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Adil Jussawalla - Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Adil Jussawalla, the missing man, I have been searching, searching him
For quite a long time,
The man and the poet,
As have only heard about him,
The man who made a beginning decades ago and vanished out
From the literary scene
And was traceless
As a poet for many years
But resurfacing again with his
Trying to Say Goodbye and The Right Kind of Dog.

But as a journalist he had been there
Doing the journalistic write-ups, tidbits,
Editing and compiling,
Compiling and contributing
Rather than feeling poetically
A poet lost and uncertain of
His literary stance.

After Land’s End and Missing Person, he too vanished
Out of sight, traceless as a poet,
Nowhere to be found, searched around
A poet of broken lines and sentences
He was going by Eliot and The Waste Land,
Going by W.H.Auden and Stephen Spender,
But was not.

A poet of Bombay, a Parsi at heart, he has
His race, heritage, lineage, ethnicity, culture and tradition
To draw from,
A poet of Parsi heritage and lineage
And genealogy,
Searching roots,
Striking the theme of nativity.

Instead of, he is a poet of the busy capital, the commercial hub,
The mega city, metropolitan town
Of malls, plazas and mutlticomplexes,
Sea beaches, bars and restaurants,
International airports, bars and restaurants,
Apartments and skyscrapers,
Ships sailing far with the cartloads and cargoes,
Floating far off.

And apart from Parsi historiography and dislocation,
Adil turns back to Indian thought and philosophy
By taking Eklavya,
As he cannot say goobye to poetry
And returns back to it again,
A poet resurfacing again,
Back to his fluting and jarring tunes
After a break,
An interval of many years,
Collecting and re-collecting the older notebook jottings.

There is one trouble with the modern poets
That they pass on from modern to mod, modernistic and to post-modernism
And it is really tedious to understand them,
Using broken statements and terse vocabulary;
They themselves understand their poetry most.

Similar is the case with this modern poet
Who made a beginning long way
And after that turned to journalism
As for his career,
Barring sporadic literary activities.

Mainly England, the tings of English culture and living,
Foreign tours and travels, sojourns and stays
Connected with cosmopolitanism and globe-trotting
Take the canvas away from
And the second thing his being a Parsi,
Secluded from our ancient lore
And the other a cityman, a townsman not
But one from the metropolitan hub
Has nothing to delve in the countryside.

Urban life and living, values and manners, ways of expression,
City culture and dwelling,
Beaches, plazas, shopping malls, skyscrapers,
Theatres, art exhibitions, yoga therapies,
Parlours and multigyms,
These are but the things of any modern poet
That we seek to interpret for modernism sake.

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