Correspondent Report on Israel
Changing Trends in New
Indian Poetry in English:
Challenges and Directions
Seminar held at St. Aloysius College, Jabalpur on 10-11
Sponsored by U. G. C., Bhopal and organized by the English
Department of the College.
calm and quiet cantonment town Jabalpur, graced by the river
Narmada, flowing as its vein and hallowed by the presence of
bygone rishis and their temples consecrated to ancient
deities, this type of function creates pleasant flutter in
the life of the inhabitants as it takes into its fold many a
participant in various ways.
To begin with I quote few lines from the introduction of the
theme of the seminar by its main organizer and convener, the
Head of the Department of English of the college, Dr.
Neelanjana Pathak, which are quite relevant to the Indian
stand face to face with a phase of rediscovery of the
Indian identity through Indian writings in English . . .
English poetry is an international genre of Indians by
Indians but not merely for Indians . . . .
“The new Indian poet wears the mantle of nurturing the
process of adopting English as a medium and amalgamating
it with an essentially Indian creativity to arrive at an
optimum art . . . .
“There are varied voices, moods, emphases and accents
that need to be savoured before we can opine with
certainty . . . . The proposed seminar seeks to garner
views from across the nation on the core theme to
dovetail divergent individual perceptions to a near
“The concern of this seminar is also to discuss the
present and the future of Indian poetry in English . . .
“The nascence of Indian poetry in English in this newly
gained identity has brought it to centre stage- it
celebrates India and it showcases the talents of
aspiring Indians who belong to India as well as the
The patron of
the whole programme was the Principle of the college, Dr.
Fr. Davis George who not only inspired by his presence and
helps but spoke at length on the theme of the seminar. The
Chairman of the Programme Committee was Dr. Fr. Valan Arasu,
the Vice-Principal of the college. The very active
Organizing Secretaries were Ms. Niharika Lal, Ms. Priyanka
Jharia and Ms. Aditee Ranjan, faculty members. Besides them
in the Core Committee were professor Soma Guha, Mrs. Mary
Raymer and Ms. Marshlyn Porter, all of them active
The beginning of the programme was by the performance of
Nava Rasa or nine emotions in Indian aesthetics as
propounded by Bharata Muni in his “Natyashastra”, an ancient
work of dramatic theory. While the poems were composed by
Aju Mukhopadhyay the performance was done to the
satisfaction and full adulation of the audience, mostly by
the students of the college.
The Chief Guest of the inaugural function was Professor K.
N. Singh Yadava, Vice-Chancellor of Rani Durgawati
Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, Guest of Honour was Professor M.
S. Pandey of the BHU, Varanasi and Special Guest was Mrs.
Sujata Parashar, writer and alumna of St. Aloysius College
whose first book of poems too was released on the occasion.
The whole programme was divided into five technical sessions
for paper presentation; they came from different corners of
India to participate in it. More than 60 papers on the theme
of the seminar were presented. The Chairpersons of different
sessions were Dr. Subhra Tripathi, Dr. Manish Shrivastava,
Dr. Ashok Sachdeva, Mr. Aju Mukhopadhyay and Professor
There was a poetry reading session on 11 February judged by
Aju Mukhopadhyay and Dr. Suneeta Banerjee, Chaired by Dr.
The Chief Guest for the Valedictory Function was Mr. Vivek K
Tanaka, Additional Solicitor General of India, Guest of
Honour was The Most Rev. Gerald Almeida, Bishop, Diocese of
Jabalpur and Special Guest was Mr. Aju Mukhopadhyay, Poet,
Critic and Biographer.
The whole programme was organised in a very disciplined and
coordinated manner, in a very befitting way under the
supervision of Dr. Neelanjana Pathak. All the professors and
students participated in full cooperation making the welcome
of the Guests and others a unique affair. The students took
part in dance and songs for a short while.
To end our sojourn to Jabalpur must it be mentioned that
Jabalpur has a few Nature Spots unique in many ways, which I
fully relished as a Nature lover. First was moving in boat
in the river Narmada at a distance of 25 km from Jabalpur,
called Bhedghat, with marble rocks on both sides of it,
flowing in zigzag way almost ending and beginning again.
This type of turn and move as if in lanes and by-lanes are
found in mangrove forests. Then a little ahead this river
falls deep down from a flat area creating white foamy water
sprinkling situation, called Dhuandhar or smoke field. And
this is extra, to move round in Dumna Nature Reserve, 13 km
away from Jabalpur, with trees and shrubs and some peace
loving animals like antelope, spotted deer and a single
heron on a boat besides flying egrets and swimming crocs.
the Narmada amid Marble Rocks
Jabalpur after the seminar was over, I moved round some
Nature Spots in the vicinity; though not very famous to
tourists they are unique in many ways which I fully relished
as a Nature lover.
First was moving in boat in the river Narmada at a distance
of 25 km from Jabalpur, called Bhedghat, with marble rocks
on both sides of it, flowing in zigzag way almost ending and
beginning again. While in a boat passing through the river
with marble rocks of different hues on both the sides of it,
even from a close distance it seems as if the river ends its
journey between the rows of rocks, but no; as you come very
near the end, it gives way opening to a new galaxy with
dazzling stars and bright round moon overhead, illuminating
the river path below with rows of rocks as usual. Again the
same as you proceed; going near the end it turns to find new
While during the mid-sun day parts of rocks dazzle, at
night, specially full moon night, the soothing white rays of
the moon-disc and stars create a mesmerizing scene;
whitening the rocks creating a contrast with the darkish
flow of water below. The marriage between the heavenly rays
and the white marbles creates a kind of white illusion
between the rocky reality and flashing water body.
These types of lanes and by lanes are created by the growing
mangrove forest as in Pichhavaram or Sundarbans in the Bay
of Bengal with innumerable gnarled roots covering below and
spreading around, dividing the vast sea in lanes and
by-lanes. At Jabalpur it seems that the rocks were already
there when the river began its journey, flowing through the
rocks hewing its path, somewhere pushing and smoothing the
rocks as it is absolutely necessary to keep going.
A few km ahead the river falls deep down from a flat area
creating white foamy body which sparkles and sprinkles water
up to a long distance around the falls. It is called
Dhuandhar or smoke field. Falling from a flat level land
with vegetation, it has similarities with the Niagara Falls
falling in similar fashion. It is a mini Niagara Falls.
Then I moved round inside the Dumna Nature Reserve, 13 km
away from Jabalpur. Trees, specially bamboo groves and
acacia, shrubs and grass lands abound with some peace loving
animals; antelope and spotted deer roaming about in the
open. There is a huge water body with flowing clear water,
connected to the main river. On a stationary boat I spotted
a single heron besides flying egrets and swimming crocs in
There are some breath catching wildlife sanctuaries in M.P.
like Bandhavgarh and Panna besides the famous artistic
heritage temple with attractive surroundings, called
Khajuraha. Travels to those areas require more preparation
than one or two days, more arrangements. So to avoid
disappointment I quenched my thirst with Nature at hand and
felt satisfied with quiet nature throbbing at my heart.
To view the
photos full sized click on any image.
The Battle of
armoury and man power
are not the only deciders in war,
is a truth evident in time modern and ancient
as in the battle of Salamis the defeat of Persians.
Greek triremes and pentekonters were small fry
against the huge Persian fleet; beyond hue and cry
but an elephant’s strength though immense
is not effective in every situation and sense.
Xerxes’s over confidence in trying to behold the victory
could not match Themistocles’s maneuvering; an oeuvre
The wooden wall barricade at Acropolis was an act ruinous
as it would be to construct a solid wall off the isthmus
of Corinth by Spartans, a work superfluous.
Sicinnus the slave, Themistocles’s choice, was master of
in enticing the Persians to enter overnight the strait;
big Persian ships entered the narrow water space
to be entrapped by the wooden walls of Greek triremes;
ships rammed each other, battle began
arrows shot, juveniles thrown and swords clanked
wind blew hindering the escape or any movement of ships
which sank drowning Persians as they did not know to swim.
Xerxes witnessed unexpected havoc as he ignored
the warning by Queen Artemisia who only scored
a partial success, a lioness among the women,
but she refused to share the fate of arrogant and errant
joining the Greeks she added force towards victory
Greeks won the battle in 480 B.C. teaching lessons to many.
The battle of Salamis was a great event in history
as the Persian Empire could not make Greece their colony
paving the way towards the emergence of Western Civilisation.
But alas, the great Persians dwindled for the other barbaric
Invasion and war, battle, defeat and victory
are the emerging process of human history
in this process some landmark events like the battle of
prove to be a turning point in the march of humanity.