem. Each word is full of music. In the last poem of this collection Passion and Compassion he wants to sing the song of life by creating music (rhythm) in heart and at last he wants to stoop down the splendour of heaven on the feet with the power of music. Bhatnagar’s poems are thought provoking, inspiring and full of messages. In Invincible he encourages the youth to face the enemies and problems of life boldly and declare a new revolt that cannot stop the voice of peoples’ salvation. In New Construction he constructs a new path that lights and blooms like a flower in the ruined garden of the world. He is Go On Advancing gives a slogan for the fighters to ‘’go ahead fiercely fearlessly. Happily against storms’’ till they get the dignity of new age. In Blind Age he wants guards, soldiers and saviours of world peace to save the freedom otherwise demons snatch the freedom. In Behold Flashes he advises the people to adopt new thoughts so that the fallen state of the society may be improved. In Changing Era he wants to make the people familiar with the reality and advises to go with the change and need of time otherwise they have to face the problems. Patriotism also appears in Bhatnagar’s poems. In the poem Beauty of the World he sings the song of patriotism and desires for independence of each and every country for ever. He loves independence limitlessly more than his own existence. He has faith in democracy and hopes that his faith will remove the sorrow and inequalities of life in Faith in Democracy. In Republic-Relic he wants to fill the golden rays of Concerns and Creation :


As an observer of life Bhatnagar presents his views on the topics entitled O, Destiny, Queen Dawn, Pleasant Morning, Short Life, Song of Equality, Let us Burn, Kindle the Lamp, Garland of Lamps, Investiture, Illusion, Waiting, Yearning, The Beam, The Thanks, Restless Within, Helplessness, Attraction, Self-Confession, Support, Destruction, Evolution, Invincible, Changing Era, Republic-Relic, Resolution, No Grievance, Passion and Compassion, Welcome which cater to the poetic sensibility of all the readers. What seems to be a common, internal and subjective experience is marvelously shaped and transformed into a significant, objective and universal subject in the masterly hands of Bhatnagar. He expresses his thoughts and ideas in a direct and simple way. His poems are simple, readable, thought provoking and enjoyable because he speaks and writes in a language full of natural flow and lucidity. He has a good command over the language, rhyme and rhythm. Every poem in the book claims the attention of the reader with its own unique quality and innovating thoughts and compels the readers to read the poems more than once. In the realm of Muse, he has given us somewhat new type of poetry : personal experiences, observations, thoughts and ideas passed through the crucible of imagination. Thus, Bhatnagar has occupied an important place among the modern poets. • • •

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LYRIC LUTE – A Sheen of Subjectivism and Lyricism

his poetry. Moh Dutt while writing the ‘foreword’ comments: The poems of Lyric-Lute collection touch many fields and spheres of romanticism, mysticism, humanism and a wider perception of human society. In spite of all those glaring facts of life, his poems mainly concern ‘himself’. He has own view point in looking at certain things. His joys and sorrows and pleasant and unpleasant experiences of life have enriched his poetry.

— Dr. Kalpna Rajput Mahendra Bhatnagar’s ninth collection of poems in English is unique in itself as it has the brilliance of subjectivism and lyricism in it which is quite uncommon in the literary world of present times. It is often seen that most of the poets plainly describe the thought and particular situation which strike them. They include typical words, common place situation and terse way of expression in their poems. Such poems can be termed as the poems devoid of poet’s personal predicament and aspiration for a particular emotion or scene. But the poems of Mahendra Bhatnagar in present collection fulfill this requirement of modern poetry. One more fact is also noteworthy here that the poems of Mahendra Bhatnagar are in itself lyrical, his thoughts are the natural flow of emotions in which lyricism simply mixes with it. The situation becomes terrible when the poet tries to write something out of mood. Then, in this situation it is impossible for translators to maintain the natural lyricism in his poetry. Mahendra Bhatnagar is also known as a progressive poet. He sees everything from the humanistic point of view. His emotions are an integral part of ever widening arena of Indian English poetry. His subjectivism and lyricism is the sheen of Concerns and Creation :


Bhatnagar is one of those writers who do not like to tread on the trodden path. He has something enriching for the soul in his poetry. Basic ideas are almost lacking in the beauty of morning for cladding the human heart with it joyfully. O, bath in golden sea, O, decorate the body with ornaments, O, sing song of a new morn, Let the heart-peacock dance lustrously”. (p-2) The poet in ‘Boatman’ sees the life of the boatman quite visible before him. He feels each sorrow and desire of the poet personally. He finely pictures how a boatman’s life devoted to his duties and the anxiety of his wife for his arrival. Most of the poems are connected to one theme. Such as ‘Who are You?’, ‘You Embellished in Song’, ‘You Smiled’, ‘O, Destiny’, ‘Let us Burn’, ‘Illusion’, ‘The Night is Passing’, ‘You are Away’, ‘Fill with Love’, ‘You’, ‘What Wrong I did?’, ‘The Song of Separation’, ‘We had Met’, ‘Company’, ‘Don’t Realize Like This’, ‘So, to Meet You’, ‘You’, ‘Your Reminiscence’, ‘In Awaiting’, ‘Companion’, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Passion and Compassion’. In ‘Who are You’, the poet feels utter dejection before getting love. Concerns and Creation :


Filled my void, dejected heart lake Gouce tune to passion and compassion, Shining new peaks of desires, Made my love honest auspicious-beautiful, Charmed me so much.(p-8) The poet feels satisfied on getting his loved one but does not forget to ask question to moon and sawan : My moon! Why did you raise Tide in the ocean of life in such a way? O charming cloud of sawan! Why did you wet me like this? (p-12) While dealing with the theme of love, he becomes quite personal and appeals to destiny that ‘the long rugged, lonely path the life may pass joyfully / ‘the heart of’ his ‘heart dweller/ may never remain indifferent! / the world may never look’ them ‘with ill-will, / the darkness of pain may go far away/”. Again, in the poet poem, ‘Illusion’ the poet laments at the loss of his beloved and calls her: Where are you, my illusion, true? Aasavari, of my heart, dhoop-chhanh of my Contentment I have adorned my way of life gallery With your life-painting. (p-42) Mahendra Bhatnagar beautifully describes the pangs of his love. Sometimes he awakes in the thoughts of his beloved and sometimes he compares his inner restlessness with the rest and comfort of his heart which is love-laden. Concerns and Creation :


Your memory is haunting, The night is passing! Today, in such solitude of life I awake in your thoughts, The whole creation has slept, Earth is singing a lullaby!” (p-44) In ‘The Night of Aghan’, he sees his restlessness spreading in the outer world too. He says: During this cool night of Aghan, oh, I missed you! The hem of Rohine is far; silent moon weeps, Wide-spread moonlight-sea is searching every corner Whom to tell the secret of heart!” (p-46) In the poem ‘Fill with Love’, the poet urges his beloved to be faithful and clear in love and sings: The door of my heart is closed for ages, Strayed away and wondered in darkness-my love, Every string of my life-harp is broken, Sinking in the worldly ocean Give him arms, give him voice of faith.(p-58) ‘Restless Within’ is a beautiful poem where he shows restlessness to meet and talk to his beloved. The heart is restless, today, To talk something, Dear! The monotonous prolonged silence Is burdensome now, When cool, wet, silvery ocean Is waving, continuously, Concerns and Creation :


The heart is restless To meet freely, dear! (p-98) Then he makes his love universal and feels that each particle of nature is accompanying him in love so, talking about the moon, he says: She will smile with us, in the days of happiness, Will show compassion and shed tears to see us sad Living far, in separation, has never Broken the bond of love! (p-118) In ‘Your Reminiscences’ he misses both the joyous and woeful days of his love-life when his beloved is quite far from him. He also complains about the world which always comes in the way of lovers. How difficult is the path of love, The obstructing world can’t see, Remains the burns only, to be forgotten, Only this complaint is with me. (p-148) Secondly, his dealing with nature are subjective in toto, His poems are not mere explanatory notes of the beauties of nature but going a step ahead to the poets of nature, he creates conversation with nature; sometime with moon and sometimes with beauties of morning. He feels the involvement of nature in making the human heart full of glee. He sees the direct impact of the beauty of morning on his body and mind and sings in ‘song of the dawn’: When fresh first ray feel on body Ignorant playful heart became-a deer, Concerns and Creation :


With the guileless raptures of love, And the overwhelmed emotions of modesty, Came cold breeze of dawn and made the body Aromatic. (p-4) In ‘Who Says’, the poet personifies the moon: Who says, my moon is not a living being? My moon laughs and smiles excellently, Plays and then hide her far off, Who says, moon’s heart doesn’t palpitate? (p-74) The spring season is also charming to the poet and thus he sings in joy: Today, Dear! Every limb is full of gusto, As the spring has come! Far off green fields are waving Full with fresh odor breeze is roaming, Experiencing strange birds are singing, (p-76) Moonlight and clouds are also dear to the poet, so in ‘Clouds have Hovered’, the poet says that the gestures of his beloved are accepted as commands by clouds. He sings: Looking your intoxicating smile, clouds have Gathered! Feeling your eyes thirsty, clouds have hovered! (p-92) He beautifully pictures sleep in ‘Sleep’. When he becomes sleepy, he feels: Night- coming from the sky is patting; Like mother’s gentle hands, Concerns and Creation :


The hem, engraved with bright stars, is spreading, Drowsy eyes feeling comfortable, Ripples of shining nectar Are tricking from the moon like face? (p-94)

Eyes gone astray! Very disappointed heart Very dejected heart Burn, Burn, Burn. (p-164)

Whatever the theme of the poem is, the poet seems talking to nature everywhere and along with nature the fusion of lyricism is also tinted everywhere. Here we find lyrical quality in his every poem: words, tune, rhythm and figure of speech, all are observed in simple mode. Most of the subjects of his poems are coloured with the tint of imagination. A well know critic and poet and O. P. Bhatnagar also says,

The other themes based on Humanism also bear the stamp of his subjectiveness. In his poem ‘Destruction’ giving several examples of flowers and bees, he feels the short life of himself and says:

A good poem, my opinion, is simple and devoted to human concern, simplicity above all. A good poem must develop instincts for rich simplicity in precise imagery. It is an artistic attitude towards life. Simplicity crystallizes poetic thought and establishes harmony of form and content…. A good poem is always written in conversational style. (Considerations,4)

He is a progressive poet, so he doesn’t feel tired even in the night of annihilation and situations constantly vomiting poison and remains powerful and independent. But at one place, he feels dejected and sings:

Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry qualifies the test of O. P. Batnagar’s rules for writing good poetry. His selection of poetic words and repetition of some words in the end of the poems create musical effects in this poem. For example: Very sad heart Tired body Very sad heart! Sky-full of sultriness Air-stand still Suffocation, suffocation, suffocation! Overcast dense darkness No where any ray Concerns and Creation :

Lasting for a short time, my mortal body Will also become feeble? (p-132)

May all impossible fancies materialize? May all warbling desires get shape? May we experience all leaping loving passions? The life will not give ever Such heaven The life will not give ever Such fortune. (p-162) He inspires the man to go forward and says: Like a flower, I am blooming in the ruined garden Of the world, And shall keep on! (p-188) Besides, other poem like ‘ Irresistible’, ‘Unstopping Feet’,


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‘Intolerable’, ‘No Life’, ‘This is not Destination’, ‘Changing Era’, ‘Faith in Democracy, ‘Helpless’ and ‘ Remain Watchful’ are also no less inspiring. The bilingual book is in itself a charm and the research papers in Hindi by Mrs. Dr. Pushpam Narayan and Prof. Dr. Harish Chandra Verma also enhance the attraction of book and make the new readers more at ease in understanding Mahendra Bhatnagar and his poetry. In appendix-1, the translations by other scholars show Bhatnagar’s wide scope in this field.

References: [1] Lyric Lute. Mahendra Bhatnagar, translated by Shaleen Kumar Singh & Kalpna Rajput, Delhi : Vista International Publications House. 2006. [2] Considerations, ‘Introduction’, ed. Niranjan Mohanty, Behrampur: Oriya Poetry Pub.1979. [3] Interview to Anil Kumar Sharma. ‘Literary Legend Speaks’, Contemporary Vibes. April-June 2008

He has his own mode of perceiving human life and nature. As a realist he says in an interview to Anil Kumar Sharma: I have always tried to voice the feeling of the persons who have been the victim of destiny, life and time. My focus remains to eradicate the pillars of exploiters of humanity by the medium of poetry and create a candid and enlightened vision in the minds of my readers so that they may rise and fight the devils of injustice and liberate the humankind from the shackles of slavery of ignorance. (p-11) Thus the poet is the precursor of reform and development with subjective and musical bent of mind. He himself says in the above interview to Anil Kumar Sharma: Writing never became my occupation. I wrote only when I was strongly inspired at personal emotional level or due to inevitable social-economic political circumstances. (p-11) • • •

Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


Fill the gift in Anchal

LYRIC - LUTE by ‘Mahendra Bhatnagar’ — Anita Saxena The book entitled ‘Lyric Lute’ is a very wonderful translation in English which is composed by Dr.Mahendra Bhatnagar in Hindi, serves different aspects of life. His seven volumes entitled ‘Mahendra Bhatnagar-Samgra’ have already been published but this book is enriched with 125 poems. In this translation 53 poems have translated by Dr. Kalpna Rajput and some are done by Dr. Shaleen K. Singh and the rest 18 by others. It is interesting to know that the book contains not merely the translation but also the basic version i.e. Hindi so the readers of both and English can read the poems in Hindi also if one can. It is a success to both the translation and the poet as well. The book ‘Lyric Lute’ is really very heart touching and full of musical thoughts. It deals with different type of ideas and thoughts in very short poems. The first poem of the book entitled Gift of Gold refers to shimmery and shiny and it symbolize optimism in a very beautiful manner. Dawn brought the gift of gold! O, buds! Wake up and get up, Concerns and Creation :


The poem is very picturesque, natural and romantic. In spite of its shortness the poem successfully mirrors the beauty of the nature, morning and its objects also. After giving the description of the dawn the book delineate a different poem Boatman who always begin his voyage with great dangers and with an uncertainty that he would come back and is awaited by his wife. All whole day having many preparation in his welcome but also some doubts in a corner of her heart. The waiting and preparations in his waiting of that lady are presented in a realistic and emotional waySomebody might decorated herself In saffron auspicious Somebody’s silvery love Might have dazzled like moon! The philosophical end the poem is admirable, Turn the helm Towards the returning calourful birds Creation is entirely an illusion Boatman. The poems Who are You, You Embellished in Song, Attachment for beauty, You smiled, You, Who Says, Request, In the Moonlight, Thanks, Clouds Have Hovered, Sleep, Light the lamp, Sing the song, You-2, One night, and Passion and Compassion are all full of passionate emotions, sentiments and feelings. The poet has expressed the beautiful imaginations, secrets and agonies of loving heart. Nature plays a very important part in portraying such type of tender passion as in Concerns and Creation :


‘Clouds Have Hovered’


Looking your intoxicating smile, clouds have gathered! Feeling your eyes thirsty, clouds have hovered! O, young lady! Your anklets are jingling, Always, swing each pal, your well built, beautiful Delicate beauty, Jhumer shines on the span of your bright-red-fair Forehead.

Dear, come and buzz The chord of my dormant heart! Intoxicating reds are the beautiful lips. Eyes are more innocent simple than a doe, Body is fair skinned-like lightning, glass and water, Arms are like branches-new and fleshy, Just now, hum a sweet new song Full of life! O dear partner! Long awaited Sweet union-festival, now celebrate!

Here the beloved is compared to moon. It is addressed in the following way: My moon! Why did you rise? Tide in the ocean of life in such away? Once again in the poem, he exhorts: You smiled, the lotus of my heart bloomed! Seeing you I rejoiced, I attained my attainable! (You Smiled) In Attachment for beauty deep sighs in the sweet memory of the beloved glittering beauty of some one does not allow me to sleep! Charmed peacock-like delight heart, Restless arms eager to embrace the sky, How hard felt is the fire of separation, Disturbing, sweet fragrance-memory of someone! The poem Request as the title suggest is the pleading of a lover to get united with his beloved in the most maddening Concerns and Creation :


To Bhatnagar, Love is a feeling that is to be found in each and everyone since infancy. An infant who has just come on this earth is able to feel the warmth of his mother’s touch. The poet prays with innocence to his beloved to fill his heart with affection in a very heart touching -in Light The Lamp In my desolate homeDarkness of ages is overspread, Life-lamp was lighted-‘it’s a dream, As much affection is in you I’ll know-it is mine If you kindle the lamp in my distressed heart. There are different kinds, forms and definition of love. In fact it is a type of support whether it may physical, mental, sentimental or spiritual. Same is the case of all lore poems by Mahendra Bhatnagar. These all deal with the different desires and forms of love. As in the poem Thanks, quite opposite to the poem Request, Concerns and Creation :


the poet expresses his gratitude to his beloved just for a very short presence when — When, full of intense passion, lovers play flutes, For beloved persuasions, Echoes of songs and jingle sound When come from each house, Your presence, for only a short duration, Inhabited my deserted heart-home! Kind of you thank! Again in the most affectionate wordsWhen the evening comes with life and love, On every crossroad, fair of lover’s-meet followed, Crushed with the aspersion of the world You awake again my broken ego! Kind of you thank! Love is not merely an excitement seen between a young lover and couple but it is found in every relationship. As I feel love are an inspiration, a power, and an energy which pushes someone always on top in the struggle of life not the physical charm or relation. The poem Passion and Compassion is one of the best love poems-it possess a very sweet flow of thoughts and emotions. You create music in heart, I will sing the song of life, You make your tear of love Overflow towards me, I will make Concerns and Creation :

The splendour of heaven To stoop dawn At your feet. The book enriches not only rainy but also spring season. Merriment of Holi and Holi both the poems describe the time, picture, of holi, one of the most famous and important occasion of Hidus. It is celebrated in the month of Falgun (March). It is the time when the fields of farmers are golden with ripe corn and nature is saturated with new leaves. Everything is covered with novelty. So it is the time of celebration. On the one hand nature blooms in so many colours on the other hand people play and colour one another from Gulal. A very live and pictorial scenario of the month of Holi is presented in a very familiar styleIt is the month of ‘Fagun’, joy of holi is all around, Delightful are lent passion seeing everywhere! Beads studded in ears of corn, golden fields, Showering love East wind is rambling Showing its green beauty, mustard is standing with unfold face. Taber, symbols drum are being played on in every village. (Merriment of Holi) The frenzy of poet’s heart influenced by this colorful and musical atmosphere is worth seeing merely in a few linesHoli, we are playing drum in your welcome, Holi, having intoxicated we are spreading Gulal all round! (Holi)


Concerns and Creation :


The poem ‘LUST FOR LIFE’ mirrors the bitter realities of life in a very sharp manner — The death’s orchestra plays on The mango-groves once jubilant and gay Are silent and deserted now; But with faith divine In the midst of tears and signs The man laughs on! The man lives on by the craving of love. The poem “This is not destination” is very inspirational for all the people. It invokes us to struggle without staying until we get the goal of our life. It is really true life is the name of going on all the time. To the poet procrastination is the root of all ills. This is not your destination! You have to drink more poison Then only is the living successful Today, it is theme surely for your test. “The Beauty of the Sleeping Moon” is one of the most romantic, sizzling but at the same time very relieving poem. Cozy lies the moon on the star-spangled carpet! So care-free physically, Mentally so free from worries And so content with life Holding somebody loves ‘Aanchal’! Cozy lies the moon on the star-spangled carpet.

to be very door to him. This moonlight speaks not to me none knows why, Fills the heart with strong nectar of love this moonlight. O Wind is a very playful poem : O wind! Come, tuning a song, Come, sweepings Shaking the boughs Come, raising the dust! Lovely fragrance filled. Thus, from the above discussion it is crystal clear that the poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar has attained a peculiar place among Indian English Literature for it cannot be overlooked or cannot be excluded from their on account of its being translated from Hindi rather it is penned by an Indian and has the note of Indianness intrinsically as well as it is translated in Indian English. So one should always bear in mind that the scope and horizons of current Indian English Creativity will be wider and its roots will be deeper if the critics of Indian English Poetry be a bit more magnanimous and less parochial in their scales. I wish Mahendra Bhatnagar and the translators both a very warm welcome into the arena of Indian English Literature and hope for the grand success of the book. •

The poet has studded the moon in most of his poems. It seems Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


In fact optimism seems to be the forte of the poet because it encourages him to ride the rough tempestuous sea of life. He does believe in destiny and that man is a mere puppet in the powerful ever tightening grip of destiny yet he encourages one to live on with grit and determination : WIDER PERCEPTION OF HUMAN SOCIETY IN MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR’S ‘LYRIC-LUTE’ — Dr. Ram Sharma Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is one of the bright stars in the galaxy of Indian Poetry. According to Prof. Prakash Chandra Gupta, “Mahendra Bhatnagar is a well-established poet. He writes of freedom, struggle, victory of oppressed humanity and its vision of a new world.” (‘Literary Half-Yearly’, Mysore)

“The tune of sorrow will be silent, The desire of pleasure will materialize, Inequalities of every kind will end, now!” (‘Faith in Democracy’) In spite of his optimism, determination and dauntless faith Dr. Bhatnagar can not ignore the fact that modern man leads a life of isolation. In spite of modernisation, every person is lonely in the world. Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar is a philosopher so like a true philosopher he sees everything objectively without being biased.

One of the most outstanding qualities of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry is his unfailing optimism. The element optimism is reflected in his several poems :

Dr. Bhatnagar’s poetry is a mass of random reflections delineating his thoughts and feelings at any given moment. So the momentary thoughts can be pessimistic or optimistic as the occasion propel him. His poems are expressions of painful frustration of modern middle and lower classes and also the pressures and strains on the human condition and of humanitarian approach of the poet to war the inhuman values and situations of contemporary life. This aspect has been reflected in his several poems.

“Darkness will not raise head now, The sky will gleam with light, Our notions are inspired by resolute object!” (‘Faith in Democracy’)

The poems of this volume reveals a startling clarity or vision, profound insights and is full of allusions, irony, paradox, humour, taunting and satire. The poet has deep compassion for humanity and his poems strive to bring solace, peace,

In this anthology selected lyrics of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar are included. Dr. Moh Dutt writes in the preface of this volume “The poems of ‘Lyric-Lute’ collection touch many fields and spheres of romanticism. mysticism, humanism and a wider perception of human society.’’

Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


faith and courage to the society we live in : “Forget all differences of the world of colour-caste, of money-rank-age, Only echo in all directions the sound of victory of human glory and greatness, Demolish today the pride-fort of false dignity!” (‘Song of Equality’) Nature is invariably a back drop in Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry. This volume resumes with such poem as ‘Gift Of Gold’, in which the poet fills new zeal through nature : “O, buds! wake up and get up, fill the gift in anchal, Get decorated in golden appearance, fill sweet feelings in red-roses!”

Crazy love of raptures Inner most waves of modesty, Illusive world may not be strange!” (‘Pleasant Morning’) The poet presents moon-imagery in his several nature poems : “The moon is beautiful, charming, attractive and fair-bodied, Why is so absorbed; while the cloud is ugly and black, Can anyone tell how happened such an improbable this night? (‘Cloud and Moon’) In the end we can say that Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar has presented wider perception of human society in his volume ‘LyricLute.’

In the next poem ‘Song of The Dawn’ describes the ruddiness of the dawn. The poet addresses Dawn as queen in this poem ‘Queen Dawn’ :

• • •

“Whose face is filled with new hue of lotus, As if carrying the feelings of satisfaction, Blessed pleasing heart delighted in sweet thoughts of her lover!” Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar presents himself as champion of nature in several lyrics. He opines that we must spend more time in the lap of nature. He has faith that there is living spirit in nature which has a healing, soothing power : “Sweet songs of birds Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


sincere citizen, Dr. Bhatnagar has the courage and spirit to exhort the people of his country to fight and struggle with the evil, vicious and anti-social forces. It can be seen in his poems like, ‘Challenge’, ‘The Gale’, ‘The Hurricane’ and ‘Assured’. Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar loves the unity and in tegrity of his country and has expressed his views and feelings through a number of significant poems.

NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD [Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar] —

Dr. Mukesh Sharma

Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar bears the identity of a well known bilingual (Hindi & English) poet in the country and abroad. His poems are translated and published not only in most of the Indian languages, but in foreign languages too, viz. English, French, Japanese, Nepali, Urdu etc. Through internet we have an easy access to his works; though most of his works are already published in book-form. He has been an eminent Professor of Hindi and was retired in 1984 from the prestigious institute, Govt. Kamalaa Raajaa Girls Post-Graduate College (Jiwaji University), Gwalior. Though retired some twentyfive years back, he is not tired of mind, even at the age of more than eighty-three years. He has been a prolific writer from his early age, which can be seen and is evident from the bulk of his poems, published in several volumes. A simple man by nature, Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is keen to solve every problem of his fellow human beings. He has a sensitive heart and a proficient mind to feel and meditate on the social and human activities and changes taking place with the course of time. Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar has witnessed the miserable, suffering and pathetic condition of Indian common people after and before Independence. As a faithful and Concerns and Creation :


The present volume ‘NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD’ contains fifty poems. Thirty-six of these poems are written under the title ‘Nai Chetnaa’ or ‘The New Awareness’. The last fourteen poems have been compiled under the title ‘Sankalp’ or ‘The Resolution’. The poems under ‘Nai Chetanaa’ were written between 1950 to 1953 and were published in 1956. The poems compiled under ‘Sankalp’ have been composed between 1967 and 1971; they were published in the year 1977. The period, to which these fifty poems belong, may be called the ‘Renaissance’ in India. The remarkable fact about these poems is that one cannot understand them without giving eyes and ears to the historical background of the contemporary age. In fact, it was the need of the hour to infuse new awareness and enthusiasm into the sad hearts of the Indians at that age. After Independence every Indian started working towards the reconstruction and upliftment of the devastated social structure of the vast country. Hence to provoke the desire to lead a promising life, Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar wrote much for the Indian people. The poems like, ‘Kindle The Lamp’ and ‘I Have Trust’ revealed the desired feelings. The poet, as a true citizen, sincerely performed his duty towards the nation by inspiring a new awareness among the countrymen. The poems of ‘Nai Chetanaa’ — ‘Flow The Ganga’, ‘Transition’, ‘The New Era’, Concerns and Creation :


‘Morning Call’ and ‘New Culture’ — bear historical, political and social relevance; they are useful and meaningful in the contemporary sense. They bear the voice of common man; they contain the pain of the poor and the helpless; they present the real picture of the contemporary society; and they bear the desire of the poet to bring about reformation and prosperity among the countrymen. The poem ‘Builders Of Future’ has drawn much attention of the reader in this reference. The second part of this collection — ‘Sankalp’ — consists fourteen poems. These poems show Dr. Bhatnagar’s firm determination, through millions of Indian hearts, to reconstruct the shattered walls of the Indian society.

Dr. Bhatnagar’s poems have post-independence relevance to the age and a universal appeal to the conscious man. The diction of Bhatnagar’s poetry is simple and is suitable to the various themes of his poems. The way, Dr. Bhatnagar uses different images, figures and allusions in his poetry, shows his perfect hold on language and his high quality of poetic creation. Though written in a great poetic style, Dr. Bhatnagar’s poems bear the voice of the Indian common people. It has a message for new awakening with firm resolution and determination for the welfare of the common man and ultimately for the nation. • • •

If we take a cursory survey of the fifty poems of this collection, we find here Dr. Bhatnagar’s views about social awareness, healthy vision of life, his deep concern about the degenerated values, and of raising a new strong base for the progressive, stable, self-depending and prosperous future of our country. Moreover, with the humanistic approach Dr. Bhatnagar believes that a positive thinking can turn the selfish, chaotic and anarchic world towards a prosperous and purposeful direction. This is not to exaggerate the facts that Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar has emerged as the spokesman of the ailing humanity as his poetry presents the bare facts and events of the age. Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry mirrors him as an ‘artistic reporter of the agonies and dreams of people’. His honest and consistent efforts, to portray the uncertain, unstable, helpless and poor state of society, have resulted into the production of sensitive poetry. Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


MahendraBhatnagar. The first nine poems depict the resurgent mood of Indian people of the fifties and the sixties of the twentieth century. They even seem to transcend the national boundaries when the poet in The Hurricane says:

NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD [Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar]

Because today the tornado of resurgence rages in the east. East does not mean India alone.

— By Kedar Nath Sharma This book consists of 50 poems actuated by verve and cadence, a unique attribute of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry. Read them when you are feeling lethargic and dispirited. He will make you sit up and shake off morbidity. His words are sharp, chiselled and telling. Brevity is the sine qua non of his delineation.Beginning to go through these poems the reader finds himself in the midst of a diatribe. Take for example the poem Undefeated : The youth of an era cannot be subdued: The organized people’s perceptivity, Their proclivity for ingenuity, And the wage earner’s ingrained propensity. Have you heard the account of collapse of: Man’s pleasant dreams, His desired chateau of peace And life’s celestial sphere Tinged with roseate hues of the day break? A very good piece of literature. The poet seems to be a linguistic wizard imbuing little, little words with significant meanings touching the heart. This is the art mastered by Concerns and Creation :


In Wont Be Able To Stop he says : These are the moments of fading limits of climes and time. While in The Gale he broadens his vision to world arena. In these poems the poor and the oppressed people are endeavoring to shake off the yoke of poverty. Unlike William Blake who calls the oppressors by just one name: “Tiger”, Mahendra Bhatnagar gives them several names such as Devil in Challenge; greedy vultures in Festival of Freedom; enemy in Undefeated; rich bed bugs in Will Remain Vigilant ; cannibal rich and feudal saber in The New Man. In The Gale he calls the oppressor Eagles and in Hurricane voracious wolves and even Brutal extortionists. Mahendra Bhatnagar derides the differences of class and caste system in Will Remain Vigilant when he says This class difference and the scourge of castes will vanish. Unluckily it is at its peak these days. In The Caravan of Life he sounds optimistic and does not believe in destiny as he says: Concerns and Creation :


Does not rely on the stars of fate. The mood changes from The Indifferent From New Man where in an effectual resurgence has started.. The struggling man is transformed to a new man from whom the poet expects desired results because so far he himself was un- involved, disinterested, neutral and indifferent. Then in New Direction doubts crop up and the poet is perturbed by various rotten traditions as high as the Wall of China or the Everest which will clash with new thinking generated by scientific advancements. He prods the man to surmount pervert traditionalism and to adopt the new rational and scientific culture to become enlightened. In the next poem Traditon the poet ridicules those who still harp on the ancient traditions and rely on religious scriptures to create wedges between human beings. The poet questions the veracity of the Quran, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and the Bible impelled by the impetuosity of emotions though he is not ignorant about the depth of their philosophy. He made these observations when he was quite young.

remarkable. The ceaseless rant of the language galvanizing poet’s pen to fly like a race horse without any poking by its jockey. In almost all poems the poet talks about emancipation and pulsating changes in the lives of Indians. Since these are the poems written in a particular period of time the reader cannot find any varied ideas except poet’s anxiety for the betterment of poverty stricken Indians. But the vehemence of emotions and the use of simple words promise that he would achieve dizzy heights in Hindi literature with the passage of time. He has done that at the present stage of his life. Many students of literature can write thesis on Mahendra Bhatnagar’s style, his craftsmanship in handling the language and countless other aspects. •

Poem after poem the poet wants man to adopt new outlook to life. But in The Poet and the Era he visualizes negativity in everything expressing his anguish. But at the end of the poem Mahendra Bhatnagar implores the intellectuals to become catalysts to transform the humanity. In the next poem Ashvast (Assured) he is confident about his invigorating verse to undo the wrongs and bring about the golden age. Poem after one poem the poet is delivering the same message in his vigorous language. Pessimism and optimism juxtaposing without any hiatus in the poet’s sensitivity in the poem Has Observed Today is Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


we see in “Festival of Freedom,” he throws down the gauntlet and encourages the fight and struggle with anti-social forces:

New Enlightened World [Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar] — Dr. Patricia Prime Mahendra Bhatnagar is a poet who has published eleven volumes of poems in English. He has also published seven volumes of work in Hindi – three of poems (comprised of sixteen earlier collections), two of critical articles, one on Premchand (research work) and one on miscellaneous writings. His poems have been translated, published and broadcast in many foreign and Indian languages. The present volume contains fifty poems. Thirty-six of these poems are written under the title “Nai Chetna” or “The New Awareness.” The last fourteen poems have been compiled under the title “Sankelp” or “The Resolution.” Bhatnagar is a poet who has elevated the pitch-perfect observation of everyday detail into an art form. There are moments in this collection where his verse is so unassuming, so exact in the placement of each word that it is easy to let it glide over you like an overheard conversation without realizing how brilliantly it is executed. The poet focuses on life lived on the brink of disruption, on the tensions between the “salvation of life,” the fight for freedom and the challenge of facing the contemporary world. As Concerns and Creation :


I celebrate the festival of freedom I celebrate the festival of freedom to save them! I lit, in debt, the lamps of freedom on the broken balcony of falling house! On my dry lips I sing the song of freedom! Freedom is dear to me as I have nurtured its garden by my own hands! But, Hold! O! Tempted vultures! If you cast your sight, On its fruit and flowers – One more fight for freedom will begin again! He chooses the grand phrase over the subtle; he thinks in terms of the grand scheme of things: Independence, unity and integrity, empathy, crises, isolation, disintegration and the social evils inherent in modern life. For example, in “The New Man” Bhatnagar provides an insightful meditation on man’s desire for a new age of truth, faith and freedom: The world resounds with the steps of mass power, The weak enemy’s heart trembles every time, Concerns and Creation :


Look, the blocked path is opening, No sharp edge left, the sword of feudalism is rusted!

unable to overcome), these traditions block the path to freedom in the changing world. The poem ends with the challenge of a forceful slogan:

Truth came to the fore, victorious is faith, Desired new age near and past vision disappeared, Don’t reserve any more the missed, unfulfilled desire, The horizon of world reflects the new picture of man!

“We have to build a new world! with no sign of dead repulsive capitalism, All dictatorship will be dragged away from the world!

Here is a man who likes things kept within bounds, depending on faith, truth and the reassuring outlines of his own vision to save mankind from false prophets, society and exploiters. In “Caravan of Life” Bhatnagar expects readers to come halfway towards him by offering their attention and exercising their imaginations. The question that surfaces in my mind as I read the poem is: does the poet ask too much of my imaginative collaboration? The poem runs from “momentary storms,” through “dark night” to the “desolate, homeless, unlighted” caravan of life. Why do I think the demand on a reader’s imagination may be too onerous? Well, while the poem is intriguing, it never becomes convincingly real. The poet seems to know and understand some things which readers may not and thus never closes what to me is a credibility gap. The lengthy poem “New Direction” asks how are we to conquer primitive traditions. Like the Great Wall of China, or the highest mountain, or the widest river (which we are almost Concerns and Creation :


Only, the world will breath on the path of socialism the breath of happiness! Filled with the hope of new life! The barren land will be fertile! Wayfarer will remove the hurdles of sufferings, Enthusiasm of work, will bridge ditches of inequalities! The new awakening will destroy all ancient forts, wall, doors and clefts!” Only humanity, massing together, can solve the problems of capitalism, dictatorship, suffering and poverty. It is in our own hands, with out “treasure of power and wisdom,” to make the world a better place for everyone to live in. “Assured” rants against the oppressor as Concerns and Creation :


One, who put out lamps of life And from the womb of earth Uprooted the growing plants, Harvested land He made barren, Attacked the heart of a new age with a sharp burning dagger and finishes with the end of the “dark age” and the lights that will be lit again to welcome the new era: The earth with new buds will flourish happily! That world’s populace like peacock, will sing the songs in new tunes, And will dance tinkling the payal in the fields, fearlessly! In the poem “I Have Trust” we have the poet’s personal view of his imprisonment in the body, but salvation is at hand as his companions will come and “unlock the cells” and “Will thrash / high heads of vanity / of rebellious power”: I am imprisoned in dark cells at present, Cells – it is said – Where wind remains in bondage, light remains in bondage, Where spreads only the regime of stillness! Concerns and Creation :


This theme is also to be found in “The New Age,” where Bhatnagar says, “The masses stopping the storms / will throw the advancing tide!” These poems do more than describe the inner spirit uncovering itself, they animate the way in which the downtrodden will rise up and take arms against the oppressor (“New Era’s thoughts have their influence / of unceasing conflict!”) At the end of these satisfying mini-narratives the reader loops back to the titles and has to ask their relation to the poems: in what way do the accounts complete meaning, or represent complete meaning? There may be a stronger case for a shock of meaning that nevertheless remains somehow incomplete and out of reach. In this way, Bhatnagar reveals himself to be an intense but solvable poet: much of the density of his writing resolves itself in the patterning of the collection. At its best the poetry has an engaging presence and a pulsing narrative energy, so that one can see the formidable themes that capture the poet’s imagination brought to fruition. For example, Bhatnagar’s description in the poem “New Culture” of “The rival forces of dark,” who will disperse before the new culture and the heralding of a new dawn, leads to the exhilarating crescendo of: The new era arrives, On its path only we have to spread the soft flowers, Only its path we have to make easy! So that in the arbour of new culture-vine all of us may sing new melody song! Forgetting sufferings and pain of passed life! Concerns and Creation :


“Flow the Ganga” is a more lyrical poem, where we read of the mighty river flowing over barren land and, in the final stanza, see the river turn into the Apocalyptic vision of “The rivers of blood”: The rivers of blood flown, strange, became the earth, untrue denied virtue, The frightened bloody morning bursts, Removes the shadow of clouds from the sun! The visionary quality in such poems can seem astonishing in its range, its depth, its complexity. The rootedness in the local landscape is no limitation at all, its connectedness to the history of India through oppression, war, Independence and poverty, runs through these poems, as in “The Saboteur”: Who? Who is that interrupts our dreams, That deforms and change our decorated pictures? Make dwarf their largeness, Fill depression in there freedom?

Beggar continues to cry; Out of his power continues to cry! In this poem we remind ourselves of the beggars who inhabit the streets, of the poor who are always with us, of the homeless and destitute. The ghostly movement of the beggar’s plight is set within the changing and disintegrating Indian landscape: When – The door of a kind person made him a little quiet, solved his question for a single night, Desolate grew more, on trees, domes, buildings, tiled roofs, tin-sheds, mist fell more and more condensed! The night became more cold and dark, Night had become more shameless and bare

and in the poem “Cries of a City and Night,” where we find beggars crying for food and no-one to hear their pleas. People go inside their homes and lock their doors and hearts against the poor:

Sometimes the emotion becomes simpler and calmer, as we see in “The Art of Living” where the poet reaches the conclusion that he didn’t study life sufficiently in order to live the reality of life: The grammar of life I didn’t read It is perhaps,

Impact of terror appears on faces, Concerns and Creation :

Lights of houses off, Locks on doors start hanging!


Concerns and Creation :


That I didn’t know how to live in real sense! Finally, the poet’s feelings for life break clear of the disintegration and are articulated as a comparison of his life to a beautiful jar and the fact that he didn’t take the advice of socalled experts: I didn’t know to taste the life in style in the metaphorical decorated pot!

Is not the custom and aim of poetry! Biography: Is a sequence of past, lived.

So, perhaps I didn’t learn to live like tactful experts! But the pain is still there, and the blame, the overwhelming sense of blame that pervades this whole book. The longer poems containing the breadth of vision Bhatnagar attempts to express and form is an important subject-matter. And despite his personalized relationship with these ideas, his main concern is to restore humanity to its true autonomy, creativity and value. The aim of poetry, Bhatnagar tells us is not to keep the scattered past intact, but to be alive in the present. Biography is a thing of the past; poetry contains things of the here and now: The picture that drowned in darkness of past – To draw it again and again. Concerns and Creation :

The thing that scattered at places on the trodden path, To gather it thoughtfully – The things to expire, Wishing to keep, carefully again and again –


Poetry: Instant Flowing, Alive! (“Biography”) There is a tension between the past and present, between change and permanence in this work, and the poetry arises from that tension, and it is not just the tension in the poet’s life but the impermanence of human life and activity that powers the poems. In the end, I find the evidence from this collection pretty conclusive – one needs to reach beyond the confines of the poem in order to fully achieve the necessary imaginative vision to express the nightmare of the world today, and to find those anchors or signposts to help us navigate our way through. • • • Concerns and Creation :


A CRITICAL SURVEY OF MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR’S ‘NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD’ — Dr. Anshu Bhardwaj Among the advent-grade Indian poets writing of today Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is a bilingual poet (Hindi & English) whose work has been translated, published and broadcast not only in the Indian languages ( Tamil, Telugu, Kannad, Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Malyalam, Gujrati, Manipuri, Sindhi, Punjabi, Urdu etc.) but also foreign languages too( English,French,Japanese,Nepali,Czech etc.) He believes that poetry penetrates into hearts of the people who are moved by a passion. He has great lust for writing and has added eleven volumes of poems in his feather. Today poetry has become the best mode of communication. Dr.Mahendra Bhatnagar is well familiar with this mode of communication. Through this mode he communicates to the readers and tries to imbue their hearts with love, beauty, passion and the feelings of unity and integrity .He inspires and motivates them to face the struggles of life and also makes them aware about their duties as the title of the present volume New Enlightened World shows. The title refers to pervade firm determination, new awareness and passion into the sad hearts of the people of that time. He is a great precept of modern Indian intellect. He very intellectually communicates Concerns and Creation :


with the common people and also speaks like a common man., “ I am imprisoned in dark cells /at present”( I have Trust), “The Grammar of life / I didn’t read…I didn’t know how to live/in real sense” ( The Art of Living), “I live/in a deserted dense forest…Let me burn / Let me burn” (Revival ).Suddenly he realizes the power of a common man and appears saying “I have healing cure of them./Nothing goes wrong/ today”(Even If), “I will come,/return back”(Revival), “I won’t allow history to repeat,/Don’t allow oppressors/to sing a victory song”(The Saboteur),and assuredly says “The earth with new buds/will flourish happily!”(Assured), “I, too, have/’a picture of a New world of colours” (The Indifferent from New Man) and one day “I sing the song of freedom!”(Festival of Freedom).Bhatnagar’s poetry portraits the both aspects of life and also motivates the readers to stand boldly even in complex time. Poetry is an act of talking to your own self and to the readers who are now well versed and also a desire to be understood and shared. One writes poetry to share a perception of beauty, ecstasy, love, sorrow and pain of life along with his readers as it directly touches and moves the hearts of the readers and becomes their voice. In the present volume Bhatnagar is the voice of the common people who suffered with malevolence, ferocious and anti-social forces after and before independence. The present volume is an attempt to fill their hearts with new chetanaa and sankalp to face the problems and reform the society. Bhatnagar has a great knowledge of human behavior and also analysis it and then reveals its reality. Through the poem ‘SelfLiking’ he expresses his great enthusiasm and points out that one is very excited in giving his pose to know how he looks. Concerns and Creation :


Similarly Bhatnagar is also excited to give “different poses,/ as the photographer directed,/smiles “lessening seriousness also,/ and draws “ passions on face, too.” Several times he gives his poses but he becomes disappointed and appears saying: In those pictures, too I didn’t like my face, They were not, I desired, not at all! He questions are those figures Not mine? Are those multicolored photos Not mine? Then he answers, “We do not want to see /the real shape in photo, in fact, /We want to see ourselves/according to our own perception of beauty,/to see our deformities/hidden or confined.” It is universal truth that a man always wants to see himself according to his own perception. Literature presents a constant challenge to us to see things both in their uniqueness and in their inter-relatedness to everything else. A writer or a poet always attempts to make the readers familiar with the real picture of the society with the help of his writings. Dr.Mahendra Bhatnagar has felt the miserable, suffering and pathetic condition of Indian common people after and before Independence. In his poems ‘Challenge’, ‘The Gale’, ‘The Hurricane’, and ‘Assured’ Bhatnagar exhorts the people of his country to fight and struggle with the evil, vicious anti-social forces. In the poem ‘Challenge’ Concerns and Creation :


he appears saying: Storm has come in the devil’s reign, That brought the message of salvation of life! Here the word ‘storm’ indicates to the voice of Indian common people against the British. It means Indians have become aware about their rights and familiar with their organized power that will help them to change their fate and the face full of terror.” They utter, “It is the challenge of our organized power” which will bring the salvation to them. “Devil’s reign” means the British Empire “built on innocent dead bodies” according to the poet. It shakes when “the sun of people’s might rise through darkness.” In ‘The Gale’ the same voice against British empire is heard when the wind with young blood blows very fast, falls the ancient mansions stumbling, and flows the river of peace. It gives the message: The storm of youth will not stop, Firm to make a story new! Impossible that age old obstacles stay, Its flow never becomes slow! ……………………………. .The steady youth of the powerful era, To change the world is his sole desire! …………………………. His strong free large arms, Will turn the wind with young blood! The poem ‘The Hurricane’ also presents a beautiful scene of Concerns and Creation :


new awareness found in the human hearts as the eternal faith. It takes the form of “rage, roar and challenge of strong winds that crushes/the fort parapets, domes, strongholds to ruin!’ The poem presents the idea of Indians’ constant struggle, revolt, and force that “can’t be surpassed, the flames of revolt/ can’t be extinguished! /The hectic struggle of new man /waves a new life all round, /that can never be blotted out!” In the poem ‘Assured’ Bhatnagar appears in a very angry mood and writes that “ My pen revolts/against him/”, “Who put out/lamps of life/and from the womb of earth/uprooted the growing plants,/Harvested land/He made barren,/Attacked the heart of new age/with a sharp burning dagger-“ and further says that I “ can’t stop the pen,/till the vanity-mad, arrogant oppressor!/fall down on the earth..” Bhatnagar believes in his writings that encourages the people of his country to raise the voice against the British empire and also believes their power that will vanish the dark age and lit again all the lights, extinguished with the affectionate awareness. Like Rabindranath Tagore Bhatnagar also dreams of fearlessly country “that world’s populace/like peacock,/will sing the songs in new tunes, / And will dance /tinkling the payal / in the fields/fearlessly.” Once again our country will flourish happily with the new awareness of the wind of young blood. Hindrances do not leave Bhatnagar desperate. He very optimistically looks upon darkness in cells “Where/wind remains in bondage? light remains in bondage,/Where/spreads only the regime of stillness!” in his most thought –provoking poem ‘I have Trust’ that is the ray of light. Even in dark cells he can easily see unobstructed wind through his eyes and hear well his companion’s steps walking, advancing, fighting with the sounds of their expedition songs that unlock the cells and thrash high heads of vanity of rebellious power. Concerns and Creation :


In fact, his man is destroyer of darkness and guide to light adjusting in all situations of life, filling the iron heart with anguish and barren eyes with tears through the dark, dirty and tearful movements, accepting all situations cheerfully. He has journeyed from desperate to hope. Bhatnagar is a man of peace and through his poetry he spreads the message of peace in the whole world as he states in ‘Festival of Freedom’: I sing the song of freedom! Freedom is dear to me as I have nurtured its garden by my own hands! There are several poems which portray the stark realities of life. In fact Bhatnagar writes his poems in a state of agony or aggression as he is moved and immensely pained to see the plight of suffering man. The opening lines of the poem ‘New Direction’ reveal this attitude: Deadlock everywhere, Obstructed path, Worthless concept losing relevance, Primitive traditions Standing like ‘Wall of China’! How to climb? How to cross? Further Bhatnagar strongly speaks about mythological morals and beliefs and asks the common people to win and get their aim: Concerns and Creation :


By the mythological morals, beliefs, dead, narrow out-dated thinking, concepts, by gone, foggy imaginations will ever win? will ever see your aim becoming true? In the beginning of his poems Bhatnagar abides in desperate mood. As we go on reading his poems, we find that he has a spirit to win the world which reflects in the end of the poems. The above poem also ends with positive sign: The new awakening will destroy all ancient forts, walls, doors, and clefts! Bhatnagar‘s poem ‘Tradition’ well reflects his love for motherland what he says about his country is worth telling who are anxious to change their tradition for better perks: The Kuran? The Vedas? Upnishads? Purans? Bible? All changed! The age need a new scripture, One God, with a message new To bloom the rotten of the great religion of humanity!

His voice has a humanitarian object and envisions a better tomorrow for the human kind and hopes for a more humane community in the world. As a poet Bhatnagar’s focus is mainly on Indian sensibility that reflects humanity. His poetry presents his reformative attitude which creates new awareness in the people of his country. The poems ‘Builders of Future’, ‘The Saboteur’, ‘The Poet, ‘The New Culture’, ‘Change of Era’, ‘Secured’, ‘Morning Call’, Footstep’, ‘Don’t Say,’ ‘Kindle the Lamp’, ‘New Direction’, ‘Festival of Freedom’etc. In ‘Festival of Freedom’ Bhatnagar considers “the violent storms” and “cold rainy nights” as the picture of the dream of New age on the barren land .in the poem ‘New Direction’ Bhatnagar has a renaissance spirit and addresses the common people: You are a human with the treasure of power and wisdom, have all human rights, blessings of progress, pride of insuppressible might! Further he advises them not to be fearful as the new age is advancing towards them and they “have to build a new world.” This renaissance spirit will be a great help to destroy “all ancient/forts, walls, doors and clefts.” This spirit does not end here but also is noticed in ‘Kindle the Lamp’ when Bhatnagar tries to give his strength to them:

The age needs reform New faith, concept powerful! Leave delusion Empty is your hand Concerns and Creation :

Change Tradition, Tradition, Tradition?

Strength of my arms, yours today, 120

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My head, resolute promise yours today, Wake the wounded, distressed world! In the poem’ The Poet ‘a poet is the voice of the masses. His voice is attractive and fearless. It stirs the sky by roaring and shatters the painful forts by sharp assaults. The poet is not an ordinary person but it adds new pages in history and burns more that the sun: History follows the poet always, The poet burns more that the sun! ..lives in cruel struggles of ages, Tastes the poison more than Lord Shiva. In the Poem ‘The Saboteur’ Bhatnagar’s man bubbles with the exuberance and energy and speaks:

among the masses. The poet is gifted by the authentic but sharp tone that is completely realistic and leads the way towards the clarity thought and fearless expressions. Diction is simple and clear but we sometimes are unable to understand some poems until we have no knowledge of history of our country as this volume portrait the picture of pre-independence and post-independence condition. The present volume is not localized. There are no proper names either of place or of persons in it. It presents a human experience and common psychological reaction. He presents his viewpoints as a living embodiment of well directed thoughts. The poet succeeds to originate the creative power that proposes amazing variety of poems with concrete ideas. He is by now well known for his constant efforts to produce verse which is neither complicated nor inane and devoid of meaning. The present volume will surely enlighten to the readers with new awareness. •

I won’t allow history to repeat, Don’t allow oppressors to sing a victory song, crushing down dead bodies of mute! and believes to develop the true relationship between man and man. Bhatnagar’s New Enlightened World is a English translation of his Hindi poems complied under the titles New Chetnaa or The New Awareness and Sankalp or The Resolution .Bhatnagar is a spokesman of humanistic approach which develops the feelings of being self-dependent, progressive and positive in the hearts of the people of our country. His poems have a humanistic approach and spread the message of new awakening with firm determination and firm resolution. Concerns and Creation :


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NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD [POET: MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR] — Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry has now attained a height which usually all senior and dedicated poets attain after a long and successful career but what makes Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar different from his contemporary bilingual writers is his Marxist leanings and progressive thought, which was once the cry of the age he belongs to. Dr. Mahendra’s poetry is widely published and even evaluated to a great extent. He retired in 1984 from K. R. G. PG College of Gwalior. Usually Men after retirement become lethargic and finally depressed because of no scheduled or regulated life that they led when they were in service. Dr. Bhatnagar is exception to the fact because his retired life is busier than his life in Govt. service. He has been popular both in print world and World Wide Web. He is a thorough gentleman and talented poet. According to Dr. Mukesh Sharma, “Dr. Bhatnagar has witnessed the miserable, suffering and pathetic condition of Indian common people after and before independence.” He adds, “As a faithful and sincere citizen, Dr. Bhatnagar has the courage and spirit to exhort the people of his country to fight and struggle with devil, vicious and anti-social furies.” (Foreword) The poems contained in the volume were in fact the ‘need of the hour to infuse new awareness and enthusiasm into the sad Concerns and Creation :


hearts of the Indians at that age’. The poems of the anthology exhibit the poet as nationalist and patriot who wrote for the reconstruction of the Nation. There are number of poems like ‘Transition’, ‘Morning Call’, ‘Festival of Freedom’, ‘Builders of Future’, ‘New Culture’, ‘The Poet’ and ‘Kindle the Lamp’ inspire the man to perform his duties and invokes them to perform noble actions for the Nation. Bhatnagar’s poems of this collection are the reflections of post-independence India when people were in dire need of enthusiasm into their sad hearts, which could motivate the Indians to work for the reconstruction and upliftment of the nation. The poems of the collection articulate the plight of ‘devastated social structure of the vast country’ as well as inspire the fellow citizens to perform their duties towards the nation. He motivates when he sings: Kindle the lamp with my love, today The misty world, misty directions Roaring rival winds blow, Shelter come in my * * * * Strength of my arms, your today My head, resolute promise yours today Wake the wounded, distressed world! (54) The poet welcomes the ‘new light’ and discards the ‘old frustration’ because the new challenges have risen up and ‘all opponent powers’ are ‘roaring with hot temper and anger’ and at such crucial hour awareness is very important. He says: Concerns and Creation :


The changing universe Old worn ethics No more to impose At any cost! Everywhere spreads the light, new! (82) The poems of the anthology are chiefly social political and historical in which the readers can understand the poet’s love for the underdogs, the weak and the oppressed. The book mirrors Dr. Bhatnagar’s sense of gratitude and dutifulness towards his Nation. We must take some lessons of patriotism and sincerity towards our nation from Dr. Bhatnagar’s New Enlightened World so that we may translate his dream of ‘New Enlightened World’ into reality and make this world a better place to live. The book will also be useful for the scholars who wish to feel the pulse of Nation in post-independence era. •

‘NEW ENLIGHTENED WORLD’ REVOLUTIONARY POETRY OF DR. MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR — Dr. Jitendra Arolia Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is one of the best k&nown contemporary Indian progressive poets. Bhatnagar has authored many collection of poetry in Hindi and English. He has received many awards from Madhya Bharat & Madhya Pradesh Government. His poems have translated and published in India and abroad, in foreign languages English, French, Japanese, Nepali, Urdu etc. He was born on 26 June 1926. He had an early inclination towards the literary life inspired by Hindi poets such as Shri Jagannath Prasad Milind and Shri Shivmangal Singh ‘Suman’ at the beginning of his poetic life. Since the publication of his first poetry collection ‘Taron ke Geet’ published on 1949. He is bilingual and writes easily in Hindi and English. He is also known as a progressive poet. Present bilingual book contains fifty poems & represents revolutionary ideas. His philosophical ideas exposed present and future of society and that is the most humanistic appropriate to the changing conditions of modern age. His poetry now rested on different facets of life particularly individual experiences and shocks that he got from his life situations. Dr. Bhatnagar’s poetry presents forms, genres, and styles of Indian poetry. He draws on from the beginnings of social lit-

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erature in the nineteenth century up to the present day. The first half of the book is devoted to concepts such as versification, poetic language, and tradition; the second half is organized along genre lines and examines, nature poetry, sociological experience. All poetry appears in the creative followed by literal translations. This book is considered to give readers with even smallest information of the Hindi and English language an appreciation of the brightness of Indian poetry. It will be a precious poem collection for students and teachers alike. In this book his first poem ‘Challenge’ depicts contemporary reign system, to be change in their life. The word and idea can change world. Storm has come in the devil’s reign, That brought the message of salvation of life! Change the fate of man, Change the face full of terror It’s the challenge of our organized power! Empire built on innocent dead bodies shakes, The sun of people’s might rises through darkness, Heads like rock rise, Hands like steel rise, And disarm the enemy of tranquility (‘Challenge’, Page 2) He also expressed new voice of exploited people. You can’t stop the voice of neglected people; now they also know the value of life. A new voice heard in the world today, Echoes in the dust of earth! Concerns and Creation :


The exploited- aggrieved got the meaning, The means to mislead people’s strength , are use less now ! The mute got the blessing of Saraswati Got their lovely song, the labourers! The neglected, long aged, blocked path opens The door opened to common man, and masses of the world are out! (‘Can’t Stop’, Page 10) He desires man to structure a society commendable of himself. He has regarded man as the ultimate demonstration of evolutionary strength of mind. His philosophy has given way to his style, which is straightforward but meaningful. Truth came to the fore, victorious is faith, Desired new age near and past vision disappeared, Don’t preserve any more the missed, unfilled desire, The horizon of the world reflects the new picture of man! (The New Man’ Page 16) In the race of life the poet tries for peaceful moment. In the poems as ‘Carvan of Life’ the poet seems to know and recognize some possessions. Caravan of life stays not! The momentary storms come and pass , The hair only disheveled in the wind, The undaunting steps never stagger The strength of people joined the moment, with steady steps, The caravan of life Concerns and Creation :


Never stoops, never stoops to calamities! ( ‘Caravan of Life’, Page 26) The poet has well-known in man a perpetual desire for existence which is physically powerful and says that birth and death is the ending reality but life has struggle in every position. New gentleman has a desire for tune, not for tears. New Man! I have something to talk — The talk of that numberless men, women, old, young of my class want to ask you today! The talk related to life, better than today — New, happy, lovely life! (‘The Indifferent from New Man’ , Page 28) The poet wants to new man to change the world in new ideas. The real poet, he argues, is concerned less with his reputation than with his art. The poet out look towards life has undergone a change. Surely, I believe your intention, Only the matter is : What New World will you make? I, too, have a picture of a New world of colours, I, too, have ‘labour-pains’ for changing the world! Seeing that, will you keep pace with me? Till now detached , uninvolved, moderate, far and indifferent, I kept from you! ( ‘The Indifferent from New Man’, Page 30) Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is philosopher to be concerned with the new thoughts. His social reformation experience is exConcerns and Creation :


pressed in the poem of ‘New Direction’. Deadlock everywhere / Obstructed path, Worthless concept losing relevance, Primitive traditions Standing like ‘Wall of China’! How to climb? How to cross? Speak— by the mythological morals, beliefs, dead, narrow out-dated thinking, concepts, by gone, foggy imaginations will ever win? will ever see your aim becoming true? (‘New Direction’, Page 32) In any area of imagination, an undeclared directive to ‘make it new’ consist with an equally strong imperative to hold qualities of the old. Pure recurrence is deadly; pure innovation is incoherent. To see how traditions evolve, one requires look no further than the social theater. The gale rise from the ocean shore, Unstopped marches ahead dauntless, Waves overflow with full vigour, This is the pace of the time! Men are coming out, Singing the songs in excitement, new Colourful clouds spread shadow, This is the clink of the time! Decaying building fell staggering, The venom-tree fell on earth, Old stone flows melting utterly, Concerns and Creation :


This is the stroke of the time! (‘Transition’, page 66) The poet has experience that man does not seek to build others survive joy full life. Therefore he cannot himself live blissfully. Egotistical character does not let any person live generously or gladly. Like saint Kabir , the poet gives us the teaching of love and compassion for everyone . Kindle the lamp with my love, today! The misty world , misty directions, Roaring rival winds blow, Shelter, come in my lap! Come youth, bursting anew today, Echo, the blocked voice full throated, Sing, poet, the new message of era! Decayed walls fall easily, Withered towers break easily, New creation, remove the outworn! Strength of my arms, yours today, My head, resolute promise yours today, Wake the wounded, distressed world! ( ‘Kindle The Lamp’, Page 54) He is also realizing a prisoner of life. He has optimistic mind and he will again grow in life. However unhelpful there may be a situation he will distinguish the end in a constructive way. I am imprisoned in dark cells at present, Cells — it is said — Concerns and Creation :


Where wind remains in bondage, light remains in bondage, Where spreads only the regime of stillness! But, I feel — Wind — unobstructed, Seen through my eyes Thousands lustrous celestial bodies, I hear well, My companions’ steps walking, advancing, fighting, I hear the sound of songs well and bands of expedition of my companions! (‘I Have Trust’, Page 60) The poet has expressed current men to create a culture having no meanness of holy prejudice and standing no bar of environmental limitations, words and draft. Aristotle said it best: “Society is a house; change is a tornado full of woodpeckers.” As poet Mahendra Bhatangar In the poem of ‘New Society’ : Society takes turn, As democracy arrives! The tattered framework ruins, Monarchy kisses dust! Humanity in new robes appears, Wicked tendencies disappear! Darkness disperses Annihilating, exhausted! Life filled with rays of light Life smells future bright! The full spirited caravan moves Concerns and Creation :


Powerful, united, great! The sand like hostilities, diffuse The path of life easy and smooth! The steady expansion of progress grows and shines like the lightning boundless! (‘New Society’, Page 64) He has observed the development of a new age in sure angle of this world. The poet has wished an immense modify in human being existence and that will be the start of a new age an age of liberty. He has in progress emotion the attendance of such motive among contemporary society. The strong inspiration rises from the broken mound of the down-trodden! Fancy, the firm truth will turn to reality! With a new pace each particle of the world will get current of strong power of new life, new youth, new blood! The New Era is not merely a burning sun, access goes beyond — The large dense fearful ever-green frenzied forests , Beneath the earth, Bottomless water, Sun has no control, up to there New Era’s thoughts have their influence of unceasing conflict! (‘The New Age’, Page 72, 74) The sky smiles at the dawn of the first ray! Flowers of new life bloom, Concerns and Creation :


Thrilling and swaying to and fro, everywhere, Met together with the kiss! Mountain of darkness turned to dust, The fresh wind flows pauseless on earth! Steps rise together! Steps fall together! The sky shines the beauty of the new morn! The sky glimmers bright! ( ‘Change of Era’, Page 84) “The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot derive its poetry from the past, but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself, before it has shed all superstitious belief in the past. Earlier revolutions needed to remember previous moments in world history y in order to numb themselves with regard to their own content. The revolution of the nineteenth century must let the dead bury the dead in order to arrive at its own content. There, the phrase exceeded the content. Here the content exceeds the phrase.”

Karl Marx published these sentences in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte to explain the failure of the 1848 revolution in France. As poet Mahendra Bhatnagar has also expected to change and reform there corrupted society by poem. ‘The Poet’ in this poem he explores our civilization and the construction of culture, in particular as how it impacts us as public. Poets can change the world. Time will change with the voice of poet’s life, Echo of that voice will come from home to home! Poet’s voice is the voice of the masses, Concerns and Creation :


His voice is attractive and fearless! Mighty kingdoms turned by it, Unjust exploiters frighten! On his invocation, stoop, exploited-aggrieved Gather with new strength! UNRAVELLING HUMANISM IN THE POEMS OF MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR

They stir the sky by roaring, Shatter the painful forts by sharp assaults! History follows the poet always, The poet burns more than the sun! (‘The Poet’, Page 104)

- R. Karthikeyan * & G. Baskaran **

In this poetry collection all poems teaches us reformation of the society and change the world. He wants man to have self confidence and fight against darkness. Man’s strength, power, tolerance, fellow-feeling and other values that make him a true man and enable him to create a society worthy of him. At times, the poet goes publicly touching, accurate and imaginative. Each poem has a separate identity and carries amazing related to modern world. In poetry, as in any other kind of speech, his specific words expose an enormous quantity about us. All languages are rich enough to offer multiple ways of expressing the same sentiment. Although we can say that the present book revolutionary poetry. It is a precious poem collection for researchers and teachers alike. •

Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal human qualities, particularly rationality, without resorting to the supernatural or alleged divine authority from religious texts. Humanism can be considered as a process by which truth and morality is sought through human investigation and as such views on morals can change when new knowledge and information is discovered. Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of the human condition, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial. Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality. The subject "Humanism" has been treated by various writers from theological, philosophical and historical standpoints. It

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finds a place in sociology and aesthetics. Despite being discussed in various aspects, it is very difficult to find a definition for this word. This paper tries to bring out the humanistic aspects that are present in the poems of Bhatnagar. "The poetry of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar represent heterogeneous ideas. We do not get series of poems on any particular theme, faculty of knowledge, nature, love or the like. … When we analyze the poems at a finer level certain philosophy of life gets framed in the current of our thought and that is the most humanistic idea suitable to the changing circumstances of modern age" says Dr. Bairagi Charan Dwivedy in his book Living Through Challenges – A study of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry.( 5) In one of his interviews, Bhatnagar says that "My utmost effort in the humanism is that I have tried to re-establish the broken pillars of progressive humanism. I have tried to widen the frontiers of my imagination in the field of human sympathies as well as to cover all feelings and pains of common men, women and children of modern society within the orbit of my poetry. Besides, my special focus on the modern middle and lower classes and the national and humanistic approach towards the decadence of human civilization and its values has made me more courageous and cosmopolitan in this regard." In the poem, "In the Circlip of Terror", the poet paints the pathetic condition of our country and thereby brings out the cunningness of people. He says that our country is caught in the trap of clever and cunning gangs and stuck in the quagmire of loathsome and appalling casteism. Concerns and Creation :


It’s caught in the snares of clever and cunning gangs; is stuck in the quagmire of vile bigotry and despicable caste-ism. It is grappling with a menacing savagery. People of the present generation are totally obsessed with the religion. The poet ridicules the man kind for its excessive obsession in the name of religion and condemns the horrible viciousness that prevails in the society. He goes on to say that manslaughter is taking place in the name of religion. In the modern world what is this obsession in the name of religion? In the civilized states gruesome brutality prevails, there is manslaughter everywhere! (“The Bigots") The poet, as a non-believer himself, imagines a world with full of atheists but lovable people. In such a scenario, the poet is bewildered by the fact that nobody will kill or hate anybody in the name of religion or caste. He expects the world to be a place where all treacherous people will belong to one brotherhood. How nice would it be Concerns and Creation :


when this world would be inhabited by only agnostics but loving people! … How astonishing would that be! Who will kill whom? Who will hate? … All perfidious persons would then belong to one brotherhood. (" Wishfulness") With an avowed object of saving the humanity, the poet wants to live in a society where caste and religion do not find a place. He further says that there won’t be any necessity to pierce our neighbours with bullets and become more cruel and savage. He longs for someone to undo the brand name of dividing human beings in the name of religion, caste, state, language, etc. He wants to create "our society" for the sake of humanity where religion, caste and geographical boundaries do not exist. His intention of forming "our society" is exemplary and it is a personification of his "global outlook". According to the poet, languages and scripts are to be considered as accomplishments of human intellect and should not be used a mean to divide them. He makes a vociferous but an earnest appeal to men of present generation not to be a mute spectator and fence sitters against the atrocities that are committed in the name of religion and caste: We, for upholding one such thinking Concerns and Creation :

shed copious human blood, riddle with bullets our neighbours; we become savage, more fiendish than the man eater carnivores; … Who will undo this brand name and annihilate this polluted world? Modern thinkers come, draw near us and for the sake of humanity let us create our society having no religion and no caste, and eradicate geographical boundaries of nations (" Invoking Modern Men") To the poet, the present generation people cannot be termed as human and the ruthless behavior of human beings does not entitle him/ her to call him as human. He makes his intentions very clear by saying that he is waiting for an age where a human will simply be called human. There is no separate identify is needed for humans in the name of country, religion, caste, sub-caste, language, dialect, colour, race etc ., as everyone of us belong to one category "Humans". He wants to form a world society where human beings are addressed and treated as Human beings. According to the poet, these factors are holding the human beings apart and they never permit human beings to come together. In a mood to discard the prophets who have descended on earth so far, he yearns for a new seraph, prophet, archangel to incarnate and establish a human religion. When will that age come


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when a human will simply be called the human? … When will the human be addressed as a human being? (" The Other Age")

all round permeable social equity! ("Dictum")

Equality is what the human beings wanted for so many ages. Let equality be set up among human as it does not exist now. The poet believes that equality can be maintained if the world is cleansed of dirty systems in the name of castes and religion. Discrimination in the name of religion and caste obstructs the unity among people. By way of germinating love and care, the poet wants to destroy the orthodox and unreasonable social systems. It is necessary for the mankind to be saved from the wicked, crooked and fanatic fundamentalists. He concludes the poem "Dictum" with an earnest wish of achieving prosperity, economic equality and all round permeable social equity.

dead bodies of the innocent are lying on the heath and fields; mutilated bodies lie scattered on the roads. (‘Victor Ludorum") The theme "Terrorism" visits the poems of the poet more frequently. In the poem ‘Terror Struck", the poet explains the aftermath of a terrorist strike. He picturizes the panic and profound silence that follows the terror strike. Even the animals were not spared of these senseless activity. He terms the people who unleash the terror activities as "brutal barbarians’. Terrorism has taken toll of innocent people greedily. One cannot expect anything other than these horrified pictures of terror. The poet says that we have become mute spectator of this brutalized age. The inability of people to control or curb the menace of terrorism is very much expressed by the poet by terming we people as "silent spectators"

May equality among humans be set up, the equality wanted and wished for since ages! … Human recognition should not be due to the states and nations, languages and dresses. … Among the mankind let there be prosperity, economic equality, Concerns and Creation :

The poet unequivocally condemns the barbaric act of inhuman people who kill innocent people in the name of religion. In the poem "Victor Ludorum", he expresses his anguish and mourns for the blood soaked and mutilated dead bodies scattered on the roads. Innocent relatives of victims stand dumb and helpless. After piercing the bodies of innocent people with bullets and bombs, the brutal killer celebrates the brutality in prayer hall. The poet is not able to digest the barbaric act of mindless people in the name of religion and God.

It seems 142

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Fanatics do not have religion and their rational thinking is nullified by the inflammatory speeches made by their religious leaders. Independent thinking is what lacking today. People behave like goats and sheep that follow their leader blindly. They move around their huts aimlessly. The poet is terrified by this movement which portends the presence of a man-eater (Terrorist).

the brutal barbarians have again killed innocent people rapaciously, have mercilessly done to death nightly. ("Terror Struck") The poet believes that nobody else will harm human beings. It is ‘we’ responsible for undoing ourselves. Despite doing harm to others, we do not feel ashamed of our deeds. The poet reasons that religion does not permit us to be ashamed of our brutal activities but in turn it encourages us to incite violence. The poet fixes blames on a parochial, uncivil, barbaric mania of religion that controls the heart and minds of perpetrators. He is of the opinion that religion encourages us to discard human attributes. It injects the venom into our brains to dehumanize ourselves and obliterate fellow human beings. We ourselves are undoing ourselves. How strange that we do not feel the pain …. We are bursting hand grenades on ourselves. …. We ourselves are discarding human attributes, have dehumanized ourselves and roar to annihilate our own clan! ("Self-destruction") Concerns and Creation :

The noise that rumbles here, there: has any man-eater arrived? (People) The poet is very cautious and asks every one of us to be vigilant as fear rules the world. Humanity has taken the back seat and we must bear the burden till the man is free from confinement. He is bold in his call to fight death and advises not to stop till the oppressor of humanity shy away and disintegrate. Fear frowns everywhere, hurt humanity is wailing, bear the brunt till organized protest ensue! … Fight death, feel not tired March unto the end, stop not till the tormenters cower and crumble! (Remain Watchful) The poet is optimistic in expressing his views that the result of century old struggle against tyranny and oppression will


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pave way to establish one caste – that is the ‘human’ caste, our family is one i.e. human love and the creed of all human beings one that is humanity. The end result of the centuries old struggle and common thinking is that: We will have one caste – human Our family is one – human love descending from Manu-Shraddha our creed is one – humanity. (Whole World a Family)

talks tough while he writes about terrorism, which he considers as the most potent and powerful destroyer of humanity. He is very apprehensive that humanity is at the verge of total destruction and something has to be done urgently to save the humanity. Self-realization is what needed at this hour to create a new age and world where people can live in harmony and unison. Even though the present condition of the world is not rosy, we have every reasons to believe that his daring vision will come true in near future. •

"His love is for mankind, for spirit, for progress, not for dreams. His vow is for a regeneration of the individual, the society" proclaims the critic Bairagi Charan Dwivedy. The poet envisages a world where all human beings are treated equally where equality should be the guiding principle. He wants to see every man thriving excellently and live in harmony with others. He appeals to all people to have a dream of establishing a unipolar society where human beings live in harmony with others. This is evident from the following lines.

1. Bhatnagar, Mahendra, Trans. Kedar Nath Sharma / Poems for a Better world"/ Lokvani Prakashan, New Delhi / 2005. 2. Dwivedy, Bairagi Charan/ Living Through Challenges – A study of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry / Sanjay Prakashan, New Delhi / 2006

We can find the concern for humanity in most of the poems of Dr. Bhatnagar. He bothers much about human beings rather than spiritual things. Many of his poems are centred on the problems and turmoil faced by ordinary human beings. He 146


Equality of man Had always been our guiding principle, Our dream to see every man Thriving excellently. (Realistic Ideal)

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also thought so. But in eastern countries, from eons of time, death has been romanticized and is the center of Indian philosophy. The Upanishads are completely drenched in the concept of death which is not an end of life but a gateway to redemption from the worldly allurements (Maya).

DEATH BEYOND THE BORDERS OF DESPONDENCY IN THE POETRY OF D. C. CHAMBIAL AND MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR — Kalpna Rajput The weariest and most loathed worldly life That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment Can lay on nature, is a paradise To what we fear of death. (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, III, I)(Davidoff 58) Death, the inevitable phenomena of human life has always been considered mortals’unbiased-enemy and has always fascinated and puzzled man. In Western countries, (leaving few poets) it is merely biological phenomena which cannot leave anyone destitute of it as the body is not more than a machine that has to perish someday. Some great philosophers and poets have variously pondered over it. Aristotle considered it as an essential stage to reach God, Aeschylus thought it to be the cruelest point of pain, Schopenhauer thinks it as something divine, for Democritus, a wholly biographical evolution and Robert browning, George Eliot and George Meredith Concerns and Creation :


In India, death has not been so defined;Yogis and saints observed penance on Himalayas for ages to merge themselves in the supreme soul (God) and several of them themselves got Samadhi when they found themselves worth doing so. Hindu scriptures also consider death as the threshold to enter a better world according to the previous Karma of man.The Bhagavad-Gita and the Ramayana also consider soul imperishable.Jayram V states: Death is a temporary cessation of physical activity, as a necessary means of recycling resources and energy and an opportunity for Jiva(that part which incarnates) to reenergize itself, review its program and policies and plan for the next phase of life. Each life experience on earth and each incarnation of soul offers the Jiva an opportunity to learn and overcome its inconsistencies and blemishes so that it can become the whole.(V) Poets in India, whether writing in Hindi or English also inherited the same mystic tradition, folk tradition or the Vedic system of thought. Poets like Tagore, Aurobindo, Sarojini Naidu, A. K. Ramanujan, O. P. Bhatnagar, D. C. Chambial and NiranjanMohanty have given ample room to death wrapped in spirituality. For them, death is not a bare biographical phenomena, it is the liberation of man from worldly pains, an unseen world which never shines with the perceptional glory of the material world. NiranjanMohanty, after brooding over Indian myth on death rightly remarks: Concerns and Creation : 149

Literature uses these myths and presents death as something horrible, gloomy, darksome and scornfully devilish. But yet sometimes it is an escape from the sorrow, suffering, guilt, decay and decrepitude. For those who are optimistic, it is another world that redeems man and paves clear the way to immortality.(Mohanty 104) In this paper, the center of analysis is optimistic vision of death in the poetry of D. C. Chambial and MahendraBhatnagar. Both the poets have not treated death as a stranger but it is a messenger of God and a guest who is being waited from a long time. D. C. Chambial and MahendraBhatnagar have set aside the horrible, threatening and insecure visage of death and ecstasy to life in the fullest exposition of the principle of surrender to death. These poets do not see death as the destructor of human life but they feel devotion, humbleness and pure emotions for death which death cannot eliminate from man’s life. D. C. Chambial considers the life of man as immaterial as dust but death also reminds man his real existence and his transitoriness. In the poem ‘Dust to Man’, Chambial figures the before and after of man’s life on earth. In the poem, ‘dust’ sarcastically states the ‘proud man’: You’re me And again shall be me.” (Collected Poems 13) So, man is made of dust and finally he will again turn into dust and ‘again lay down/on the dusty path/for the tramplers/ and still be the witness/to the ever mutatine’. (Collected PoConcerns and Creation :


ems 14)His pride along with his body turns into ashes but the soul still witnesses all the happenings and man’s pride trampled by coming generations.MahendraBhatnagar also sees death as mutation of man’s body unto dust. In the poem ‘A Blow’, death is unavoidable, it will come ‘late or soon’ and all mortals will die one day and turn into ashes. He says: Early or late All In eternal sleep have to fall Dust unto dust! O unfortunate! Then, why to weep? (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 92) All the ‘battering days’ of man’s life tease him only till he is living a mortallife. When he leaves the gross body: the worldly cares, worries, hopes and despairs lose their existence. D. C. Chambial in the poem ‘Beautiful Beyond’ finds that death is not a saddening accident but a world, a ‘beautiful’ world, an El Dorado which each human being aspires to have. He says: A beautiful home exists beyond; Without roof and without floor. Even without the wall around Not to say of window and door. (Collected Poems 14) Unlike Shakespeare, Chambial also feels that man is only an actor acting on the stage of life for a certain time and when he plays assigned part, he leaves the stage and comes back into his real life. Concerns and Creation :


death when he says that only because of death man came out of illusion and entered into the world of reality. Death gave significance to love and turned the human beings into the harbinger of human values. He says:

Before coming, we have all lived. Shall’ve again to go to live there When our part is fully played After the short sojourn. (Collected Poems 15) Death is no more a frightening object because after dying where the man reaches, no trace of ‘Sun fire’, ‘rains’, ‘drought’ and ‘foggy freezing chill’ follow him. Death never leaves the man in lurch, rather take him too far from’ all the hungers and all the greed’s’ and leave him on a land where ‘serene satisfaction, sans deeds/ writ large on every face’. (15) MahendraBhatnagar is grateful to death because it is death that gives life the real meaning and purpose and it is death that makes “semblance between life and death”. Beauty of life also lies in death and all adornments i.e. Art, efficiency, power, mystery and hope are the beauteous outcome of death. So, Bhatnagar says that death must be acceptable to each and every human being without any grudge: Indubiously Transience, Death element/feeling Minute by minute death-tension Are acceptable, Gratitude To death Life’s gratitude! (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 2) In another poem ‘Gratitude Again’ of the collection Life Perception: Death Perception, he is exceptionally gratuitous to Concerns and Creation :


Death’s made life Very beautiful, Transformed this world, In fact, Into a pleasant heaven, We learnt The meaning of love, Only then True’s true, Transformed man Into higher beings Than immortal god! (4) Chambial gives a pre-vision of his own death in the poem ‘On My Death’ that how people will come and pass their judgments on his whole life in a single moment ‘free frank, and fair/that the whole of life/could not buy’. (Collected Poems 21) According to him, death is so kind and liberal to him that without taking any price, it opens all the hollowness of life the moment when breath takes its flight. He says humorously: Death buys for me Without any price A moment of hearty laugh, A hearty laugh. Till now Sank and swam In a pool of tears.(21) Concerns and Creation :


Similarly, ‘Proclamation’ ofMahendraBhatnagar also echoes the same idea when the poet, Bhatnagar says: ‘Tell/the world/now/MahendraBhatnagar sleeps!/sleeps in an eternal sleep’. (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 98)When the poet visions that death makes all the charms and magics of life meaningless and man even has no right on his own life, he becomes stoic and merrily prepares to give up every relation with beautiful home and beautiful illusory world and wishes to mingle in the soil out of which his body emerged. He says: I sleep on the confortable Soil-bed! I lose my identity By fusing with the particles Of this soil! As I have accepted life. Likewise O death I do accept you! (100-103) For D. C. Chambial, death is a ‘friendly guest’ who comes on the threshold of a friend to wipe away all the cares and miseries. His poem ‘A Friendly Guest’ bears the same idea: A friendly guest Smites unannounced Minuses miseries, Careless the wounds And escorts on Eternal voyage; Concerns and Creation :

Death is a true judge and humble friend who in a wink invisibly removes all ethereal cares and leaves behind only some memories and ‘a bag of ashes/hung from a peg-‘ (Collected Poems 122) and the latter is the real essence of man’s transitory sojourn on this earth which is fully drenched in many proud orthodoxies.Chambial calls death his ‘friendly guest’ while Bhatnagar calls it fairy who beautifully allures man to its self like an agile girl playing tricks without any information and the poet also becomes ready to enjoy the childish trick of fairy death. For others, death is the closing chapter of the book of life but for Bhatnagar, it is the time of getting totality. He says beautifully: Of the book of life Though art the end! Therefore For me Though art the good news Of totality! Come O death, come I’m ready! Awaiting you I’ve bedecked myself, I’m ready! (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 78) In the poem ‘Altar’, Chambial addresses life as an altar, where every human being according to his meritsand demerits gets the rewards but still he is not satisfied and keeps on running the rat race behind material gains. When he does not get ample reward he grumbles to God to do the things in right proportion, performs ‘rituals’ but unfortunately still remains


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unquenched and calls himself the ‘victim of fate’ so in such time of blackout, death is the only light that brings him out of the abysmal darkness. In another poem ‘A Wish’, Chambial philosophizes death and wishes to come out of all ‘murky lanes’, ‘by-lanes’, rivers growing ‘jealous,’ thundering and roaring and the world of eighty four lakh yonees to the world ‘great beyond’ where the wasteland of worldly cares, desires and aspiration may not reach. He says:

And one day All at once Make me accompany you To the land of the death! Just Taunting and teasing! (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 80)

Let us, you and I, Build a bridge to reach The Great Beyond, Leave behind the desert That surrounds us. This is a barren land Scattered with carcasses. (Collected Poems 135-136)

In ‘Jungle of Hyenas’, D.C.Chambial brings to light man’s loose temper and his yearnings for good each moment. For him, ‘anger is death which swallows half of man’s life and like phoenix, each day his anger raises. He always longs for ‘melody’ but in turn finds only ‘moans and cries’ which make him more shattered. The pang of unfulfilled desire is never ending, so the poet feels that death is the best reward for the people living such a hellish life and says:

Likewise, in the poem ‘A Request’ Bhatnagar also beseeches death to take him to his world. This time, he sees death in the form of a lady and wishes the befriend her. His dialogues with death give the impression of love talking between a lover and his beloved. He requests death to bring him to her abode. He invites her thus:

fall and sink Into a river full of mud Without redemption. Where man’s machinations Munch man into oblivion, Death is the best reward For one living in inferno. (Collected Poems 150)

Come Be my comrade! If not a cohabiter Be my neighbor! He also plays hide and seek with death and in merriment he wishes to leave the murky world behind and accompany death. So he says: Concerns and Creation :


MahendraBhatnagar wishes to hug death to expel the myth of Lord Yama, heaven and hell. He calls death to take him to her worldso that he can unite the people living in hell for revolt against the reign of Yama and Chitragupt.In ‘An Invitation’, he says: Concerns and Creation :


I don’t acknowledge Any Chitragupt Any Yama, I’ll challenge them! Just, let mw jump Into let mw mingle With the huge crowd of Hell-denizens! (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 74) In his philosophic undertone, Chambial considersend of life not really an end of life but a beginning to live another life quite different from the previous one and this cycle of life and death keeps on moving till one gets emancipation. He says beautifully: End, The beginning. One continues to race in maze, Ignorant about exit From this chakravyuha, Till the Light Leads out of dark And accompanies To regain the paradise lost. (Collected Poems 153) MahendraBhatnagar also seems echoing the same idea. In ‘The Wheel of Death’, he says that the wheel of death is very cruel in which ‘lifeless’ and ‘living’ both keep on ‘grinding and changing’ and even the natural calamities also accelerate this wheel. He says: Concerns and Creation :


Invisibly Silently Continuously moves This wheel of death Uninterrupted… unchanged! (Death-Perception: Life-Perception 6) So, with regards to death, the poetry of D. C. Chambial and MahendraBhatnagar sounds enjoying the somber clouds that succeed in maintaining the optimism and surrender before the Almighty. They have equalized both metaphysical and metaphorical levels of thoughts. To Bhatnagar,death comes from the bushes to sooth and pacify man. His feelings for death are drenched in something other than the feeling of sadness, pity, pathos and sense of loss. Apart from horrified pessimism of death, his poetry teaches to bow head before the final judgment with pure feelings of catharsis and not of despair and dolorousness. Anita Myles writes: “Bhatnagar… visualizes that the shackles of death ultimately lead to the final liberation of the soul, and hence instead of being terrorized by the idea of death we must accept it as essential part of human existence.” (Myles 97)While on the other, the poetry of D. C. Chambial is suffused with philosophical speculations of death. He does not talk about death directly but through apt images and symbols, he figures death in beautiful form and the reader is spell bound to feel the ‘beautiful beyond.’ His poems seek to raise death from despair to philosophic strength that stables the variations of thoughts about death. To conclude, both D. C. Chambial and MahendraBhatnagar have successfully dealt with truth about life, death and mystic world. Both the poets have also interpreted the earth as a kind of hell where human beings are torturedand crucified by Concerns and Creation :


inequality, exploitation, penury, and violence. On physical and mental levels, they live in constant fear of death and they die each passing day before their actual pyre is prepared. Both the poets are far from the ‘three storied geography’ of heaven, earth and hell and feel more relaxed in the lap of death gazing the way to emancipation. •


• — DR. Sunil Sharma

Works Cited [1] Bhatnagar, Dr. Mahendra. Death-Perception: Life-Perception. New Delhi: Indian Publishers Distributors, 2002.

[2] Chambial, D.C. Collected Poems . Maranda: Poetcrit Publications, 2004. [3] Davidoff, Henry. The Pocket Book of Quotations . New York: A cardinal Edition, 1951. [4] Mohanty, Niranjan. "From Romance to Rituals: A Study of the Treatment of Death in Indian Poetry in English'." Rizvi, S.N.A. Love and Death in Indian Poetry in English. New Delhi: Doaba House, 1989. [5] Myles, Anita. "Mahendra Bhatnagar': A Poet of Optimism and Certitude." Points of View (2005). [6] V, Jairam. Hinduism and Death. n.d. Tuesday August 2010 <>. Concerns and Creation :


Mahendra Bhatnagar--- one of the senior most and respected surviving poets of Hindi and English, also widely translated into the rich and complex language of Rimbaud and Valery, i.e. French--- has a quality that marks great poetry in every human era---empathy. Wordsworth could relate to the banished of the classical poetic landscape easily and in a revolutionary manner that finally led to the fragrant emergence of the fresheyed romanticism in English literature and the ultimate eclipse of the courtly tales that were of interest to few. This deep humanistic concern for the marginalized of the cruel system--as is the case with the restive romantics--- is the hallmark of his gentle oeuvre that falls like a cascading rain singing a joyous song in the open meadows of England or of the Indian plains. His sonorous voice is like that only. It sooths like the morning ragas. This multi-faceted poet from Gwalior---the enduring city of ancient forts, twisted lanes and seat erstwhile of royalty---has extensively travelled in the north of India and seen the degrading poverty, exploitation, superstition and fatalism of the toiling masses from close quarters---enough material for a lifetime of poetry. The careful and critical observations have all crystallized in the finer poems in Hindi Concerns and Creation :


and English---very much like the finely-wrought Swarovski Crystals that inspire a sense of awe by their delicacy and intricate craftsmanship. The Forty Poems and other famous collections catch the poet---looking like some Hebrew prophet in his grey beard, penetrating gaze and a wide smooth forehead---at his euphoric best. There are poems that celebrate the joy; there are poems that convey saddest thoughts; the mélange of both in others; they beautifully reflect the majesty, changing colours, depth and breadth of a swollen Ganga or Brahamputra on a late August afternoon, under the cloudy skies promising more rains, for a practising vocalist or instrumentalist getting ready for an open-air performance, before the temple gods. The entire thing is sacred for him. Bhatnagar wants to usher in refreshing change in the oxygenstarved social formation that denies basic humanity and dignity to a majority of working persons and grants aphrodisiac power to the elite. The change is to be effected via the written mode. He believes in the efficacy of Word. His poetry is potent weapon in his deft broad hands. He does not describe the status quo effeminately through anemic words or private idioms but subtly critiques this crushing system and hints of the possibility of inevitable change due to the dialectical, progressive nature of history, through a searing verbal syntax. In his unique writing universe, Mahatma Gandhi and Karl Marx meet for a rare dialogue and produce a cultural synthesis noted for the underlying moral commitment and red-hot passion for the librating truths. He takes the best features of both the philosophies that have changed the destinies of many nations and of millions of peoples so far, sans any of their limiting orthodoxies. This great intellectual amalgamation is the bedrock of his evolving worldview and energy of his creative writings. He is red among the Gandhians and a Concerns and Creation :


Gandhian among the reds. Premchand and Tagore, along with other stalwarts, irrigate his soul seeking answers to certain fundamental questions about the nature of world and life itself. His lucid words have a unique vigor and vitality of their own. The vividness is stunning. It is infectious, his simple writing--like the laughter of a prancing happy child seeing the rainbow for the first time. You feel charged up and delighted by the kid’s enthusiasm and joy. His style delivers identically the same pure existential delight. That itself is a job that guarantees him a permanent place in the pantheon of Indian writers. He is not a poet of one decade or one generation. He is a poet of all times---simply because he talks of things that affect one- thirds of humankind and such poets that mirror macro issues can never fade with the ebbing tides. These talented prolific liberal poets are like the seated Colossal Zeus Statue of Pheidias that faces the future calmly, his ivory turned back on the past, while forever rooted in the present moment: suggesting a relevance, an unbroken temporal/ spatial continuum that art always is for the viewers of both to-day and to-morrow, and, of the lapsed past. At 85, he continues to be positive, hopeful, fertile and critical in his critiques of the changing social order of his country. He believes things will change one day---in favour of the downtrodden and the marginalized of this earth. The eternal optimist in him is right--the recent political developments in Egypt and Tunisia and Yemen are pointers to this eternal fact that ultimately it is the people power that counts and serious poetry articulates these democratic aspirations so well. •

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Q.1- As you hail from a family of an educationist, undoubtedly, your grooming manifests in your writings, would you tell something about your clan of learned people and the environ around you of your infant days? I saw this beautiful planet ‘Earth’ first on 26th June 1926 at Jhansi; a historical town of great martyr Queen of Jhansi, Smt. Laxmibai; at my maternal grandfather’s residence.

LITERARY LEGEND SPEAKS [MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR] Interview : By Anil Kumar Sharma [Editor : ‘Contemporary Vibes’, Chandigrah]

Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar — a living literary legend — a prolific perennial source of creative cascades in his unique style-revered and adored all over the world — especially across national literatures and scholars especially academia, has been too kind enough to give a detailed interview to — Anil K. Sharma — to reveal the intricacies of the complex journey of life spanning more than Eight decades wherein from his childhood to the youthful days to the evening of life, a spectrum of cherished memorabilia of longings, struggles, suffocations — all mixed together in the human journey streaked with hurdles, handicaps and hard realism coupled with idealism, realism, lamentations and struggling spirits, — all inflaming the torch of literature in the inequitable world of ruthless socio-economic disparities — present a scenario of the past, present and future. The timeless conversation shall prove to be eternal in its ethos for research scholars and lovers of literature as a light house to anchor the shores. EXCERPTS : Concerns and Creation :


My father late Sh. Raghunandan Lal Bhatnagar (1900-1959) was a renowned educationist of Gwalior State. He was a sportsman, a boy-scout and an Aryasamajist. My mother late Smt. Gopal Devi Bhatnagar (1902-1977) was a religious minded woman. I have three brothers and two sisters. I was married on 12 May 1952 (Sudha Rani Bhatnagar) and have three sons — a Doctor, a Bank Branch Manager & a famous Artiste (a light-music Singer) I received my primary education at Jhansi, Morar-Gwalior, and Sabalgarh-Morena. Got higher education in the colleges of Gwalior state viz. Victoria College, Gwalior & Madhav College, Ujjain. Syt. Atalbihari Vajpai (a Hindi poet & later Ex. Prime Minister of India) was my college-fellow in Victoria College, Gwalior. I got bachelor degree in 1945 (Agra University) and post-graduate degree in Hindi Literature in 10948 (Nagpur University) and Doctorate Degree on the novels of Premchand in 1957 (Nagpur University). Q. 2- Do you still remember the days of your college and the reminiscences of the teacher-taught relationships and bondings? The indelible impact of their teaching and shaping of your persona? Concerns and Creation :


During the span of my education in schools and colleges, my teachers were genuinely devoted to teaching. I was influenced very much by them; especially Mr. F. G. Pearce & Sh. Shivmangal Singh ‘Suman’. I remember them even today. I worked in manifold capacities viz. as Member (in Boards, Councils, Selection Committees. One of the judges in several Award Committees etc.) Chairman, Specialist in Research Institutions, Academic Committees & Literary organizations. I retired as Professor on 1 July 1984. After retirement I worked on a U.G.C. major research project on The Stories of Premchand & also worked as Professor in ‘Indira Gandhi National Open University’ (Centre : Jiwaji University).

epic written by a famous Hindi poet Tulsidas) from my mother. My father also used to utter Vedic Hymns daily in morning and evening; which attracted me very much. This environment attracted me towards poetry and music. Afterwards when I joined school, I came in contact with several Hindi poets of curriculum. An urge of writing such poems used to generate in me. Grotesque rhyming of metrical compositions astonished me very much. During this period, I heard Kavi-sammelans and Mushairas (poets’ meet / presentation of poetic art) as well. Seeing the applause of the poets by the public, I also felt to earn literary fame likewise. Thus, I also began writing grotesque type poetry and used to relate to my elder sister; who used to laugh loudly while listening them. Now, there is no existence of these co-called elementary poems.

My experience of working in academic institutions is bitter. There is a lot of corruption in universities. Not only clerks but Heads, Officers, Members of Syndicate, Vice-Chancellors, and boy-lecturers (regarding counterfeit research works) also are indulged in malpractices (dishonest use of position for personal gains). In my educational career I was forced to resist them and thus suffered in different ways and in different spheres.

Of course first, I began (1941) poetry writing in Hindi. Poetry writing in English and translating my own poems in English began from 1950. These poems were published in ‘Hindi Review’ — a prestigious literary monthly magazine in English, published by ‘Nagri Pracharni Sabha’, Varanasi. Poems were published in several other magazines also viz. ‘Literary HalfYearly’ (Mysore), ‘The Contemporary Indian Literature’ (New Delhi), ‘Macron’ (Hubli), ‘Dhara’ (Delhi) etc. My first poem in Hindi was published in ‘Vishal Bharat’ — a literary monthly magazine of repute, published from Calcutta and first collection of poems ‘Taron Ke Geet’ ( Poems on Stars) in 1949.

Q. 4- Besides the teaching profession, how did you begin to write — was it a sort of giving outlet to your pent of sentiments of righteousness?

Q. 5- Who inspired you the most amongst the icons of Indian culture and literature — because one cannot exist in isolation, what have you to say?

In childhood, I used to listen to Shreeramcharitmanas ( an

Like others, a few poets and thinkers also inspired me. In the

Q. 3- How did you perceive the odds in the teaching profession; the struggles against the malpractices and corruption all around in academics?

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Concerns and Creation :


beginning, I was impressed and inspired by Ravindra Nath Tagore and Premchand. Compassion of Gautam Buddha, progressive thoughts and moral values of Mahatma Gandhi and Vivekanand, and economic aspect of Karl Marx influenced me very much. These thinkers shaped my mental horizon and practical life. My actions and writings are still governed by them. Kabir, Tulsidas, Biharilal, Pant, Nirala, Bachchan, Dinkar, Milind] Suman etc are my favourite Hindi poets. Q. 6- You must have seen turbulent times during your student life as the freedom struggle was at its climax, did you participate in one way or the other, was there some sort of impression left on your mental screen? During my student’s life I was very active in all spheres. It was pre-independence time. The countrymen were fighting for their independence under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose. My father was a government servant; hence even family members were not allowed to join the National Independence movement. But hiding myself from my father I used to take part in students’ processions; against British rule in 1942 (‘Quit India Movement’). But I escaped every time from the eyes of police and CID. I took part in ‘Prabhat Pherees’ and in anti-gamesters processions also (1944-45) I wrote fiery poems against exploitations by foreign rulers and Raja-Maharajas of Indian States. I wrote poems on Gandhi Ji and ‘Jai Hind’ militants.

Q. 7- Please tell us something about your literary activities as a social activist. Yes, my main field was literary. I organized literary societies and associations in each and every town in which I lived. My working area remained Bundelkhand, Chambal region and specially Malwa (Ujjain, Dewas, Dhar, Indore, Mhow, Mandsaur). At present I am residing in my home town Gwalior. I took part in several literary seminars organized either in my town or nearby. I participated as a representative member of Madhya-Bharat region in the seminar organized by ‘Sahitya Akademi’, New Delhi, in Indore on ‘Lenin Centenary Celebrations’ (1970). Q. 8- why did you choose the teaching profession? Was there something special about the profession or you had a passion for teaching and writing? After my graduation (1945) I was forced to do service; because the economic condition of my family was very weak. I became a Geography-Hindi teacher in Model High School, Ujjain (1945-46). Afterwards I joined the Gwalior State Government Service (continued in Madhya-Bharat & Madhya-Pradesh States) and served in several educational institutions. In every school and college I had to work hard regarding extracurricular activities and other administrative assignments given by the Principals or by the Universities. Writing was never my occupation. I wrote only when I was strongly inspired at personal emotional level or due to inevitable socialeconomic-political circumstances. Q.9 - Do you have some classics in your mind which

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influenced you and guided the course of your writings? As far as the classical literature and writers are concerned, this is my weakness. I have no background of Sanskrit and my English is not so strong; so that I may read and understand their eminent classics in their right context. Several times I tried to read classic works but never engrossed in them. They did not inspire me. Thus, I never completely and thoroughly read them in my life. I do not say that all classics are irrelevant today. Of course, I used to read their translated versions in Hindi; whenever I got an opportunity. Really, I am interested in new current literary works; rather than in intellectual exercise or in reading mythological epics. I never inspired to become a literary intellectual giant. It is not in my nature and against my temperament. I always wanted to remain natural, easy going and simple. Q.10 - You seem to be a rationale in approach, but do you express your ardent feelings in your writings? I do not believe in any sort of ritual and style. They all are testimony of human backwardness. Ritual ceremonies are the creation of a particular class of the society only to obtain its selfish ends. This class deceives people having trust in God. This class has its very deep roots in each community. Priests, bishops, maulwi-mulla etc are befooling innocent people daily in the name f worship or so called emancipation. They discarded religion. In fact humanism is the only religion of human beings. Every person primarily is a human being; afterwards a Christian or Hindu or Muslim. But fanatics do not think like this. They are full of violent and unreasoning enthusiasm. The mental make up of modern world is scientific. Concerns and Creation :


Modernists believe in reason. Things which have no existence, should not be accepted. Spirituality is the purity of heart and mind or soul (thinnest matter invisible by human eyes). Spirituality is not a material thing. But, it is not supernaturalism also. As long as man does not solve the mystery of death and search the other / next world; uncertainty will naturally prevail. I expressed these thoughts in my several poems. Q. 11 -Your writings are the epitome of humanism, but seldom preach the path of religiosity, do you have any notional purpose? I also do not believe in literature having any sort of bigotry, fanatic and blunt didactic expressions. Literature is neither propaganda nor canvassing any point of view. Giving instructions or preaching is not the field of literature. Writers should try to put their independent views in an artistic way in their creative works. Only then their writings have a meaning. Q. 12 - Should the writers be activists in literature â&#x20AC;&#x201D; expressing their considered convictions of humanity, equality, peace amongst the casteless and classless society? Yes, writers do support social reforms in there own way. Our society is now disorganized. Capitalism has deconstructed the whole scenario of socialism and people have assumed coldness to otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pains and sufferings. Even the government has turned a deaf ear to the cries of the poor and the downtrodden. What other results will we expect from such situation except social conflict? We, the poets have to raise the scepter of judgment to arouse feelings and emotions which have been dead in modern society. Concerns and Creation :


Social conflicts should get expression in poetry, novels, stories etc. only to uplift the society. Struggle is the sign of progress Writers must remain vigilant and strengthen the voice of progressive forces. Casteism is a curse for the society. We are marching in building a classless, casteless and race less social structure. That will take shape only if economic ditch is lessened. Reformation comes through literature in a much more effective form due to its richness in artistic and beautiful expression. Aimless writing is nothing but only a luxurious enjoyment — cheap and worthless. Q. 13 - Do you favour the economic independence of women for emancipation of the subjugated gender called fair sex? My poetry favours independence, because I believe that each and every nation can progress when citizens are economically strong and independent. Economic independence does not mean that people should be strong economically by way of capitalistic measures but it should be an equality based on socialism. So my plea in the poetry remains the economic equality which people may say — Economic independence, predominant. Q.14 - Wide spread exploitation of ignorance and innocence is seen everywhere; how do you react to the sad plight of vulnerable segments of society? Being essentially as realist, I have always tried to voice the feelings of the persons who have been the victims of destiny, life and time. My focus remains to eradicate the pillars of exploiters of humanity by the medium of poetry and create a candid and enlightened vision in the minds of my readers so that they may rise and fight the devils of injustice and liberate Concerns and Creation :


the humankind from the shackles of slavery of ignorance. Q. 15 - Would you elaborate the progressive humanism which has been reflected in your poems and your critics do make point out of your complete works? My utmost effort in the humanism is that I have tried to reestablish the broken pillars of progressive humanism. I have tried to widen the frontiers of my imagination in the field of human sympathies as well as to cover all feelings and pains of common men, women and children of modern society within the orbit of my poetry. Besides, my special focus on the modern middle and lower classes and the national and humanistic approach towards the decadence of human civilization and its values has made me more courageous and cosmopolitan in this regard. Some of my best works of humanism are — ‘Poems : For A Better World’, ‘Passion and Compassion’, ‘A Handful of Light’. Q.16 - You are known as a great humanist in literature; a crusader of a cause of mankind, how do you bridge the two streams of ‘art for arts’ sake and realism in literature? In literature, realism is a special way of thinking. According to realistic thinkers one should depict a real / true picture of life in one’s creative works. This thought is not against any practical idealism. However, unfortunately most of the writers in the name of realism describe only the backwardness or ugly picture of the society or man / woman. This is one-sided Concerns and Creation :


picture or realism. The beautiful and graceful side of human life should not be neglected. Because the main aim of realist writings is to increase the anger and feelings of revolt in the people against the corrupted set-up of the society and administration; hence the dark side only gets prominence. I believe in the expression of realistic social environment of the times; in which an ideal hinted or sounded itself. Actually, it denotes vigorous revolt against immorality. Thus the progressive forces of the society should accept it. We must defend each movement of advancement of an idea or cause. Q.17 - Your absence in the award ceremonies is conspicuous, do you dislike the award ceremonies or the hidden sycophant agenda of the organizers of such programmmes? I never cared for awards. I do not write poetry for the sake of awards. We see now-a-days writers are trying their level best to get anyhow awards from different institutions. Sycophancy to rise is the worst thing for writers. No genuine writer will prefer sycophancy for his success. Award publicity has no meaning. Main thing is the worth of your writings. We should think, how much time our writings will sustain.

As far as my achievements in creative writings are concerned, I am well satisfied. Eleven volumes of my poems — ten in English & one in French — are published till date. Two books on the criticism of my poetry in English are also published. On Internet, several websites are displaying my poems (in English, French, Hindi, Nepali). I have several independent BLOGS of mine on Internet also. Research work on my writings is also in progress in many universities of India. My poems and articles / book-reviews on my works are being published from time to time in several standard literary magazines of India and abroad. In Hindi (my mother tongue) my complete literary writings are published in seven volumes. What more do I expect!! Q.19 - Do you have any message to the budding writers and poets, so that the goals set by your writings become milestones? I have only one message to the new generation of writers and poets : Try to establish your own identity; do not follow any ‘ism’. Have a clear vision; but not a static viewpoint. • • •

But I feel no enthusiasm for such awards and honours rather I dislike going and receiving awards or honours in arranged programmes by organizers. I prefer to remain absent in such arrangements. Q.18 - Are you satisfied after playing your innings in the field of teaching and writing? Do you expect from the reading public, activists and writers of your clan busy in proliferation of humanism? Concerns and Creation :


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concerned, they can be easily seen or understood by reading my poetry collections.From the very dawn of my poetry writing, I am writing on social, economic, national, political and cultural aspects. Of course, I am also writing from the beginning of my poetic career on nature, love, optimism (tendency to look upon the bright side of things), life’s drawbacks, disappointments, deceits, despair, pains, sufferings, shallowness of people etc.

BILINGUAL POETIC VOICE: AN INTERVIEW WITH MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR — Dr. Nilanshu Kumar Agarwal Mahendra Bhatnagar is one of the significant postindependence voices in Hindi and Indian English Poetry. Rooted deep into the Indian soil, his poems reflect not only the moods of a poet but of a complex age. He was Professor and Head, Department of Hindi, Jiwaji University, Gwalior. This senior Professor of Hindi has ten volumes of poems in English besides several collections in Hindi. His works have been translated into a number of Indian and foreign languages. This bilingual poet, scholar and critic talks to Dr. Nilanshu Kumar Agarwal about various issues of literary creativity.

Span of my poetry is divided into two parts. A — Period before independence (about six years). B — Postindependence period. I am not attached to any political dogma or any political party; though there are very clear tones in my poetry as far as the left thinking is concerned. I believe not only in Gautam Buddha’s philosophy but also in the views, thoughts and reasoning of Karl Marx and Gandhi. I am of the opinion that free thinking is absolutely necessary for every intellectual, and genuine writer and poet. [2]NKA: You have written poetry both in Hindi and English languages. Out of the two, which one is closer to your heart?

[1]NKA : What are the major themes of your poetry? MB : I am writing poetry since Nov. 1941, in Hindi. Work on English versions began in 1952-53. That time, English versions were published in HINDI REVIEW, a prestigious English magazine of Nagri PracharSabha (Varanasi, U.P.). It was edited by Professor Ram Avadh Dwivedy, formerly Professor and Head, English Department, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (U.P) As far as major themes (topics / subjects) of my poetry are Concerns and Creation :


MB: It’s obvious that writing poetry in Hindi — my mother tongue — is closer to my heart. Though, I wrote several short poems originally in English, my poetic works are translated into English either by me or by reputed Indian English poets and professors in colleges / universities. [3]NKA: Did you feel comfortable in creating poems in English? My personal belief is that poetry is a spontaneous activity, which can not easily come out in an alien language. So, your English poetry may not be directly from the heart. Concerns and Creation :


What do you say?

communicability is essential; language may be alien or home.

MB: Expression of the heart and mind is more natural in one’s mother-tongue. There is not much need of efforts in it. Expression in mother-tongue is an inherent element. That’s why writing poetry in mother-tongue is also easier.

[4]NKA : Some of your poems are translated too. What, in your view, are the essential qualities of an excellent literary translation? Do you find these traits in your translated work?

As everyone is not a master of English or of any other language other than one’s mother-tongue, it is absolutely necessary to understand and grasp the peculiar specialties of that language. Otherwise, writing poetry will prove totally un-poetic. Language accomplishment is possible only if you are familiar to that language. As, I never went to England nor remained in touch with English speaking society; hence my expression in English will only be bookish. Of course, I learned English. I read several poems in English. The medium of my higher education was English. English language and literature remained compulsory subjects up to graduation level for me. I have no hesitation to say that I want to see my existence in the history of Indian English Poetry. I am happy to see that through English I got global wide readership. Internet too is a powerful medium of spreading my poetry. The second part of your question is rather related to the definition of poetry. It is an established fact that poetry is a spontaneous activity. This fact can’t be denied. But, this is true only in writing lyrical poetry. Descriptive poetry requires time and patience. That is a more conscious effort. Poetry is not a meaningless utterance of a crazy or a sentimental man. There should be nothing mystical in poetry. Emotions and thoughts are indispensable elements of poetry. Poetry comes from the heart under the strict censorship of the mind. Poetry writing is not a society-aloof affair. In all forms of art Concerns and Creation :


MB : Not some, most of my poems are translated into English. Nine volumes of my poetry are already published. They are : [1] Forty Poems of Mahendra Bhatnagar [2] After The Forty Poems [3] Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry [4] Exuberance and other poems [5] Death Perception : Life Perception [6] Passion and Compassion [7] Poems : For A Better World [8] Lyric-Lute [9] A Handful Of Light [10] New Enlightened World [11] Dawn To Dusk One more volume is forthcoming. Translating poetry is really a difficult task. Translators must have good command over both the languages; only then perfect translation work is possible. But, this does not always happen. Translators should be faithful in translating poetry. Nothing new (may be better) should be added. On the other hand simply literal translations are not considered as good translations. Inherent ideas of the poet must get place in translations. In my opinion this is the basic condition of a good translation. Concerns and Creation :


As far as translations of my poems are concerned I am satisfied. I myself took great pains in putting appropriate words in translated versions of my poems. I consulted several dictionaries, including bi-lingual. I really feel proud and I am really very happy to register that my talented translator-friends are very competent, worthy, decent, and of very high caliber. A few of them are poets of international repute. It’s really very astonishing that I got their sincere cooperation. It’s nothing; except my good luck! [5]NKA : What is the source of poetry in you? It is said that poetry emerges out of intense emotional experience of the poet. I suppose, it must also be the case with you. Your comments, please. MB : Yes, the source of creating poetry lies in ‘intense emotional experiences.’ This is the first and most essential element of poetry. ‘Thought’ comes next. Other elements are imagination and, language and style. I am of the opinion that without noble and high thoughts, poetry remains a thing of luxurious merriment only. We call a poet a ‘RISHI’ (a sage). He is a torch-bearer of the society too. He is not a jocular / jester. Nor does he represent only the vulgar appeals of licentious persons. Such things are not synonyms of ‘emotion’. Please note. [6]NKA : Your collection Poems : For A Better World is written with a zeal to reform the world. The satirical tone is prevalent throughout. For instance, in ‘Invoking Modern Man’, you say:

Our God incites us To kill other’s God! Is not the reformist zeal a sort of burden on the principle of pure poetry? Poetry should be read for sheer aesthetic pleasure. The moralist’s purpose should be minimized in it. Didacticism in art sometimes stifles the aesthetic value of it. What do you say about this dichotomy of two ideals — ‘art for art’s sake’ and social documentation in art? How should we describe Mahendra Bhatnagar’s poetry? Is he a creative poet of complete enjoyment or a poet with a mission? Please tell something. MB: ‘Art for art’s sake’ or social documentation in art — both factors are often discussed in poetics. There is nothing new in it. We cannot undermine the importance of aesthetic values in poetry. But as I have already expressed only enjoyment should not be the aim of writing poetry. The poet must be realistic and visionary. I agree didactism minimizes the influence of art and poetry. Thus the poet must be cautious in expressing his mission; otherwise peoples’ hearts will not stir. We cannot favour negligence towards artistic approach in poetry; though it is fundamental to see what the inner contents of your poetry are. Thoughts of the poet must be healthy. Literature is created for the welfare of the society. Man and society are in central pivot. At times poetry becomes the dutiful weapon of social revolutions. Poetry has many shades. One-sided version is not justified. Mainly utility should be the criterion of poetry. You cannot boycott expressions of nature’s beauty and love. It has its own utility. It softens the heart and makes the man more humane. Tender feelings are also a part of life. How can we ignore them?

Again and again Concerns and Creation :


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[7]NKA : What are the formative influence on you? MB : You mean, influences in giving shape to poetry. A far as the structural construction of poetry is concerned I do not do much labour. I wrote metrical compositions in the beginning of my poetic career. Afterwards I inclined towards blank-verse or free-verse. I feel comfortable in writing freeverse; but not without metre and rhymes. Of course, there is no regular metre and rhyme. Hindi poet Nirala wrote such free-verse. But, framework of my poetry is rather new and original. Most of my poems give glimpse of free-verse; but actually they are metrical under discipline. There are internal rhymes also in my poems; though not regular. I wrote very few prosaic poems. Poems written in prose style are often not impressive. A sort of tone or tune may be there. In fact I write poetry in my own style. I tried my level best to create poems having modernistic expression. [8]NKA : As a Senior Professor of Literature, what do you think are the reasons for the diminishing of the interest of the youth in literature? The young men and women hardly care for literary icons. The really meritorious students do not go for higher studies in the fields of Literatures. They opt for the careers in Engineering Science. What factors are responsible for this apathetic attitude towards literature? What are the possible remedies for this tangling problem? MB : I think, the main and the foremost reason of the diminishing choice of the youth for literature is purely and clearly economic. One has to earn money for himself and for his family. Everyone wants to live safe. Everyone wants to live a smooth and easy going life. Everyone wants to enjoy all the boons of the present scientific and technical progress. Concerns and Creation :


That’s why young people are also running to get more and more monetary gains. Literature doesn’t provide such gains to a large majority of people. As far as the diminishing interest in literature is concerned there are other factors too. Obsolete literature has no charm in it; however rich that may be. The age has changed. Scientific achievements have changed totally our thinking. Today’s youth is more realistic. Only that literature will become popular which possesses the realities of the time. God-centered devotional literature has lost its relevance. Though we are secular and modern yet in Hindi literature you will find a major thrust on old-fashioned devotional utterances. In the curricula of schools and colleges there is no agreement with the times; students are rather compelled to read the literature, concerned only with Ram-Sita & Radha-Krishna. We must search human values in current literary arena of our times. That will surely create interest in the readers. Secondly, literary works must be simple and clear. Communicability should be the primary condition of literary writings. Unfortunately, today’s literature is not fulfilling this urge. Most of the present literature is difficult to understand. Complicated expressions are often overlooked. We want to read that literature which is healthy in thoughts, lucid in expression and bright with artistic skills. [9]NKA : Who are the other contemporary bilingual authors and poets writing in Hindi and English languages? What should be done to promote bilingual writings in India? Are there certain associations for this purpose? MB : I am not much aware of other bilingual poets and authors. Concerns and Creation :


Bilingual poetry is very useful; especially with English as one of the languages. I write poetry in Hindi and English. Hindi versions of my poetry are read throughout India. Most of my Hindi poems are translated into English and are available in nine volumes. These English translations help the non-Hindi speaking readers very much. They easily grasp the contents of the poems more correctly. With the help of these English translations my poems got translated into other Indian languages, viz Tamil, Telugu, Kannad, Malyalam, Banglaa, Manipuri etc. Mrs. Purnima Ray (mother-tongue Banglaa) translated my poems very successfully in French with the help of these bilingual poems. Mrs. Purnima Ray taught French at Burdwan University, Burdwan, West Bengal, India. Her French translations are published in book-form — A Modern Indian Poet : Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : Un Poèt Indien Et Moderne, with English versions. This bilingual collection (English & French) got global publicity. Mr. Seifi Hino, a well known Japanese poet, translated my poems into Japanese, with the help of the above mentioned English-French bilingual collection; as he knows French also. Japanese versions are published in GENDAISHI KENKYU (International bilingual — French & Japanese — Magazine / Published from Yamagata — shi / Japan) Publishers also publish such bilingual collections easily; due to their quick sale in a wider area of the country and abroad. [10]NKA : What are the major issues / themes before the contemporary creative writers in India? Concerns and Creation :


MB : Msajor issues / themes before the contemporary writers in India today are not new. They are almost same as were in a few last decades. I think, secularism should be given top priority. Writers must attack by their writings on the communal forces. Other issues too are clear viz. corruption in politicians, officers and contractors, bribery, social crimes, terrorism, cruelty and murder, robbery, rape and oppression of women, increasing alcoholism, immorality of the police, poverty, unemployment, burden of taxes, business of educational institutions, adulteration, religious wild excitements, bad character of doctors and advocates, expansion of capitalism, irresponsible media and so on. [11]NKA : One great problem, involved in creative writing, is that publishers do not easily come forward in publishing the books of new authors. In most of the cases, the authors are charged money for the publications of their books. How can this problem be solved? Can e-publishing be an alternative? Are there certain problems in the publication on Internet too? I think the people do not take the Internet publications much seriously. They just go cursorily over the whole text. Moreover, very few people are armed with the facility of Internet. So, what is the way out. Your views about all this. MB: Now-a-days everything is commercialized. Publishers publish only those books which are easily salable. Poetry books are not much popular amongst readers, because most of the poets are writing highly difficult poetry. The problem of communication is foremost in the field of poetry writing today. Fake and incompetent poets are seen in abundance. Concerns and Creation :


They are writing a lot of trash poetry. In the name of blank verse or free verse poets are writing poetry in prosaic form. Such poetry doesn’t appeal the common man. It’s true now-a-days genuine poets also are facing difficulties in publishing their works. On Internet too we see a lot of raw and rubbish poetic matter. Of course, we find standard matter in e-magazines and in blogs of reputed poets. The popularity of internet is increasing in the educated class of society. No doubt, Internet is a satisfactory channel for the poets to display their works. [12]NKA : You are associated with a number of literary figures and organizations. Will you mention some, whose cooperation has assisted you in moulding / shaping of your literary sensibility? MB : Oh, I am not much associated with literary figures and associations. My movements are limited. I am afraid of travel, mostly alone. That’s why I am not able to take part in outside symposiums, lectures, meetings etc. I do not attend Kavisammelans (poets’ meet). I even do not go to conduct vivavoce tests of research scholars or attend meetings of several academic, literary and audition (AIR) committees, though universities are ready to give expenses of air-journey or hired taxi for this purpose. I am connected with a few literary personalities only through correspondence or through internet. I am not associated to any group of writers. I was never supported by any ‘Mahant’ (eminent chief of literature). That is why, I suffered a lot. My writings didn’t come in limelight; as it should be. I have carved out a niche for myself in the field of literature through my own efforts. People know me only through my writings. • • • Concerns and Creation :


An Indian English Poet DR. MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR In conversation with

Prof. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi [Prof. & Head : Dept. of English, Allahabad University]

"Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar's is one of the significant postindependence voices in Hindi and Indian English Poetry, expressing the lyricism and pathos, aspirations and yearnings of the modern Indian intellect. Rooted deep into the Indian soil, his poems reflect not only the moods of a poet but of a complex age." The poetic process of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar is a far reaching poetic force among the second phase of Modern Hindi Poetry, begins in the later part of 1941.He has not written much from quantitative point of view. Only about one thousand poems composed by him are available today. But his poetry is very significant from qualitative point of view. This is the reason he is known not only in his own country but also in the whole world. He is recognised in the global world through internet. His poems have been translated and published in many foreign languages besides Indian languages. His poems have vitalised Indian poetry. Due to his socio-economic, political and humanistic concerns he occupies a special status in history of Hindi and Indian English Poetry. Concerns and Creation :


His poetry is full of vital expressions of life, love and nature. Here, is an extract from an interview with him. [1] Throw light on your relation to English language and literature. I have been related to English language since my childhood, as it was the medium of my education. English has been the medium of examinations; such as Matriculation, Intermediate, Graduate (B.A.), Teaching (L.T.) etc. English was a medium of education of all the subjects like Economics, Geography, Education etc. English was not only the medium but a subject also. English literature was optional in B. A. but General English was compulsory. In the curriculum of General English works of English literature were also prescribed. Thus, I had to study the works on English Literature too. For example, Bernard Shaw's drama â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 'Arms and the Man', novel of Charles Dickens â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 'A Tale Of Two Cities', Text-book of collection of political essays etc. In 'Visharad' curriculum of 'Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Prayag' English Literature was my one of the optional subjects. This gave me an opportunity to read English poems. The famous collection of poems, 'Golden Treasury' was prescribed in my syllabus. I read Shakespeare's worldfamous play 'Julius Caesar' during this period. I was very much influenced by the dialogues of 'Julius Caesar'. I came to know about Shakespeare's mental heights and depths through it. I got a glimpse of contemporary European life through 'A Tale of Two Cities'. I read Tagore's English poems also in that period.

Mr. F. G. Pears in Victoria College at Gwalior. During that period I used to read English news papers, 'Hindustan Times' etc. I used to write letters to my father in English, whenever I was away from home. My father used to return the letters after correcting language errors. He was often angry due to my little knowledge of English language. I had to take up a job after B.A. (1945) due to poor economic condition of the family. I worked as a teacher of Geography and Hindi in High School and after that got a post of Hindi lecturer (1950) in Intermediate College (Dhar-Madhya Pradesh). My relationship with English teachers was very cordial in all the schools and colleges where I taught. I used to read English Literary Magazines as well. I was a regular reader of a monthly magazine 'Modern Review' published from Calcutta. Thus, I was continuously connected with English language and literature. [2] Basically you are a Hindi poet. How and when were you attracted towards writing in English? The thought of translating my poems into other languages never struck in my mind. All of a sudden (possibly in 1953), I got a letter from a Hindi professor and Hindi poet of 'Praha University' (Czechoslovakia), Dr. Odolen Smekal (who became Ambassador of Czech Republic in India after the partition of Czechoslovakia.) that he wants to translate my poems into Czech language. First of all my poems were translated in Czech language and were published in a journal named 'Novy Orient' (1954). Later they were broadcast from Czechoslovak Radio also.

I was taught by English Principals, viz. Mr. B. A. English and Concerns and Creation :


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After this my poems were translated into English and the process still continues. 'The Hindi Review' a literary magazine, began to be published by English Organ of the 'Nagari Pracharini Sabha, Varanasi'. It's editor was Dr. Ramawadh Dwivedi, a renowned Professor of English from 'Banaras Hindu University'. He inspired me to get my translated poems published in it. 'The Hindi Review' published many of my translated poems. Dr. Ramawadh Dwivedi Ji wrote to me," I am happy that your poems are being appreciated. Had 'The Hindi Review' not ceased to be published, some more translations would have been published." (19 April 1963 / 'Mahendra Bhatnagar-Samagra', Vol.-6, p. 517) [3] How many collections of your poems have been published in English till date? The publishers of my English works : (1) S. Chand & Co., New Delhi — 55 * Forty poems Of Mahendra Bhatnagar / 1968 / 40 Poems. * After The Forty Poems / 1979 / 25 Poems. (2) Indian Publishers Distributors, Delhi —7 * Exuberance and other poems/ 2001 / 75 Poems. * Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry / 2002 / 50 Poems. * Death-Perception : Life-Perception / 2002 / 50 Poems. * Passion And Compassion / 2005/ 50 Poems. * New Enlightened World / 2010/ 50 Poems. * Dawn To Dust / 2011/ 71 Poems. Concerns and Creation :


(3) Lokvani Prakashan, New Delhi — 49 * Poems : For A Better World / 2006 / 50 Poems. (4) Vista International Publishing House,Delhi — 53 * Lyric-Lute / 2007/ 106 Lyrics. (5) National Publishing House, NewDelhi — 2 * A Handful of Light/ 2012 / 80 Poems Eleven volumes of my poetry are published till date. [4] Did your poetic feelings first find reflection in English or were they written first in Hindi and later translated into English? At first my poems were written in Hindi. I remained free from the sanskars of English language. Firstly, it was due to my inaptness in English language. Secondly, being a writer / poet / teacher of my mother-tongue Hindi, the effects of Hindi were ingrained in me. The third reason was that, English was thrust upon Indians by imperialist British rulers. But being a writer / poet / I didn't have hatred towards English language. I used to read English literature with interest. It was a matter of pride to give preference to my mother-tongue Hindi at home, in day to day activities and in correspondence. Such should be followed by all — I firmly believe so, even today. [5] Have you yourself translated your poems into English? Some of my poems have been translated into English by me, but many of them have been translated by professors / poets skilled in the use of English language. I am proud of these translators. I will always remain grateful to them. Concerns and Creation :


[6] Who are the translators of your poems? The readers would like to know about them. The first translator of my poetry was Amir Mohammad Khan (Journalist / Columnist). The translated poems by him were published in 'The Hindi Review'. 'Forty Poems of Mahendra Bhatnagar' (1968), a collection of translated poems has been done by him.

‘Lyric-Lute’ was published in 2007.It has been translated by Dr. Kalpana Rajput & Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh. These two talented youths are renowned in the domain of English literature. Poet and critic Kedar Nath Sharma (Delhi) was much interested in my poems. ‘Poems : For A Better World’ (2006) was translated by him.

After that, Dr. Ramsevak Yadav, professor of English, 'Kurukshetra University' (Haryana) translated my poems, which were collected in the vol. 'After the Forty Poems' (1979).

‘New Enlightened World’ (2010) was translated by Dr. Anshu Bharadwaj (Jaipur-Raj / Aligarh-U.P.) and Dr. Mukesh Sharma (Gwalior-M.P.)

After a long period, 'Exuberance and other poems' (2001) translated by Dr. Ravinandan Sinha (An Indian English poet, professor of English, St. Xavier's college, Ranchi - Jharkhand & Editor — 'The Quest'.) got published in book form..

Thirty-four poems of ‘Dawn to Dusk’ (2011) have been translated by me and the rest by Prof. Dr. Mukesh Sharma, Kedar Nath Sharma and Prof. Dr. Narendra Sharma ‘Kusum’ (JaipurRaj.)

In 2002 ‘Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry’ was published. It is translated by Dr. H. C. Gupta (Prof. of English, Gwalior – M.P. and an Indian English poet.

Some poems have been translated by Lakshmi Shankar Sharma (Prof. of English, Vikram University, Ujjain-M.P.) and Vareendra Kumar Varma (Prof. of Philosophy & a Hindi poet, Mandsaur-M.P.)

In the same year, i.e. in 2002 ‘Death-Perception : Life-Perception’ was published. It was translated by a poet of international repute, critic and the editor of ‘Poetcrit’ (Maranda-H.P.) Dr. D. C. Chambial. ‘A Handful of Light’ (2012) was also translated by Dr, D. C. Chambial. Dr. P. Adeswar Rao (Prof. of Hindi & well-known Englishtranslator / Vishakhapatnam-A.P.) translated ‘Passion and Compassion’ (2005). Concerns and Creation :


The translation-work of these friends is self-inspired. They liked the poems and showed their willingness to translate. [7] How much are you satisfied with the translations? Did you play any role in giving final touch to these translations? Undoubtedly, the English translators of my poems have done a great job and to a large extent they have been successful. How perfect they are from the view of poetic language and diction; this can only be justified by the English scholars. Concerns and Creation :


In this connection, following statements are worthy to be mentioned : (1) Renowned literary Dr. Vidya Niwas Mishra observed — ''I have feeling that the vigorous rhythm of the original has not been carried fully to the English translations, may be the barriers of language do not permit its export. The poet has a very sensitive ear for cadences and knows how to use them. .." (Preface : 'FortyPoems of Mahendra Bhatnagar') (2) Prof. R. S. Sharma (Banaras Hindu University) wrote — ''Ravi Nandan Sinha has achieved a fair measure of success in transferring the theme, tone and poetic quality of the Hindi poems into English. ... Dr. Ravi Nandan Sinha has been able to translate the poetic discourse without departing from the literality of the original text." (‘Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind And Art', Pages 85 & 86) A lot have been said by other critics also in the edited critical books, viz. ‘Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind And Art' & ‘ Concerns and Creation’ (A Study of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry’). Actually, its elaborate analysis is a matter of independent research work. Yes, I was actually involved in finalizing these translations. In spite of being Hindi speakers they could not make out literal and emotive sense of some words. From this point of view, I did corrections and changes which were acceptable to my translators. Though in doing so, many poems were retranslated by me. Concerns and Creation :


[8] In which English magazines were your poems published? In many renowned English monthly, quarterly and half-yearly literary magazines my poems were published and still are being published. Initially, the magazines which published my poems are — ‘The Hindi Review’ (Varanasi), ‘The Literary Half-Yearly’ (Mysore), ‘Macron’ (Hubly), ‘The Contemporary Indian Literature’ (New Delhi), ‘dhara’ (New Delhi), etc. After a gap of long time, in the year 2000 my poems began to appear again in English magazines. Mention can be made of — 'The Quest' (Ranchi-Jh.K.), 'Poetcrit' (Maranda-H.P.)', 'Shine' (Pattukottai-T.N.), 'Indo-Asian Literature' (Delhi), 'Protocol' (Tura-Meghalaya), 'Cyber Literature' (Patna-Bihar), 'Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literatures' (Thodupuzha-Kerala), 'Contemporary Vibes' (Chandigarh), 'Indian Book Chronicle' (Jaipur-Raj.), 'Kohinoor' (Begusarai-Bihar ) 'A HUDSON VIEW' (New York-U.S.A. / Editor - Dr. Amitabh Mitra, East London, South Africa) and many more. [9] Who are the chief critics of your poems? The prominent critics of my poems are — Dr. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi (Allahabad), Dr. D. C. Chambial (Maranda), Dr. R. K. Bhushan (Jagraon-Panjab), Dr. Anita Myles (Gorakhpur), Mrs. Purnima Ray (Burdwan), Dr. Kalpana Rajput (Badaun), Syt. Kedar Nath Sharma (Delhi), Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh (Badaun), Dr. O. P. Mathur (Varanasi), Dr. Shubha Dwivedi (Delhi), Prof. R. S. Sharma (Varanasi), Dr. B. C. Dwivedy (Orissa), Dr. A. K. Chaturvedi (Gwalior), Syt. K. K. Shrivastava (Gwalior), Prof. Bijay Kant Concerns and Creation :


Dubey (Midnapore), Dr. Kiran Chaudhry (JNU, New Delhi), Dr. P. Hallikeri (Dharwad-Karnatak University), Dr. Patricia Prime (Newzeland) and many more. [10] What is your opinion about the reviews of your English works, published in various journals? I don’t fully believe in reviews. Either they are vocational having the imprint of the relation among editor-critic with the publisher. Thus the authenticity of published reviews is often doubtful. Usually, the review-writers are unaware of significant literary contribution of the reviewed authors. There are so many biased reviews also. Instead of reviews, the critical articles and research papers on my works have been published in various esteemed journals. Afterwards, these articles and research papers were included in published edited critical books. [11] Tell me the names of countries where your Poetry books in English have reached? I don’t know how many foreigners are familiar with my English and French poems. I came into contact with Dr. Patricia Prime, a scholar critic from Newzeland through English journals, who wrote detailed critical articles on my poems; which are included in an edited critical book by Dr. R.K. Bhushan, named ‘Concerns and Creation’ (A Study of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry). I am not so well-connected with foreign literary personalities. I never gave much attention to that. Mostly, I lived in small towns. Foreign scholars and creative writers usuall Concerns and Creation :


visit metropolitan cities in India, where one can easily get acquainted with them. I did not venture foreign trips also. I was appointed Professor of Hindi Language & Literature, in The Tashkant State University (U.S.S.R. / 1977 ) , but due to some reasons I could not go there. (See detailed description — ‘Tashkant Context’, ‘Mahendra Bhatnagar-Samagra, Vol. 1, p. 305-309). [12] How much your English poetry is appreciated through the medium of Internet? My English poems reached far and wide in India and abroad through internet also. In establishing connection with writers in India the internet played a very significant role. In the absence of internet I wouldn’t have been connected with so many English writers, poets and editors. Internet is a great facilitator as well as a great friend to a writer. I am connected with so many websites which often publish my poems, reviews and interviews. I also find readers making interesting comments. I have my own independent blog ( I am also on ‘facebook’. My writings are available on Mauritius websites also. [13] What are the results of the expansion of your English translation of poems? My access in non-Hindi provinces became very easy through English translation. Many poets, writers and editors who were unfamiliar with the Hindi language, read my English translations and understood my poetry works. Hindi speakers were also benefitted. Where ever they found doubts, they too got help by English translations. Concerns and Creation :


[14] Are there any evaluative books on your English poetry? Three critical books have been published on my English poems : (1) ‘Living Through Challenges : A Study of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry’ by Dr. Bairagi Charan Dwivedi. This book consists of nine chapters, in which English and Orriya writer Dr. B. C. Dwivedi has given his interpretations of my poems. It was published in 2006. The publisher is, ‘Sanjay Prakashan’, New Delhi — 2 (2) ‘Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind and Art’ Edited by a renowned poet and critic Dr. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi (Prof. & Head : Allahabad University) and Dr. Shubha Dwivedi (An English Professor of Delhi University) This book consists of thirty-six articles by renowned English authors and poets. This critical book was published in 2007. The publisher is, ‘Vista International Publishing House’, Delhi — 53.

by well-known French professors of India.] This book was published in 2004, titled as — 'A Modern Indian Poet Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : UN POÈTE INDIEN ET MODERNE' The publisher is ‘Indian Publishers Distributors’, Delhi — 7 (3) Third evaluative book on my poetry ‘Concerns and Creation’ (A Critical study of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry). This book has been edited by a renowned English poet and critic Dr. R. K. Bhushan. It includes my interviews also. (4) Fourth critical book 'Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : Realistic and Visionary Aspects' is forthcoming. [15] Has any research work been done in English on your poetic achievements? If yes, where? (1) One Doctoral level research work on my English poetry has been done at ‘Madurai Kamraj University’, Madurai — 625 021 (Tamil Nadu) / 2012 Topic : 'Post-Independence Voice For Social Harmony And Humanism : A Study Of Selected Poems of Mahendra Bhatnagar'. The name of the research scholar is Rama Krishnan Karthikeyan, Lecturer, PAC Ramasamy Raja Poly Technic College, Rajapalayam — 626 117 [T.N.]

[This book consists of an independent critical part also of those of my poems which are translated into French. My onehundred-eight poems are translated into French by former Prof. of French of ‘Burdwan University’ (West Bengal) Mrs. Purnima Ray.

Supervisor : Dr. G. (Gavarappan) Baskaran, Reader in English, VHNSN College, VirudhuNagar — 626 001 [T.N.]

This French part includes five critical articles written in French

Besides this, two special research papers have been published.

Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


One on my latest collection of poetry ‘Passion and Compassion’ and other a comparative study. (2)

'A Critical Explication Of Mahendra Bhatnagar's 'Passion And Compassion'. By Dr. Anita Myles.

This paper was published in 'Indian Literature' A journal published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. No. 233,May-June 2006, Vol. L. No. 3) (3)

'Death beyond the Borders of Despondency in the poetry of D. C.Chambial and Mahendra Bhatnagar'. By Dr. Kalpana Rajput.

This research paper was published in 'Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literatures' (An International Refereed Bi-annual ) (Vol. 11, No. 1, June 2011) of the Newman College, Thodupuzha-Kerala — Centre For English Studies and Research. [16] Who has taken your interviews in English and where have they got published?

(2) The second interview was taken by Dr.Nilanshu Kumar Agarwal, Associate Professor of English, Feroze Gandhi College, Rae Bareli (U.P.), which was published in two renowned magazines : * ‘Bilingual Poetic Voice: An Interview with Mahendra Bhatnagar’. (Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literatures (Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala) . (July-Dec. 2008). * 'An Interview with Mahendra Bhatnagar' (Wild Violet. (Philadelphia). 8.1 / Summer 2009). This interview is available on many websites also. [17] How many English Journals have put you on their Advisory Boards? I am on the Advisory Board of two English Journals of international repute : (1) POETCRIT (Estd. 1988) An International Bi-annual Refereed Journal of Literary Criticism & Contemporary Poetry. Edited by Dr. D. C. Chambial and published from MarandaH.P.

Two, special my interviews in English have been published. (1) First interview was published prominently in 'Contemporary Vibes' (Chandigarh). This interview was taken by Mr. Anil Kumar Sharma, the editor of 'Contemporary Vibes' , poet and story writer. Concerns and Creation :


(2) Indian Journal of POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURES (Estd. 2000) An International Refereed Bi-annual Journal. Edited by Sr. Alphonsa P. O. and published from ThdupuzhaKerala. Concerns and Creation :


(3) I am also one of the PATRON of an English website ‘www. creative’, edited by Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh. [18] How logical do you consider your discussion in the history of Indian English Poetry? I don’t know whether I am mentioned in the history of Indian English Poetry. I remained rather indifferent in this direction. Many Indian English writers don’t know anything about me. My connection with Indian English writers is limited. [19] Your poems have been translated into other foreign languages also viz. Czech, French, Japanese, Nepali etc. It is natural, in their comparison, English translations of your poems are more famous and read more. What do you feel about all your achievements? Undoubtedly, the translations of my poems in Czech, English, French, Japanese, Nepali etc. and their publications in various journals is special and significant. It reflects the qualitative value of my poetry. But, I feel that I could not still able to write remarkable poems, in a true sense. I feel a strange restlessness towards my creativity, after completing 85. I want to express so many things, but the time is fleeting. Mental and physical problems don’t allow me to relax and feel comfortable. [20] How many of your English works are expected to get published in near future? Poetry is the chief mode of my creativity. Unfortunately, poetry is highly neglected. The publishers are not at all interested in publishing poetry books, because the publication of poetry books is not profitable from business point of view. I Concerns and Creation :


don’t think so — that the people have been less interested in poetry or their enthusiasm is decreasing these days. Everybody wants to enjoy simple poems. Provided that such poems may reach to them. Everybody hums in happiness and sorrow, sings with emotions. However intellectual a person may be. His relation to poetry can never fade away. The need is to create easy- simple poems and to publish their low-cost editions. So, when I see that the publishers are not willing to publish poetry collections, I become depressed. It is wonderful that the first editions of my poetry collections published without any delay, but publications of their new editions, is really not so easy. Thus, I have decided to prepare subject-wise anthologies of my poems. I have divided my whole poetry writing into five parts : (1)

Engraved on the Canvas of Time (Poems of Social Harmony & Humanism, Realis tic & Visionary Aspects.)


Life : As It Is (Poems of Faith & Optimism, Delight & Pain, Phi losophy of Life.)


Love Poems


Nature Poems


Death-Perception : Life-Perception

I am trying to get published these anthologies. At present, these anthologies are available on internet. Concerns and Creation :


[21] What is the motive of your poetry? The utility of poetry to individual and society is beyond suspicion. Among the chief elements of poetry (feeling, thought, imagination, art / technique) the element of emotion (feeling) stimulates the mind most. The poetry is desirable in the sense that being an emotional statement it holds the capacity of shaking our consciousness. Poetry affects us more than any other literary form. It influences man, makes him active and awakens his aesthetic sense. So long as the man exists, the poetry will also exist. The help of poetry has been taken from times immemorial to expand the humanity, to maintain harmony and love between men, to raise patriotic love, to enforce conscience during the moment of pain, to express true joy etc. A poem proves a good medium of entertainment also by giving joy and pleasure (Though, the main aim of poetry is not entertainment but to give artistic shape to emotional and sublime thoughts and experiences; yet, entertainment has its own significance. • • •

DR. MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s is one of the significant post-independence voices in Hindi and Indian English Poetry, expressing the lyricism and pathos, aspirations and yearnings of the modern Indian intellect. Rooted deep into the Indian soil, his poems reflect not only the moods of a poet but of a complex age. Born in Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) at maternal grandfather's residence on 26 June 1926; 6 a.m. Primary education in Jhansi, Morar (Gwalior) and Sabalgarh (Morena); Matric (1941) from High School, Morar (Gwalior); Inter (1943) from Madhav College, Ujjain; B.A. (1945) from Victoria College, - at present, Maharani Laxmi Bai College - Gwalior; M. A. (1948) and Ph.D. (1957) in Hindi from Nagpur University; L.T. (1950 ; Madhya Bharat Govt.) Places of work — Bundelkhand, Chambal region and Malwa. High School Teacher from July 1945. Retired as Professor on 1 July 1984 (M.P. Govt. Educational service). Selected once for the post of Professor of Hindi Language & Literature, in Tashkent University, U.S.S.R. (1978) by UGC & ICCR (NEW DELHI) Principal Investigator (U.G.C. / Jiwaji University, Gwalior) from 1984 to 1987. Professor in the IGNOU Teaching Centre of Jiwaji University, Gwalior in 1992. Worked as Chairman \ Member of various committees in Indore University, Vikram University, Ujjain & Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Agra. Worked as a member in the managing committees of 'Gwalior Shodh Sansthan', 'Madhya Pradesh Hindi Granth Academy' & 'Rashtra-Bhasha Prachar Samiti, Bhopal'. From time to time, poems included in various Text-Books of curricula of Educational Boards & Universities of India. Worked as one of the members in the Audition Committees of Drama / Light Music of All India Radio (Akashvani) Stations : Indore and Gwalior. Contracted Song-Writer of All India Radio \ For all Radio Stations (Light Music Section). Broadcast many poems, talks and other programmes from Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and New Delhi

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(National Channels) Radio Stations. Conducted and directed many literary societies in Ujjain, Dewas, Dhar, Mandsaur and Gwalior. Appointed as one of the Award-Judges by 'Bihar Rashtra-Bhasha Parishad, Patna' (1981 & 1983), 'Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, Lucknow' (1983), 'Rajasthan Sahitya Akademi, Udaipur' (1991,1993,1994) & 'Hindi Sahitya Parishad, Ahmedabad, Gujrat (2001).

‘MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR-SAMAGRA’ Works published in seven volumes in Hindi — three of Poems (comprising sixteen earlier collections), two of Critical articles, one on Premchand ( Research work) and one of Miscellaneous writings. Ä

Poems translated, published and broadcast in many foreign and Indian languages.

Eighteen Poetry Collections [Hindi] are compllied in three Volumes of :

Eleven volumes of poems in English :


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Published research & critical studies :

‘Forty Poems of Mahendra Bhatnagar’ [Selected Poems — 1] 'After The Forty Poems' [Selected Poems — 2] ‘Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry.’ [Selected Poems — 3] 'Exuberance and other poems. ‘Death Perception : Life Perception’ 'Passion and Compassion' 'Poems : For A Better World' 'Lyric-Lute' 'A Handful Of Light' New Enlightened World Dawn to Dusk



Living Through Challenges : A Study of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry [Dr. B. C. Dwivedy]


Poet Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind And Art.[Edited]


Concerns And Creation : A Critical Study Of Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry [Edited]


Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : Realistic and Visionary Aspects [Edited / Forthcoming]


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry : In The Eyes Of Critics e-book / Ed. Kedar Nath Sharma

Distinguished Anthologies : [1]

ENGRAVED ON THE CANVAS OF TIME [Poems of social harmony & humanism : realistic & vision ary aspects.]


LIFE : AS IT IS [Poems of faith & optimism : delight & pain. Philosophy of life.]

Received awards, four times ( 1952, 1958, 1960, 1985. ) from Madhya Bharat & Madhya Pradesh Govts.





[Love poems] [4]

Edited HINDI literary magazines 'Sandhya' (Monthly) and Pratikalpa' (Quarterly) from Ujjain.


Ä [5]

DEATH AND LIFE [Poems on Death-perception : Life-perception & Critical Study]

One volume of translated poems in French

('A Modern Indian Poet : Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : Un Poèt Indien Et Moderne'.) Ä

Concerns and Creation :


Member Advisory Board : Indian Journal of POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURES [Half-yearly / Thodupuzha-Kerala] Adviser : 'POETCRIT' (Half-Yearly / Maranda, H.P.)

Concerns and Creation :


Patron : www.



Ed. Dr. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi & Dr. Shubha Dwivedi Links : CONTENTS



EDITOR’S NOTE Dr. Suresh Chandra Dwivedi, Allahabad (U.P.)


Mahendra Bhatnagar : A Prosilient Poet of Optimism and Certitude Dr. Anita Myles, Gorakhpur (U.P.)


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : An Avant-Grade Poet Mrs. Purnima Ray, Burdwan (W.B.)


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : A Poet Mr. Kedar Nath Sharma, Delhi


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar – The Poet and His Poetry /

HINDI — [Kaavya-Dhaaraa] — [Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar] — — — Ä

Contact : 110 BalwantNagar, Gandhi Road, Gwalior — 474 002 (M.P.) INDIA Phone : 0751-4092908 / M — 81 097 300 48 E-Mail : Ä

Concerns and Creation :


A Point of View Dr. H. C. Gupta, Gwalior (M.P.) 6

Voice of faith in the poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Mahashweta Chaturvedi, Bareilly (U.P.)


A Progressive Humanist Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. P. Jayaraman, U.S.A.


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : The Man and His works Prof. Lakshmi Shankar Sharma, Ujjain (M.P.)


‘Forty Poems’ : A Preface Dr. Vidya Niwas Mishra, Varanasi (U.P.)


A Poet of Life, Love, Light and Landscape Prof. Ramdeo Acharya, Bikaner (Raj.)


Motivational Strains in ‘After The Forty Poems’ Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh,Budaun (U.P.)


A Gifted Hindi Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Gupteshwar Prasad, Aurangabad (Bihar)

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‘Exuberance and other poems’ Dr. R.S. Sharma, Varanasi (U.P.)


Prolific Hindi Poet : Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. N. P. Singh, New Delhi


Appealing Poetry [‘Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry’] Dr. Narendra Sharma ‘Kusum’, Jaipur (Raj)


The Motif of Death in the Poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar – An Assessment Dr. D. C. Chambial, Maranda (H.P.)


‘Death-Perception : Life-Perception’ : A Dialectical Study Mrs. Purnima Ray, Burdwan (W.B.)


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s ‘Death-Perception : LifePerception’ : An analysis Dr. (mrs.) Jaya Lakshmi Rao V., (Visakhapatnam) (A.P.)


‘Death’ in the Poetry of Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. D. Murali Manohar, Hyderabad (A.P.)


Revealing Reflections On Death And Life Dr. Atma Ram


A Critical Explication of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s

Hope Turning Pearls : The Vision Of New And Better World In The Poetry Of Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh, Budaun (U.P.)


‘Poems : For A Better World’ Dr. Kalpna Rajput, Budaun (U.P.)


The Poetic Journey Of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar / [‘Poems : For A Better World’] Mr. Aju Mukhopadhyay , Podicherry


Poems Of Hope [‘Poems For A better World’] Mr. Ashok Khanna, Delhi


‘Poems : For A Better World’ Dr. Atma Ram, Dharamsala (H.P.)


Mahendra Bhatnagar : A Poet of Passion and Compassion Dr. Ram Sharma , Meerut (U.P.)


Mahendra Bhatnagar : The Poet / A Critique of His Later Poems Dr. A. K. Chaturvedi , Gwalior (M.P.)


‘A Handful Of Light’ : Ushering In Light And Life Dr. Atma Ram, Dharamsala (H.P.)

‘Passion and Compassion’ Dr. Anita myles, Gorakhpur (U.P.)


‘Lyric-Lute’ : A Foreword Dr. Moh Dutta Sathi, Bubaun (U.P.)


Mahendra Bhatnagar’s ‘Passion and Compassion’ : ‘A Pilgrimage of the Heart’ Dr. O. P. Mathur, Varanasi (U.P.)


The Poet As Critical Inside Ms. Shubha Dwivedi (Allahabad : U.P.)


‘Passion and Compassion’ : Poetry Blended with Super Sense and Perception Mrs. Purnima Ray, Burdwan (W.B.)


Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Compassionate Passion in ‘Passion and Compassion’ Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh, Budaun (U.P.)


‘Passion and Compassion’ : A Review Dr. B. C. Dwivedy, Dhenkanal (Orissa)


Poems That Ever Haunt : [‘Passion and Compassion’] Dr. Narendra Sharma ‘Kusum’, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Concerns and Creation :


Ä French-Section 1 INRODUCTION Prof.(Dr.) Kiran Chaudhry, JNU, New Delhi 2 Mahendra Bhatnagar : Un Poète Moderne De L’Inde Dr. Prema Hallikeri, Manglore (Karnatak) 3 Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar : UN POÈTE INDIIEN ET MODERNE Mr. Shushant Kumar Mishra, BHU-Varanasi (U.P.) 4 Sur la poésie de Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Nilanjan Chakrabarti, Santiniketan (W.B.)

Concerns and Creation :


5 A Modern Indian Poet : Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar Dr. Asha Pande, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

English and French translations of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poems. 6 Dr. R. KICHENAMOURTY (Pondicherry) 7 Dr. H. KALPANA (Pondicherry)

Living Through Challenges A Study Of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry — Dr. Bairagi Charan Dwivedy


Appendix (i) : Reaction ‘The Path’s Bend’ / ‘Samvart’ / Mr. Rajeev Saxena, Delhi



Appendix (ii) : Reflections (1) Prof. Prakash Chandra Gupta, Allahabad Univ. (U.P.) (2) Mr. Vishnu Swaroop


Human Predicament


Theme of Regeneration : Love & Life

Appendix (iii) : Criticism Dr. B.C.Dwivedy : ‘Living Through Challenge : A Study of Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry’


Crisis of Faith and Confidence vs OPTIMISM


Theme of Transcendence


Humanism in New Age



Appendix (iv) : Biodata Poet Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar Ä


Growth of Poet’s Mind (His Poetry At A Glance)



Pub. VISTA INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING HOUSE,V-196, Near C11 Shiv Saadhanaa Mandir, Yamunaa Vihaar, DELHI — 110 053

Works Cited / References

Critics : (1) Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh, (2) Dr. Ram Sharma, (3) Dr. Kalpana Rajput.

Ä Sanjay Prakashan, 209 JMD Huse, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi — 110 002 Rs. 200/-

Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :


Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry : In The Eyes Of Critics E-Book / Ed. Kedar Nath Sharma


[ i] Living Through Challenges A Study Of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar’s Poetry [Criticism] Kedar Nath Sharma [Delhi]

[ ii ] Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind And Art [Criticism] Kedar Nath Sharma [Delhi] 2

Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind And Art [Criticism] Dr. Kalpana Rajput [Badaun / U. P.]


Poet Mahendra Bhatnagar : His Mind And Art [Criticism] Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh [Badaun / U.P.]


Concerns and Creation :


Concerns and Creation :



Critical Study Of Dr. Mahendra Bhatnagar's Poetry