A plea for personal space | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 06, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 06, 2016

A plea for personal space


Ever since the Ekushey Boimela this year, friends have been posting excerpts from a book, Nimishei Nishiddho Tumi. Being curious I search for it and get awestruck to find it as one of the best-sellers in the 2016 book fair. So what's in it? An anthology with around 48 verseswhich would make you stand in front of a mirror you have ever dreaded or carefully remained oblivious to in your nearly perfect life. The poet had perhaps decided to shock the readers from the very beginning; which is why you find the last poem in the ToC the very first one as you flip over the pages. The fourth last in ToC is the 2nd. Surprise awaits when you realize the sheer discipline amidst the seemingly acute indiscipline. You got to dig deep as a reader, no short-cuts, but worth a try. 

Contemporary issues, metropolitan life, the daily sobs, sniffles and smiles make a place in between the couplets. The strong urge for personal space, dwindling mutual feelings and diminishing trust ooze throughout. The poet adopts an approach to protest through use of strong words, which at times may hurt your sober polished nature. But the very next moment you start to think isn't it what you would like to say or do when you would be in his shoes. The poet becomes successful in mocking you, teasing you up to a point when you shun off your fake imposed persona and admit what you have been feeling over a thousand years. He eventually manages to speak your heart. 

The stanzas elucidate the limitations of human life, balancing off expectations and in many a cases accepting misinterpretations, no matter what. We may fall in the trap of considering some of the poems pure romantic ones, but one needs to read between the lines to realize these are the words of a nonconformist. These are the words of an apparently mass person, with a hundred thoughts bubbling up in his mind all the time- sufficient enough to create a havoc in the Pacific. 

Complexity of human mind, absolute contradiction and apparent trading off highlight the sequencing of events in some the poems. Dirghotomo borshar kabyo and the Drighotomo Ratrir Kobita are two of the smallest poems in length, but one knows how time stands still when you deal with a broken heart or await that precious moment. Platonic love therefore wants the other person in the same town where the gale confirms his/her presence. The plea for being controlled is also tabled quite naturally despite the repeated want for space or the irresistible attraction to bohemian life. 

Surrealism, melancholy, solitude, seclusion characterize a set of other poems. Innovative choice of words invoke a reader to adopt a new lens for life, for its bountiful blessings around us. Alta pora shapla pata, kannar jochhna, kanchbhanga shopno helps a reader to visualize something otherwise surreal. The poet encourages to look beyond with the eye of a beholder and keep that eye always open irrespective of where you are- be it in a bar, or in the lone alleys of London.

Altogether a good read, best wishes for the poet Shamim Ahmed. Look forward to reading more from him, more seasoned, more thought-provoking ones. Special thanks to the publisher Chaitanya Prokashon with an anticipation of flawless proof-reading next time. 

May we all behave sensibly to allow required space for our near and dear one before being “nimisheinishiddho”!

Book Fare 2016 best seller Nimishei Nishiddho Tumi can be collected from Rokomari by calling 16297/ 01519521971 or through online by clicking https://www.rokomari.com/book/110544

The reviewer is a business graduate and development professional working for a multilateral development agency.

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