Shashi's Poems

There is the story of this scholar well versed in 15 languages. He appeared in King Krishna Deva Raya’s court and challenged the court to determine his mother tongue. His command and scholarship in each and every language was so good that there was no way one could determine which was his mother tongue. But Tenali Rama devised a method to determine the language. He secretly entered the scholar’s bed chambers when he was sleeping and sprinkled some water on him. The scholar got up with a shock and yelled at Tenali Rama in one of the languages. Tenali Rama had his answer for that was the scholar’s mother tongue. The take away from this story is that our deepest emotions come out in our mother tongue.

ShahshikeKavita is the second blog I am reviewing that has been written in the blogger’s mother tongue. The other blog I reviewed was more a scholarly blog and less about feelings. This blog on the other hand is all about feelings for it is a poetry blog. So it is all the more significant that it is written in the poet’s native tongue which is Hindi in this case. I discovered a really fascinating earthly charm in Sashi’s poetry that I have  found in no other poet on Blog-o-sphere. His poetry is completely free of any frills and fancies. His plain words just reach straight to the reader’s heart. As an Indian, I feel his poetry relates closely to the Indian ethos which makes it even more interesting to Indian readers. This blog would anyway be out of bounds to non-Indians due to the language barrier.

Shashi seems to be an angry young man, right out of the 70s struggling to come to terms with the hypocrisies of a world that is becoming increasingly complex by the day and at the same time rebelling against redundant relics from our collapsing past that many of us still firmly hold on to. Perusing through few of his poems will bring to light this dichotomy. It is a very genuine emotion that most of us share to some extent. India is a country that has not been allowed to gradually evolve at its own pace. Instead foreign conquests have forced too many new ideas too fast. Shashi presents an excellent picture of the confused Indian struggling to adapt to this world in constant flux.

So much for the content, which in my opinion is just perfect as it is. In terms of title, I think he could have gone for a title that kind of reflects the nature of his poetry rather than just ‘Shashi’s Poems’ . The tag line is very touching and thought provoking. However one would expect a tagline to be more crisp and catchy. The overall theme is simple and spartan going well with the nature of his poetry. One area that had scope for improvement is the management of widgets. There are too many widgets and a thorough re-evaluation is needed to weed out the unnecessary ones. The feedjit Live Traffic Feed is one that immediately comes to my mind for removal. Also all widgets are placed on just one side bar, making it very long. So we see a very long right side bar with lot of empty space to the left. Empty space is not too aesthetically appealing. So I would suggest having sidebars both to the left and right, divide widgets equally on both sides, remove unnecessary widgets and move non award badges to the bottom panel to give a more compact feel to the blog.

In terms of navigation, labels have been utilized well, there is a popular post widget and there is poem factory link that gives the links to poems by topic in addition to the date wise archives. That’s quite good but I am partial to the poem factory kind of navigation and my suggestion would be to make that more prominent by using static pages and tabs. In terms of interaction, it is quite good and I have nothing to add.

Overall I would say this is a blog any Indian can relate to and I recommend every person who has even the slightest understanding of Hindi to go ahead and take the plunge into the world of Shashi’s Poetry. Find below a selected sample suggested for the new reader by Shashi. Do read and relish them and I am sure you will come back to Shashi’s blog for more

15 comments:

Zephyr said...

What you have written about emotions and mother tongue is very true. Poetry, especially reads and sounds better in one's own language. I will surely check Shashi's blog out.

However, I would also say that one can only express emotions in words in the language one thinks in, which need not be the mother tongue. The problem starts when one thinks in the mother tongue and writes in English or any other language.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Zephyr. You should definitely check Shashi's blog. English also works well when you think in English as you have rightly said. I for one have no other option. I can't read or write in my mother tongue or the language of my adopted land. I can read the national language but not sure if I can write. So have no other go but use English. But still I find Hindi poets more natural compared to Indians writing poetry in English.

Shashiprakash Saini said...

दी फूल आपका मै तहे दिल से शुक्रगुजार हू
आपने तारीफ की तो अच्छा लगा
आपने खामी बताई तो भी अच्छा लगा
तारीफ हौसला हो जाएगा
और खामी सुधरने का मौका

akanksha said...

I fell in love Shashi ki kavitayein, the day I stumbled upon it! :) I haven't read better hindi poetries anywhere in the blogosphere!
Loved this review, and I am guessing you gave 4 stars to it :D

The Fool said...

Glad you liked my review, Shahshi. I thought of keeping with the spirit and doing your review in Hindi itself. But I feel inhibited to write in any language other than English.

The Fool said...

Glad you like my review, Akansha. Once I got through my menta blocks in reading and comprehening in language other English (had to read aloud to do that), I too really enjoyed his poems. My review is what I honestly felt about his blog. I usually avoid stars even to books as I believe each work of art has its own unique specialty and should not be compared or defined by a number. I focus more to bring on the best aspects and point specific things if done differently can add value.

हमारीवाणी said...

शशि जी के बारे में जानकार अच्छा लगा... सही में... वह बेहतरीन लिखते हैं....

The Fool said...

Thanks. Glad you liked my review of Shahshi's blog.

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

Great review, TF. I share the same reading handicap as many others, but Shashi's poetry most of the time is straightforward and simple, yet stirring and touching. He was instrumental in my starting to follow a few of the Hindi poetry blogs out there. I liked your 70s angry young man description, though I guess most creative writers of today are feeling that way more and more as life unfolds.

The Fool said...

Thanks Subho. Even I should start developing the habit of reading Hindi.

umashankar said...

Shasi writes very well and I have read him before. I read some of his poems again and felt their impact. I believe you have done ample justice to Shashi's blog in your review. Incidentally, I share my paternal town with Shahsi.

The Fool said...

Thanks Umashankar. Which is that town? Allahabad?

umashankar said...

Jaunpur.

indu chhibber said...

I read his poems long back.Now your review sends me there again.We lose many quality links sometimes-thanks for reminding.

The Fool said...

I am glad it is still making people read his blog, Indu.

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