Judging The Book By Its Cover
Nita Gupta
EK BHASHA HUA KARTI THI by Uday Prakash Kitabghar, 2011, 100 pp., 140
February 2011, volume 35, No 2

Uday Prakash, the man, is something of a maverickpoet, filmmaker, shortstory writer, translator, journalist, critic, and with the publication of this book, Ek Bhasha Hua Karti Thi, a chronicler of our times.

When you pick up the book, its the cover that strikes you for its simplicity. A glass of steaming hot tea. Cutting Chai. Just what you need on a rainy Sunday afternoon. But this is not a book of poems for the chaidrinking romantics or the fainthearted, this is a collection of hardhitting highly political verse aimed at drawing your attention to whats slipping away, towards growing alienation, the loss of the centrality of life and of the way things used to be. These poems are about ultimately losing our own way home.

Anger seeps through every line, every word. This kind of clinical analysis is so often the domain of nonfiction political writing. The angst of revolutionaries is to be found here. Cold facts are enumerated as if in a body count. And yet the form is poetry.

For instance the requiemlike title poem, Ek Bhasha Hua Karti Thi, suggests: A language in which the bodies of women are prostituted with ease [But in which] discussing science, economics and politics is a punishable offence/Knowledge and Information is controlled Thoughts are prohibited…’

Continue reading this review