Book Review: Rang Leela
Rang Leela is a collection of poems (mostly in Hindi) by Piyush ‘Jayant’ Arora. Jayant is Piyush’s takhallus (pen name), like Dinkar, Nirala, etc. The collection is not of a particular form of poetry, that is, Hindi Kavita or , or Nazm or Sher. Rather it is all of these. And none of these. The collection moves between Hindi, Urdu and English. Alongside the poems, you also have their English transliterations. Interestingly, while taking the pains of transliterating to reach out to a mass that may have forgotten/ may not know how to read hindi script, Piyush has not provided the meaning of some of the words, a common practice amongst most such works. Also, almost all such work that I have come across recently has been focused on English translation, rather than transliteration.
On the back cover of the book, we have a sher from Piyush – “Na khushiyon ki bahaar… na gamon ka dariya hai… zindagi aur kuch nahi… bas apna apna nazariya hai.” And so, Jayant proceeds to share his perspective.
Yet, a single sher (couplet) maketh not a book. Five neither.
The book has a few good couplets, and nothing much to offer otherwise. The inconsistency of language, style and meter is disappointing. The incorrect constructs (“alfaaz hua”), the flawed analogies (“lehron se sthirta”), and confused phrases (“dil-e-khushi”) further irritate you. “Sthirta” (stability) is the ocean’s (samandar) virtue, not wave’s (lehrein). “Alfaaz hue” is the appropriate usage, and not “alfaaz hua”. Khushi-e-dil (joy of heart) bayaan hoti hai, dil-e-khushi (heart of joy) nahi. The book has an entire section called couplets, with probably 5-6 of them actually worthy of being considered a couplet. Most of the others are not couplets at all!
It’s a juvenile poetry book, full of three leading dots (… that signify an incompleteness to what was being said) inserted at will, anywhere and everywhere. The quality of compilation and editing screams of this being a self-published book. If the book has actually seen an editor’s table, then the editor has to be blamed for letting the book get published with so many errors and blunders.
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