few months ago, Kritya published “A Letter from Mad House”
written by Peri (fictitious name) in the English section and
translated into Hindi by myself. I had also included a poem of
mine as a reply to it. and I had also included a poem of mine as reply
to it. We received a number of letters from our readers, and one
Indian print journal/ paper published both poems in the form of
a chapbook. Thus the agony of Peri reached the common people in
their own language. Thus, the agony of Peri reached the common
people in their own language. The poem became the focus of
attention in a number of poetry readings. Some poetry readings were
organized just for the reading of this poem. Ajey from Keylong
says with a smile—women chose to keep this book in their bag
in the place of religious books.
It makes me think - what is the power of that poem? Is it the
agony of a single woman? Or the anger / passion towards a loved
one? Or a simple sad story? A woman in a mad house is not a new
theme; neither are themes based on women in love or women
suffering. The battering of women is a common subject in the
media. What then, accounts for the power of that poem? I still am at a
loss to understand. True, poetry is not to be just understood,
but to be experienced or felt as well. And Peri’s words touched
every one. This is obviously what our ancestors meant by the
power of words.
Peri’s pain is not that of one sole woman. It is related to
everyone – each one who has had a hard dealing from his/her own
society. Kritya’s reader Ishita says- “I read the whole
booklet without a pause. Then I read it again and again and then
again, wanting to reach out my hand to hold the suffering;
soothe her and tell her how I understand her need for air and
sun. (In a gathering, two years back a ‘man’ reacted to my
poems. “Why women still talk of sunshine and a square piece of
sky, even in the twenty first century?”). I want to tell her of
the pain and anger I feel as a woman against all that she had to
bear. Every verse brings out the scenes of her sufferings alive.
And I question myself how long all this will continue in
She put a question for me -Both poems( Peri’s and Rati’s) are
equally beautiful. These too arouse in us feeling of sharing the
pain for someone who will always remain alive in all those
women, who love Peri for her madness. Madam Rati’s anger towards
the cruel setup of society is well understood through her lines.
How can one remain without reacting! (This
letter of Ishita
is published in our section Letters to the Editor, along with
Now let us come back to another discussion which started with
the previous issue. A discussion that was sparked off with
Ajey’s (a member of our Hindi editorial board) letter, a letter
in which he asked a very relevant question - why certain
languages ignored certain types of poetry? And were partial to a
particular set of poets? He highlighted the need to peep into
the prohibited areas of life, and bring into the limelight
ancient/new poets, who have sung the songs of natural, raw life.
I feel Ishita and Ajey are talking about the same thing.
Kritya is thankful to all those readers, who showed interest to
take part in such discussions, and who we hope, will have a
sustained interest in the future as well. I feel that such
discussions give us new insights into poetry.
Our previous issue of Italian poetry was liked by most of the
readers. Now here we are, ready with another issue.
This month, Kritya presents an important poet of our time Joy
Harjo in the Editor’s choice. Joys poems echo the voice of
common man. We have a number of contemporary poets in section -
Poetry in our time as well. In our Masters section, we have
Kashmiri poets - Habibullah Nowshehri and Rwapi Dyad. Mohan
Kishor Diwan presents an interesting study of modern American
poetry in the section - In the Name of Poetry. The paintings
depicted here in this issue are by a well-known young artist
from Kerala - India , Suresh K Nair. The sketches in this issue
are by Krishna Kumar Ajanabi- India .
Please check following links also
Kritya and its aim and dreams
The poems, articles and reviews
published in Kritya are received by e-mail. The views, themes
etc. expressed therein are solely those of the respective
writers, and not of the publishers or editors of Kritya. The
credentials of the writers are those that they provide via
e-mails and most of the writers are not personally known to the
publishers and editors.