C.L. Khatri : Two Minute Silence, New Dehli : Authorpress 2014 pp 181, Rs.195/-
Dr. Sanjay Sharma
Two Minute Silence is the latest poetic collection the noted Scholar-Poet C.L. Khatri who is also the editor of the famous reputed literary journal Cyber Literature.His earlier collection Kargil had already established him as a poet of merit and promise. The poems of this collection deal with the new human condition which baffles as well as provokes the readers. These poems come straight from the poet's heart and a more methodical arrangement of them might definitely have indicated to his growth from a poet of everyday life to one of the deeper philosophical concerns.
The poet regards joy and sorrow as two abnormal extremes. The eternal peace lies somewhere between them. The poet wishes to attain this peace. In another comparison life appears as a river which finally merges into the ocean-God. At this point the only truth is the name of God. There are poems dealing with religious and mythological tales such as "Hell on the Hill" and "Ahilya's Astra" which indicate to the poet's deep rooted Indian consciousness. At a lower level, the poet is shocked by the miserable condition of government schools. In them, the education is lost in the mire of midday meal and the future is lost in darkness.
There are two poems which deal with role of a mother in man's life. To the poet, she is 'goddess incarnate'. She is the very symbol of affection and inspiration. There is a group of poems having the background of Bihar. 'The Falgu' and 'Paean to Patliputra' show the indomitable vitality of the Biharis, 'Poetic Justice' and 'Flower of Opium' deal with the discrepancies of the modern world. 'New Year 2014' and 'Conversation' exhibit the poet as one of the masses. In 'Reversal Syndrome' the poet laments the loss of simplicity in human life. Man's cruelty towards animals is the theme of ‘Bull's Reaction’, 'I am a Bird' brings with the poets faith in hope and perseverance.
Festival poems include 'Vijaidashami', 'Holi' and 'Jogi ji wah Jogi ji', 'Sex' and 'New Invention' focus on the new dimensions added to sexuality. The poet sarcastically remarks that 'a zip on the back' is the new invention which is hardly welcome. It has come with the postmodernist baggage. 'Haiku' in the end, deals with poet's random musings. The title poem 'Two Minute Silence' is about the deplorable fact that while there is so much to lament there is so little time for man to do so.
While the themes are varied the style is adequate and language capable. These poems provoke the reader to think on life with new perspectives. One is left expecting for more and the poet will definitely not disappoint his readers.