Book Review : Amanba Yum by Dr Th.Munindro Singh, Director Planning, Govt. Of Manipur.
I have been reading Dr Th. Munindro’s ‘Amanba Yum’, his own collection of Poems, for some months now. May be I am not an anthologist or a poet myself, but I do have a taste for poems that provoke my heart and soul; that awaken me; that reminds me of things that is sleeping into oblivion. To confess, I am not a mad fan of poems and have never collected them regularly except when I am recommended and referred to. But, one reason I like to read poems is to understand the ‘cause’ of the poem that turns me on as I just said earlier .
Yes, the cause of the poem! In 19 century, Victor Hugo’s cause for his poem was mostly ‘freedom’ e.g. The Grave and the Rose; W.B.Yeats about ‘Irish Nationalism’ e.g. A Dream of Deaths; and Rabindranath Tagor for ‘freedom and liberty, Indian nationalism’, e.g. The Geetanjali. Among the contemporary international poets, Billy Collins poems in ‘Candle Hat’ are interesting for his random thoughts, plain and simplicity. Not to forget to mention is Elizabeth Alexander’s poems, Autumn Passage that bristle with irresistible quality of a world seen fresh. Last but not the least I also like the poems written by Dr Daisaku Ikeda of Japan, ‘Like the Sun rising’ and Dr Robert Schuler of USA, ‘God Always Answers Prayers’, for their works that uplift my entire being completely to a different state.
Due to my work and life situation, I have not had the good fortune of reading and absorbing many of colourful Manipuri poems, both classical and contemporary. But, solely on my own reflection and experience of few that I had read long ago, I found this own collections of poems by Dr Munindro a fascinating manifestation of his own perspective of life; ‘the cause of a life’ in essence. To read with understanding, the peculiar personal, historical and philosophical contexts of Dr Munindro and Manipur are essential for a greater appreciation of the poems. His poems was born out when the left brain meets the right brain: Dr Munindro, a mathematician, the incumbent planning director of Manipur, wrote his heart out in a creative poem, ‘Amanba Yum’, in his own self reflection about the ‘life’ our society , our people and our environment.
The poet ooze out his heart against the defilement of what he saw as culturally and socially vital, and which came to form a vision of personal dissonance with the characters of his time. Dr Munindro’s poem shows the evolution, underneath the surface of Manipur’s society, that is loosening the fabrics of our culture and the bonds that should be, all for the cause of ‘harmonious’ society, environment and life everyone is entitled to. Manipur, a harmonious state, is what we need now. The poet, solemnly, yet very indirectly cries for this cause with great mild intensity and passion. To some readers, this may sound un-spirited, dull or lifeless, but to me the very cause of the collection is to say what it is, at the least it captures my imagination this way.
The poet, perhaps, felt very little about the need to use conventional rules of writing a poem as his instinct was to go uninterrupted, undisturbed and say simply what he wanted to say. Breaking the law of classical rules for poetry writing, Dr Munindro has presented his sublime thoughts in a most unconventional but kind of contemporary form. Every poem lovers must try this collection for a different taste of unconventional, contemporary poetries; there is a unique music in it still: a fusion of logic and creativity.
One of his poems title, ‘Hingbagi Aasha’,
my favourite lines are :
Mahousha gi Khusemshida
Chokthaba Leite Awatpa Leite
Puduna Lak i Anouba
Hingbagi Aasha ga loina na I
(Apology for writing Manipuri with English letters.)