Friday, 9 November 2018

Misty Dawn - Marathon Race to Achhe Din - Poem Review

Phidalia Toi has been one of those consistent authors who has been tracking the developments of the current NDA government continuously. She has been keeping an eye on each and every, tiny or giant steps of the government to ensure she does not miss anything which has significance because she has been recording it all in the series - Marathon Race to Acche Din. So far, four parts have been written. However, today, we will look into a poem by her that was supplied with the very first part of the book - The Dawn. It has been customary about the books in her series that she summaries the whole year in a single poem at the end of the book, and to put it forth, very symbolically and succinctly as well. 


Misty Dawn
(Marathon Race to Acche Din – Part 1)

Oh Misty Dawn!
Nation's true wish is just to know;
Not on Year 4,
Not tomorrow;
Right Now!
All embracing wind to blow!

The very first stanza makes the demand - in the very first year. The demand that people were making from the newly established government was for an inclusive nature of governance, without any difference among the people. The phrase 'all embracing' makes the sense lucidly clear. However, the adjective Misty before the Dawn is perplexing. It can be interpreted in many different ways. 

Oh Sunless Dawn,
Undivided chanting burst forth...
Praying peace will not fall down,
The harmonic soul is still to be found.

In the second stanza, Phidalia questions the dawn which seems Sunless. Implying that the 'harmonic soul' is still to be found, the poet raises a warning alarm that the people of the country will not be content only with the talks of peace but with actual peace. This stanza might be taken for promises vs action on ground theory in the politics (particularly of India).

Men and women in power,
Your unbidden will, keep serving!
Pushing all hangers-on lower;
Awake!
Morning is here,
Keep toiling.

Now, in the third stanza, the poet is urging the newly sworn ministers to start working. 'Unbidden will' is a very solid phrase which tells us how much we anticipate from our politicians who have forgotten the basic rules of politics and public service. Awake, ministers, and start working for the morning is here and you need to work before the evening knocks again - you have a limited a time to prove something. This is a powerful stanza in the poem, no doubt! 


Lotus flower,
Watch out friends,
Which way does it bloom?
Dawn’s marathon is over;
When twilight we enter,
Will you and I have room?

The last line in the last stanza is hinting at the possible identity clash - men vs men. This is the last stanza which hints the people of the country to watch out for the actions and the discourse of the government as the elections have gone and the establishment has been established. Now, all one can do is wait till the time ends - 5 years. 

On a whole, the poem is very aptly describing the fresh government's fresh year in the office. It suggests the challenges on the way; it describes the best way of action; it also tells the people of the nation that they have to wait and watch what transpires in the future... Phidalia's books also exhibit the same amount of understanding of politics in India. She has written four instalments for four years of the NDA government already. 

review by Ashish Pandey for Book Reviews Web

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