Keki N.Daruwalla’s Crossing Of Rivers And The Keeper Of The Dead Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Keki N.Daruwalla’s Crossing Of Rivers And The Keeper Of The Dead

Is a joint volume which has appeared from Oxford Univ. Press in 1991,
Accelerating the study of Daruwalla and his poetry,
The first starts with Boat-ride along the Ganga
Followed by Nightscape, Dawn, Bell-tower,
Beads, Crossing of Rivers, Death of a Bird,
The Fighting Eagles
While the latter inclusive of the poems,
As such Hawk, The Mistress, You, Slipping Past,
The Night of the Jackals, Love among the Pines,
From the Snows in Ranikhet, The Unrest of Desire,
The Parsi Hell, To My Daughter Rookzain, Aag-Matam.

Daruwalla as a poet seems to be a reader of tragedies,
More especially Greek tragedies,
Dealing with catharsis, purgation, hubris and hamartia,
He is not a simple poet to be taken simply,
Hard of heart
And unsentimental,
Emotions cannot drench him so often
As is a police officer by profession
Who has but mob furies, crowds and their sentiments
To deal with,
Road-blockades, jams and accidents,
The morgue and the post-mortem house,
Crime and punishment to dispense with.

Death, disease and autopsy the things of his,
Life seen and evaluated through,
Murder, violence, bloodshed and trouble-brewing
The purview of his,
The range vis-à-vis with,
A landscape riot-hit, curfew-clamped,
Affected with arson and looting,
All this under scanner
And he taking life from this point of view
And his ethos too supportive of,
In terms of the birds of prey
Circling over the Tower of Silence
To feed and feast upon the dead bodies
To cleanse them forth.

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