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Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na

Reviewed by Alamgir Khan

Published : Saturday, 18 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 930

Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na

Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na

Reflecting on emerging failures of distinction between right and wrong...

Serajud Dahar Khan is a deeply socially aware writer who worked in the progressive cultural field in his youth and later moved into the field of development. Khan Shaheber Khando jeebon revealed his magnetic power of prose writing several years before. Now through his book of poetry, Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na (Unable to make distinction between things), he has ensured his distinction among poets of the present days in the country, too. In the poems included here, he has exposed the conflicts and contradictions in his soul with candid simplicity and unusual courage. Along with cruelly revealing his soul comfortably hidden behind the eyes of the world, he has unmasked those sitting on top of public accolade and enjoying social respect from the unsuspecting people in society.

The book is published by Gatidhara in February this year with cover design made by Taiara Farhana Tareque.
The poem Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na denotes his limitation as a human being in a society constructed on the basis of differentiation and discrimination among its members. Society teaches a child to grow up by identifying and constantly expanding the differences with her playmates and neighbours. Every child is expected to be shaped by the norms and practices of her time and live on in the bubble of identity. Fortunately, or tragically, depending on ones view of life, Dahar has grown into a young man who refused to enter into that choking bubble of identity.

He did not learn to make difference between people by measuring them with a ruler of religion, wealth, power and other discriminating factors. To him humanity is the only scale for weighing any human in society. This value was integrated to a good extent into the cultural fabric of Bengal, a land flooded with the Baul and Sufi liberal ideals. But things have been under drastic changes in recent decades or years when those values have been slipping down a slippery slope of individual interests. The poet says:

"I have not learned to dedicate my life/ To pure and heavenly love. I am begging for love throughout my life/… I am aman blinded by love/ yet could not dedicate my life at its altar." (Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na)

He is straightforward in saying what and how he is-with all narrowness, self-interest, pretension, fear, obscurity and many such middleclass social tools for survival and upward movement on the ladder of social status. The poet asks: "Sheuli drops in the morning/ And Shefali in the evening? /or Sheuli in the evening/ Drops out as Shefali in the morning?"

Being a born colour-blind person, as he declares, knowing no difference between blue and green, red and orange, he understands only black and white. Yet tragedy has befallen him nowadays when he is losing the capacity to see the difference even between humanity and inhumanity. The modern days Orwellian hand has waived its magic wand to muddle his thought up about everything around him-incapacitating him to understand subtle differences between simple things!

In Shadharon Manusher Chhaya (Shadow of an ordinary man), the poet stands before a magic mirror that reflects his self with all its dirty secrets. So, he declares unhesitatingly: "I am self-centric with a force of magnet/ Selfish and obscured man-love me/ And the ones of my blood more than anyone in the world."

This does not reflect only Dahar himself, perhaps also reflects those whom he represents, who also like him was moved by the dream of building a society based on the ideals of equality, who with the spirit of the liberation war burning still in their young hearts headed into a new war for human freedom. Most of them together with him may also now cry over their new state of being incapable of recognizing little difference between what they once fought for and what they fought against. Did those conflicts inherent also in their souls unseen and unheard play the role in the catastrophes suffered by society now, which is stated so straightforwardly by the poet?

The poet didn say anything about it. Because, as he said in Kichhu Kotha Bolar Chhilo (I had something to say):"It is not that one must say something/When one has something to say/Flying like butterflies from person to person or/Like Radha Krishna in solitary secrecy of love!"

With many more things to say but unsaid so far, Serajud Dahar Khan is committed to social justice, political equality, economic equity, progress in scientific vision, spirit of 71 and has fought for these throughout his life. At the same time, he reflects and reflects standing before a cruel mirror and searches in his soul the causes of todays retrogression in social life. The poet pushes his contemporaries into this same soul searching. Again, the poet of Paarthokko Kortey Pari Na warns(in two poems with the title of Gujobe Bishwas Kori Na) all in the younger generation of the emerging new era when truth is getting banished by the force of rumour manufactured constantly at a corporate scale here and beyond.

The reviewer is Executive Editor of Shikkhalok






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