Indian English poetry has been a very close subject to me. Right from the…
Well, getting back on track and reading books again, offering reviews and recommending the best of them to the readers have always been the best experiences for me. Let’s begin that once again – and the first book that I am going to review is by Gautam Rajrishi, a colonel in the Indian Army, Neela-Neela, a collection of Hindi-Urdu poems, shayaris and ghazals. Gautam has been writing for a while now and many of his poems, pieces and ghazals have been previously published in leading Hindi literature magazines. Paal Le Ik Rog Naadan was his first published book and Hari Muskurahaton Wala Collage, a collection of short stories, was the second to be published. Neela-Neela is his latest collection of Ghazals which came out in 2020, February. This book, without a doubt, has helped Gautam Rajrishi is establishing himself as one of the leading contemporary figures in Urdu Shayari and Hindi-Urdu literature in India.
Gautam has introduced a style of his own. He does not shy away from using the language of the commons. He does not think it lowly to use phrases and words that we commonly use these days. In short, Gautam is very well-to-go among youths of the day, contemporary readers of Hindi and Urdu poetry, short poetry (shayari) and short stories with his no-bar language and an all-inclusive approach to literature. Nothing is untouchable to him – he writes what he feels and sees around. And this is what, to be frank, defines contemporary phase in Indian literature.
Dominantly, Neela-Neela is about the poetry of love. Most of the poems in the collection are dedicated to the feelings of love – feeling loved, feeling lonely, waiting for someone, remembering someone, moving on and kissing the life… and so on. Gautam Rajrishi has been very much able to capture all these feelings in his luxurious language that will be reverberated in anyone’s heart very easily.
नींद के पन्ने पर जो कुछ है लिक्खा नीला-नीला सा
काले-उजले ख़्वाबों का है क़िस्सा नीला-नीला सा
This is how the collection begins and one can easily understand the direction in which this collection might be heading only after reading the first few pages. Gautam has also used Hinglish (Hindi-English) words and common phrases widely in his book and to be honest, this only increases the acceptability of his literature.
कोई मिस कॉल आया था अनजान सा
दिल को क्यों लग रहा…ये वही तो नहीं
Other than synchronising with the feelings and lexicon of the youth of the day, Gautam has also utilised the liberty of the poets to ascribe attributes to whomever and in whatever capacity that only poets enjoy. Writing in Hindi-Urdu language gives him great control over the lyrics and rhythm of his lines, and he has used it in a very attractive way. More than often, the readers can encounter Moon having tea or coffee and the Sun hesitant to come out of his bed… and all these things, offered with emotions of love and language of the heart, make great sense to the readers.
Whatever you can do but you can seldom keep the army feelings out of a serving soldier and the same can be experienced in the work by Gautam as well. As a serving colonel in the Indian army, his poems are found decorated with a few soldiers moving in and out of the camp, usually. A soldier coming home, a soldier keeping an eye on the border and so on… his shayaris are realistic and also hopeful when he writes the sentiments of his duty to the nation.
Though there is nothing that takes away anything from the collection, still, the critics are in a habit to find something and poke the authors. To do so, I would like to suggest Gautam include a few more themes that are mostly universal in nature if he wants to be included on the lists that are decorated by the likes of Gulzar and Faiz(s). Gautam’s poetry is instant and mostly romantic. A vividity could do magics!
To sum it up, Neela-Neela is a wonderful collection of contemporary Hindi-Urdu poetry, shayaris to be precise to the genre, that will cheer the hearts that love… if you love reading the literature that can talk too much by saying too little, you are the ideal reader to enjoy the words of Gautam Rajrishi!
Get a copy of the book by Gautam from Amazon India by clicking the link to Amazon below:
Review by Alok
Neela-Neela by Gautam Rajrishi: Book Review
- Alok Mishra's Score
A collection of shayaris, poetry and Hindi-Urdu ghazals that will soothe the hearts and entice the hearts that love…
1. Neela-Neela by Gautam Rajrishi: Book Review