Book Name: Fractious Mind
Author: Perveiz Ali
Year of Publication: 2018
Published by: Global Fraternity of Poets
Reviewer: Mohsin Maqbool Elahi
Call of the Valley
Fractious Mind is Perveiz Ali’s first poetry book which was published in 2018. Perveiz starts of beautifully with his very first poem Who Am I, the second verse of which states:
“I am a teacher in my society,
To eradicate the dark and usher in the light,
A role model to blooming buds,
Touching young minds with logic,
Educating society to strengthen it.”
Such role models are needed not only in Kashmir but throughout the world. Without education, communities, societies and nations fare nowhere. Armed with a solid education, youths help their motherland to progress at jet-speed.
In Oh, My Beloved the poet delves into romantic poetry:
“Oh, my beloved! Where are you, my dearest?
Imagining you here with me, calming my fears,
Your lips singing a song of passionate love!”
What better way than visualizing your Lady Love to be in close proximity to calm your fears and soothe your nerves by crooning a romantic song for you! For a change, each verse of the poem has three lines rather than the usual quartet.
In The She, Besides Me he showers praises on several women, including his Mother, his Sister, his love and his Teacher. Here is the opening verse from the poem:
“At my birth, in this orb of confusion,
There was a lady, who stood tall,
That woman who loved me body and soul,
She who sacrificed to keep me warm, My Mother!”
This verse needs no explication as its meaning is crystal-clear to even a layman reader.
Here is Worldly Vision in its entirety to give you an idea of what a talented poet Perveiz is:
“Oh, trembling hand, what is your aim?
To beautify the blank, white parchment
Or to destroy the virginity of the white canvas?
What goal, to this exercise of the hand?
To soothe the grieved souls,
Or to disintegrate the scabs of unhealed wounds?
To what purpose is this midnight oil used?
Who bothers to read well!
Hardly understands the hidden meanings.
What do you wish to gain, oh, reader
From the lines of an unskilled sculptor?
To guide or to be guided down a path
In the mesh of illusions, depressions and imagination,
Where literature is added every day,
Like a flood of water full of impressionable ink.
What role shall you play…the creator or the reader?
In a day and night filled with black and grey!”
However, I must say that Perveiz is no unskilled sculptor as he truly knows his art and he can move you with the visions he sculpts in front of your eyes.
Blood Rain is a poem that is full of irony. The same holds true for Ruminations and Vote for Truth. The poet shoots his arrow in the bull’s eye when he writes:
The aim of the Subjugators on either side.
Yielded with strong arm tactics.
A means of keeping us powerless.
Restricted from organizing communal good.”
Naked Love emphasizes on the darkness that resides inside each of us though we seem to cloak it with an invisible shroud, showing ourselves as angels. Of course, angels without wings are a halo.Daily Gift is a stupendous poem in which Perveiz thanks The Almighty for His countless bounties which He showers on us every day of every year. It is full of positivity. I am reproducing it in full so that you can read it yourself and see the beauty behind the poet’s words.
“Each day of each year is special.
Each is a blessing from our Lord.
When kindness reigns, all is well,
Love of each other is the tone.
Cheerful joy is spread to all folks,
No matter what religion, creed or colour.
Each day we hold to be sacred.
Goodness needs no special occasion.
Good deeds need not be surprising,
But should be the norm in all we do.
To all we meet friendship must be freely given,
All standing together against social evils.
Each day held up as a wondrous gift,
Birds chirp messages of divinity.
Once selfish tendencies are abandoned,
We cherish each moment, each breath.
Let’s forward progress to civic responsibility,
Be responsible for the poor and the destitute.
Each day is our renewed pact with God,
The promise of His protection under the sun.”
If you have not taken a Shikara Ride on Dal Lake while visiting Kashmir, then you really haven’t visited the picturesque valley. It is akin to eating the rind of an orange while throwing away the fleshy fruit itself.
“On a slow ‘Shikara Ride’ we go,
With fish flitting and linnets singing,
Pearl droplets rising off the oars,
A sprinkling of elixir on Neptune’s roof.”
There are several poems on love and humanity. Then there are those on the horrors that Kashmir has been facing for the last several decades, including abuses of human rights and rapes. Whatever the theme, the words ring true.
You have to read Perveiz Ali’s book to feel the full impact of his poetry.
© Mohsin Maqbool Elahi