Launched last year JurratKhwaabDekhne Ki (2018, AyanPrakashan, New Delhi) written by Dr Rashmi Bajaj, feminist poet, will be available at World Book Fair 2019 and continues to be a favourite in 2019 also. In her new hindi poetry collection “JurratKhwaabDekhne Ki “(2018, AyanPrakashan, New Delhi) Rashmi Bajaj, the well _known feminist poet, widens her canvas of themes and concerns beyond gender. As the prologue states, the collection is of “Poetry that is more than/mere deception and hypocrisy. In the collection divided into four sections, the poet ruthlessly scans the contemporary intellectual, political, socio-cultural and gender _scenario.It forces us all to reinvent our’ human core’beyond the narrow confines of identities and ideologies.

The poet is outraged at the rampant misogyny ,gender oppression, sexual_ violence and she laments that allthe lofty dreams of great men like “Gandhi”,“Ambedkar about women _emancipation and gender equal society stand badly shattered aswomen continue to be eternal Dalits’. Even the ‘Manusmriti_burners’ become the perpetrators of gender oppression at homes and in life.The distinction of the collection is that it represents the voices that have long been ignored in the main literary discourse. There are poems on the plight of Kashmiri Hindus :‘Na koi NabinaMasiha’ and the cold_bloodedmurder of Dr. Pankaj Narang of Delhi emerges as the “New symbol”ofthe new marginalized of New India”_ these people don’t fit in the vote_ scheme of politicians and discourse_scheme of intellectuals. The poems prominentlybring out the poets deep dismay over identity_politics_ ridden times where people “first explore the caste ,religion and class of corpses before shedding tears on a dead fellow human being. The poet also exposes the despicable fraud of the present day reformers and selfishsocial activists busy in photo shopping while sufferers thirst for ‘two drops of genuine love ‘.She calls out for destruction of thedivisive political and intellectual narrative and discourse that spreads only hatred and despair which has let loose blood thirsty ‘madaris, performing Death shows with deadly antiques and Dance of Corpses’.

The real beauty of the collection is itsfinal message of faith , hope ,humanity and universal love. It is a world enlivened by Buddha and sufis even as Ambedkar,Abdul Kalaam and Amrita Pritam receive poetictributes. The myth ofSitais also recreated as she assumes name ‘Janki’and instead of burying herself in earth returns to take charge of her parental kingdom Mithila and serve her old and needy parents!

The poems reveal the poet’s unflinching faith inthe power of Art Of Poetry and strength of Poet:“Never ever perish/the infinite possibilities of poet and poetry”and poet in her‘NewAvtar’ will redeem thepresent depressing wasteland of ours.In our impoverished circumstances where ideologies and philosophies are becoming increasingly dissatisfying,“JurratKhwaabDekhneki” encapsulates a serious brave quest for “New scriptures/New scholarship/New wisdom/and new homo_sapiens”.

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