Monday, February 15, 2016

City Times And Other Poems by Vihang A. Naik

Title: City Times And Other Poems
Author: Vihang A. Naik
Publisher: Authorhouse UK
Genre: Poetry
Date:  2014
Price: Rs. 1024
Pages: 80

The book consists of short poetry putting forth via a series of anecdotes, a serious thought about humanity and its evolution in modern times. It is divided into various sections all of them highlight broadly what is it to be human in the urban times which the author co-relates to "City Times or City" and hence the title. In the part on "The Mother", which is a touching and soulful account on a mother- child relationship and how it changes with time. The child born out of the mother has to eventually seek out its destiny, one that is different from the very body it was sculpted from. But to what end? and choosing what over what? Is it wise the poet ponders.

In the second part "Mirrored Men", the poet goes boldly into the murky territory of defining 'humanity' precisely. He begins with looking at animals and climbing the ladder justifies the animalistic traits of a spider weaving a crafty web and smiling at the falling prey or a chameleon changing its colors for survival. What for the human does it? asks he, citing the inevitable loss of goodness in spirit. Wherever you look you will see the dying humanity, the rising of the dark says he in part four "At the Shore".

The last part of the book is the most thought provoking one, comes down to our everyday observations. The simplistic measures of generosity or attempts we all think we can make to evolve into a better person, ultimately comes down to a futile and feeble gesture, giving change to a beggar and think we made the change. In the end one cannot tell what is real, what you were told about values or what you observe. 

They say when you go through situations a book can sort out or help with you find it, much like the wand finds the wizard. I have believed in this since a very long time now and this is a book that adds to the list. I have been recently thinking on the lines of values and humanity a lot, as everyday I find myself in turmoil as I observe that the values my parents taught me, asked me to live by, no longer exist. I see people I idolize not live up to the image they have, they are barely good human beings and all these events taken together take a toll on a righteous person and the authors lines then come to mind "Here the light is gone. Truth, how should he reach out to you with a mortal eye; follow you beyond Horizon?" 

The poetry is written in a simple language, bereft of grandiose in words and is easy to understand but a stimulates you to ponder and question yourself of your thoughts, deeds and the road you as a human being are walking on reflected by your smallest actions, as if forced to look into a mirror, your soul is. 

  About the Poet:

Vihang A. Naik was born in Surat, Gujarat on September 2, 1969. He is India's contemporary poet writing in English. His poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies along with some significant e-publications. Four collections of his poetry have been published: Poetry Manifesto: New & Selected Poems (2010), Making A Poem (2004), City Times and Other Poems (1993). His Gujarati collection of poems include Jeevangeet (Gujarati Poems) in 2001, dedicated to the cause of victims of Gujarat Earthquake of January 26, 2001. He also translates poetry written in the Gujarati language into English, including his own Gujarati language poems.He is educated from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda with English Literature, Indian Literature in English Translation and Philosophy. He had his primary schooling from Navrachna School in Baroda, Gujarat. He took teaching as a profession serving in colleges since 1996 in Gujarat. He lives and works in Gujarat. India.
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