Treasure Island

Bijay Kant Dubey

The Missing Man of Indian English Poetry: A Study of Adil Jussawalla's Poetry

Where you the missing man of Indian English poetry,
Appearing and vanishing out,
Appearing on the literary horizon
With Land’s End (1962) and Missing Person (1972)
And disappearing?

When had been a young boy of twenty-two, you published your first work
And thereafter a gap of ten years,
Your second volume of poetry,
But you could make a way out
As there had been a few to write in English,
As you had been a Bombayan.

P.Lal too supported you by publishing Land’s End,
Written against the backdrop of modernism and urbanity,
Of Europe and England
As you had been to England to be an architect,
But English drew it otherwise.

You taught at a language school in England
And after having returned to India in 1970,
Taught at St.Xavier’s College, Bombay
Between 1972 to 75,
An Honorary Fellow at the International Writing Program, Iowa in 1977.

His second collection, Missing Person, appeared from Clearing House
Of Chitre and Kolatkar combinations,
A press of writerly joint venture
And after that you could not be traced,
Spent doing literary journalism
Which kept you alive.

Again after a silence of 35 years and more, he is resurfacing with his poetry volumes
Trying to Say Goodbye and The Right Kind of Dog,
Talking of Ekalavya and Karna
And Daruwalla of Charvaka.

A Parsi poet, he is of Bombay and its cityscape,
The airports and terminuses, parks and cafes,
Theatres and halls,
Poetic fragmentation, disjointed times, searching for an ethos,
Alienation and rootlessness,
The things of his.

Instead of being raised in Zoroastrian faith,
Something he has learnt that he got from Anglican schools
Looking Christian in element,
But the lines and images of his distorted and broken.

A literary man, he has even selected poems for Debonair magazine
And has acted as Literary Editor
As well as Acting Editor of it,
Barring his literary reviews and columns published
In newspapers from time to time.

His poetry is as such that one will naturally call it
Modern, modernistic and post-modern
And this is a modern style to present
Broken statements and distorted imagery
As most of us urban, rootless and city-bred.

Submitted: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Edited: Monday, August 26, 2013

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