Zubaan-E-Kalam by Neha Singhal | Book Review | The Literature TodayJuly 24, 2020
The power of the pen has been accepted evey time it has been used. The poet Neha Singhal makes the readers realize the power of the pen once again in her poetry collection, “जुबाँ ऐ कलम”. The poet through her musings writes about her viewpoints and observations and at the same time, addresses a variety of themes and subjects in her collection of 40 poems.
The cover of the book may be a little abstract for the readers to understand. But the lovers of art will for once agree that the cover is more like an invitation from the poet to look at life through her eyes and try to understand her perspective of looking at things.
Before beginning the poems, the author addresses the reader in the preface and talks about what was the reason that led her to take the pen. She clearly states that some thoughts are better expressed through the pen and her purpose of writing was to bring together the good and bad experiences that a person has in their life to give an enriched and first hand experience to the reader. The poet writes on a wide range of subjects in her 40 poems. Even though the poems are 40, the readers can just sit and go through them in one flow and by the time they reach the last poem, they are in tune with the author’s style, the way her mind works and also the manner in which she writes and expresses.
The author shows the combined traits and potential of writing on different themes which include love, nature, humanity, women and the different roles they play, the importance of time with self, life, and many others. This makes it difficult to categorize Singhal in any one category of poets. Time and again, she also writes lines that readers would want to mark and keep with them so that they could refer to them time and again to not just appreciate the beauty of words but also to understand the depth of thought of the poet. Some of these lines are:
“तेरी झील में चलते शिकारे में बैठ मैं नज़्म गुनगुनाती हूँ
पानी में चलते चप्पू के साथ ताल मिलाती हूँ” (जन्नत)
“बंद दरवाज़ों में बैठा बीते वक़्त के मोती चुनता है
डरा–सहमा सा हर दिन नई उम्मीद बुनता है” (कुदरत)
“जहाँ यह शहर अंजाना ना
फिर मिलें कुछ दोस्त
ऐसे जिनसे मिल बेगाना ना लगे” (यह शहर)
and many others.
There are different poems that address different issues and subjects but the poet does not wander off in abstract subjects and prefers to keep her themes limited to the ones that any person can easily relate to and can also identify themselves at one level or the other. In poems like “बेटियाँ“, “नारी“, “गृहणी“, she talks of the different roles women play in different phases of their life. In “सरपत दौड़ते कदम“, Singhal writes about the transformation of the life of a woman after getting married and at a certain level there is a comparison of life before and after marriage. The interesting thing to notice is the fact that the poet does not restrict herself to womenfolk but also writes from the viewpoint of men in poems like “फौजी” and “पिता“.
Perhaps, the most interesting poems for any reader would be “यह शहर“, “आखिर क्यों”, “एक सत्य”, “मुलाकात” and “आईना”. All these poems are concerned with subjects concerning people in one way or the other. They touch unique themes like city life, degrading humanity and people becoming more and more insensitive, the truth of life and a conversation with the mirror (more like a conversation with self) which would for once remind the reader of Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror”. Other than all these, “ख्वाबों का गांव” seems to be like the poet’s definition of Utopia or how she dreams of the world to be.
The length of the poems vary but none of them seem to let the reader go away from the book even for once. They hold the reader throughout. All readers should read this collection of poetry to not just understand the views of the poet but also to begin seeing life in a different manner with an entirely different perspective.