THE LOST BLISS
COPYRIGHT © 2014 Dr. J. S. Anand
J. S. Anand's collection of poems, The Lost Bliss, is a poetic rendition which wraps up the dominant concerns of his time. To the sensitive eye of the poet, his age suffers from lost bliss. Here, the poet functions like a cultural physician who first examines different cultural layers of his context in order to detect the kind of disease which has stricken his people and then prescribes the requisite medicine to restore the lost health. For Anand, his postcolonial postmodern context suffers from loss of balance from the time, as a legacy of colonialism, his people ignored the spiritual dimension of man's being. Off-balance people fell in the trap of rationalism and scientism which gave them the false sense of authority over the whole universe. Instead of seeking harmony with nature by treating the environment as their equal, men myopically maneuvered their authority over nature and thus lost the requisite balance. The Lost Bliss delves into the conscious and unconsciousness of a generation which is lost not only to its own traditions but also to its humanity.
Reminding us of Miton's Paradise Lost, Anand's collection of poems allusively takes us back to the long forgotten myth of the Fall, Adam, and Eve. Reviving that story which has now been nullified by postmodern rationalizing men, The Lost Bliss contemporizes the themes and concerns of Paradise Lost by addressing the modern age and its ethos. The pensive look of the poet targets the question of life, death, the Fall, human nature, society, identity, and also the most concerned passion of love. The speaker is at times a philosopher who ponders on different dimensions of man's life; however, while contemplating, he reveals his own doubts and uncertainties. Sometimes, he is seen having himself concealed behind the mask of a seer for fear of disintegration under the pressure of the chaotic world in which he finds himself. For Anand's speaker love is a peg on which he hopelessly and helplessly hangs all his disruptive suspicions in an attempt to hold himself together. It is this love which the cultural healer prescribes for his people as the remedy to restore them to the lost balance. Yet, love for Anand is not a selfish assimilation of others; rather it is developing a sense of respect and concern for “other”. This love which brings man down to the earth, disillusions him, and puts him on equal scales with nature and his environment does not mean a liquidation or dilation of self into “other”; instead, it enhances man's sense of self-esteem as he regards himself connected to the whole universe.
The sense of interrelatedness to nature does away with man's agonizing condition of suspension– another Western legacy. Suspension-oriented worldview has turned man into a dangling being and imbued in him lack of communication and, most important of all, crisis of identity. Man can no longer define himself when he loses his sense of belonging. Anand takes issue with these losses and implicitly calls for the total revision of such an outlook. Love is the foremost force that, involving all dimensions of man especially the spiritual one, can help man regain his lost bless.
As a spiritual leader, the poet could be compared to a Gibranic prophet who has aged waiting for the never-to-appear ship to take him back home. On the shores of the lost humanity, he is standing pinning his paling eyes at the far-fetched horizons of love and its promise of bliss. Deep down Anand's poetry there lurks a postmodernist mood which symptomatically reveals the tumults of the postmodern psyche and his milieu. This may account for the anxiety which runs through all of the poems in this collection.
Deconstructively, Anand puts under question man's long-held views; hence society and collective consciousness from which emerge man's “tragic gestures of life” are at issue. He is seen at grapple with the norms of the society which has given him nothing other than utter loneliness, the bitterness of which he is experiencing not merely physically but also spiritually. Mostly, he is seen detached from the society gnawing at his psychical scars. Religion deprives him of his sincere emotions and noble thoughts, while politics brings him to an agonizing shock at the loss of humanity. Economics gives him a disgusting account of his being, whereas history burns his eyes with its blurring flame. In such a predicament, he seeks refuge in the realm of love lest he “turn[s] unreal/ And vanish[es] like a lie”.
Anand's poetry is rendered in simple diction, though such simplicity is highly marked by interdiscursivity and metaphoric expressions. While the simplicity of the poetic language speeds up reading, the intricacy of the thought puts brakes on the speed, hence balance. Although Anand rarely experiments on the colonial language, he destabilizes the colonial heritage which has made his milieu market-oriented. He harshly censures the globalizing wave which is sweeping and distorting the most delicate human emotions, including love, by its marketizing hand. In his Miltonic mission, Anand does not approve of selfish appropriation and colonization of “other” for one's own benefits; rather, he speaks for that humanitarian sort of love that expands the territories of one's being by taking “other” as one's own self and treating “other” as one's dear. Anand's transhistoricity links the postmodern with the Medieval, the by-gone with the yet-to-come, and thus his poetry becomes a flow of Now in which all the past and the future merge to forge a new identity, a new epic, blessed with true love.
Dr. Roghayeh Farsi,
Neyshabur University, Iran.
Published by : The Poetry Society of India, Gurgaon
ISBN: 978-93-83888-12-2 (Paper Back)
Price Rs. : 270
US Dollar: $ 29
Pages : 142