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Sunday, April 1, 2012

CLRI April 2012

Contemporary Literary Review India April 2012
Editorial April 2012
Electronic Media Best Alternative to Paper by Khurshid Alam
The Internet has added a new space to our life without doubt, coupled with many possibilities and opportunities. It’s a virtual world but has the real presence.
Poems Brisk Man from Jaipur by Donal Mahoney
Two men tall,
one from here
Two Poems by Brigit Truex
Bengali Man
A Word for It

Two Poems by Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Caught in the Crossfire

Two Poems by Tatjana Debeljački
In The Whiteness

Short Story The New Home by Kaveri Murthy
We moved to Mussoorie in May, 1997, the hottest month of the year. We previously lived in Delhi, where our mother had been a high school biology teacher. But despite nearly twenty years of living there, she was not happy, and since our father's untimely demise had contemplated moving back to her hometown.
Interview An Interview with Jitendra Sharma by Khurshid Alam
Khurshid Alam engages Jitendra Sharma in an interview with his concept of Man in Aurobindo's poetry on his recently released title, Concept of Man in Sri Aurobindo's Poetry.
Essay The Perfect Life by Anand Vardhan
Soft music harmonising the nerves of your brain, a sweet smell drowning you into a lake of decreased sentient, you punched lavishly into the middle of your fresh-bun-like couch and looking through the glass walls at some brilliant example of architectural finesse, and ...
Film Review The Dirty Picture is a Blurb on Porn Fantasy by Khurshid Alam
The dialogue in the movie The Dirty Picture, “When a girl sheds clothes from her dignity, the so-called honourable people enjoy the most.”...
Criticism Savitri and Satyavan by Bhaskar Roy Barman
...Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem, Savitri, based upon the Savitri-Satyavan legend in the Mahabharata, one of the two epics that India glories in, the other epic being the Ramayana.
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Electronic Media Best Alternative to Paper by Khurshid Alam

Electronic Media Best Alternative to Paper by Khurshid Alam
The Internet has added a new space to our life without doubt, coupled with many possibilities and opportunities. It’s a virtual world but has the real presence. Given the fact that more than 2.2 billion people use the Internet worldwide (2011), Internet-based systems are fast spreading to other walks of human life.
With the pressing need of saving trees, we are running to save paper and cut its usage as far as possible. Post Internet we are blessed with the best alternative. Gradually the banks moved to electronic statements, offices communicate through emails instead of letters, and now IRCTC is encouraging people to have tickets on electronic devices for their journeys than on papers.
IRCTC of the Indian Railways displays a message on its site that we can save 3 lakh A4 size papers everyday if we stop taking the printout of the tickets. 3 lakh A4 size papers in a day roughly weigh about 1440 kilograms, which makes about 35 trees. This means we can save 35 trees every day. Assume that this estimation is only for those who book tickets online, yet a larger number of passengers book tickets on the counters, which are given in paper, and do not forget about the papers being used as tickets for buses and other means of transports in entire India.
Almost all leading newspapers and tabloids are migrating to online versions, in addition to the print ones. Many journals, magazines, newspapers, and tabloids are coming solely online.
Of late books in digital versions are gradually replacing the traditional print version. According to the Association of American Publishers, e-books grew from 0.6% of the total trade market share in 2008 to 6.4% in 2010. Total net revenue for 2010 stood at $878 million with 114 million e-books sold. In adult fiction, e-books are now 13.6% of the market. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the likes are the leading digital publishers where thousands of writers self-publish their dream writings and sell for good benefits.
Realizing the potentiality of the digital publishing, almost all leading traditional publishers including Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, Random House, are moving to digital publishing as well in addition to their traditional presence. They are working aggressively on converting even those titles which came pre-Internet world to digital versions. And now the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling are available in e-book formats.
In near future, we will see digital readers grow beyond expectation. In schools children are being taught online through Educomp, they are studying exercise modules through animated software programs, and nursery rhymes through digital audio books (CDs, DVDs, Audio series). When they will be in college, they would prefer their text books to be in digital formats. Some ten years from now a big part of curriculum text, both at school and college levels, will be in digital formats. This generation will herald the age of the real digital presence.
Khurshid Alam,
Editor, CLRI, April 2012.
Forthcoming Topics
eBook Reading Devices
Best Selling eWriters
India’s Stand in Digital Publishing
Challenges in Digital Publishing
Book Formats for Digital Publishing

To download in PDF, click  Editorial by Khurshid Alam

Brisk Man from Jaipur by Donal Mahoney

Brisk Man from Jaipur by Donal Mahoney
Two men tall,
one from here
and one from there,

in raincoats
at a bus stop,
pace and stare.

One of them
is soaked in tea,
brisk man from Jaipur

who semaphores
an anthracitic glare.
To barter for a smile

an alien’s obeisance
he, no fawn,

The other man,
white cane and dog,
doesn’t seem to care.

Author's Bio:  
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where it can be difficult to find a good plate of Aloo Gobi. He has had poems published in a variety of print and online journals, including Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), The Osprey Journal (Scotland), Pirene's Fountain (Australia), The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, and The Beloit Poetry Journal.
To download in PDF, click  Poem by Donal Mahoney

Two Poems by Brigit Truex

Two Poems by Brigit Truex

Bengali Man Lives in House Made of People
            Weekly World News, March 2006

Bengali Man by Brigit Truex
The mockery of the papers, as if this was
something fantastical, difficult to believe

of course we live in homes made of people,
with beams of long bone, smooth muscle

firm underfoot. Layered with sentences
that spackle the walls. Consonants, jutting

from the framework, harden with time.
Digits unlock, yielding to the shape

of another’s hand. Uncurtained
vitreous eyes have seen it all.

In our houses, rooms murmur when we leave,
sigh, swallow light from precisely angled

corners so nothing is visible when the moon
has turned its back.  You have to listen carefully

to catch them, to discern the particular
sound, although you think you feel fingers

brush your skin and mistake that breath
for your own.

            “Explorers in India find something almost unheard of: a new language”
                        The Independent, 7 Oct 2010

A Word for It by Brigit Truex
They might have named it
For its shape, different on the tongue,
forming their own sound – dougrey
for the way it burned, a distant ember
without flame, a lantern in the same place
suspended above the peaks.
How I wonder what you are,
lighting the transit of ala,
bowl of milky light that empties,
refills itself again and again.
No matter that our words
don’t match. Each counts the dawns,
knowing the green bud will unfold soon
under the same hot maynay,
whatever the sound for it.
How I wonder what you are
that first divided us, an a for an m. Was it
inflection or a river that marked the separation?
Speak Aka, say it in Koro. These wind-scoured
mountains make no distinction.
We are the Other.
Each fingers the soil, watches mooyoo
fall gently on upturned faces.
How I wonder what you are.

Author’s Bio
Brigit Truex has lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California for the past dozen years. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Atlanta Review, Aurorean, Canary, and Yellow Medicine Review. Anthologies include I Was Indian, Broken Circles and Fog and Woodsmoke, among others. Her collection, A Counterpane Without, is published by Rattlesnake Press, and her latest book, Strong As Silk (Lummox Press) is due out in early 2012.

To download in PDF, click Poems by Brigit Truex

Two Poems by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Two Poems by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Caught in the Crossfire by Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Like uninvited roaches,
the swarm of metallic abuse
and silent shrieks entered the day.

I wondered,
should I surrender to my blunder of care
or run like the herd of cowards?

I fell into the hands of fate—
wrong place, wrong time
as the wise ones say.

My anxiety moved,
by the death of humanity,
my feet remained firm.

The remnants write my story
from the Gates of Hades,
but the ink is drying up.
Unseen is the stream of red
and my body—
a blend of  dust,
imprints of nightmare, decaying flesh.

Arranged by Sweta Srivastava Vikram
At twenty, the relatives brought her dark honey.
Minutes were inscribed, her future sealed
for what was—her family thought a good deal.

But no one chose to see
the unrest in her breath,
for forty years,
her eyes talked to the rain.

At sixty, at her husband’s wake,
she dug through the tunnel
of memories, sugar tasted bitter.
Coerced to be a perpetual giver—
a daughter, mother, and a wife.

She finds a best friend
in the solitude of freedom,
bids adieu to her
abducted existence.

She finally smiles
with her eyes.

Author’s Bio: 
A graduate of Columbia University, Sweta Srivastava Vikram reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities across the globe. Sweta is an award-winning writer, poet, novelist, author, essayist, educator, and blogger whose musings have been translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a novel, and a nonfiction book of prose and poems (upcoming in 2012). Her scribbles have also appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across six countries in three continents. Sweta has won two Pushcart Prize nominations, an International Poetry Award, Best of the Net Nomination, Nomination for Asian American Members’ Choice Awards 2011, and writing fellowships. Taj Mahal Review describes her as "A poet with hauntingly beautiful talent." Sweta has held several artist residencies in Europe and America and worked on collaborative projects with artists from Zimbabwe and Australia.  Sweta lives in New York City with her husband. She can be reached at:
To download in PDF, click Poems by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Two Poems by Tatjana Debeljački

Two Poems by Tatjana Debeljački

In The Whiteness by Tatjana Debeljački
Legs tied to a bouquet of roses;
hands free for prayer;
hair covered by buds;
her name born by a proud peacock.
Angel light, illuminate
the image of a yellow rose and promiscuity
Saints shameless and fearless.
Love alters us.
They deprived it of
toys and a lover.

TAM-TAM by Tatjana Debeljački
I'm looking for the colour and light
Everything taken by the rhythm,
Now I know the dance of the black people
It's just I don't walk upon the carpet of sand

Tam-tam is now the dance
Of cats and dogs
Try to think of what is happening
In the excited crowd
Me the rhythm and sound,
Present and past—
Here I am!
Everybody stand up!
You, stranger,
Stomping with me
Could you love,
Or just dance tam-tam?
My spring is coming!
That is why I don't get hungry, thirsty,
I'm not sad, I'm not afraid
I leave heroes and wars behind,
Their battles and defeats
Freedom is my goal.
My spring is coming
Because I know one slow dance,
Dance to the sound of DRUMS.

Author’s Bio
Tatjana Debeljački, born 1967 in Užice writes poetry, short stories, stories and haiku. She is a member of many literary entities such as Association of Writers of Serbia–UKS, and Haiku Society of Serbia - HDS Serbia, etc. She is a deputy to the main editor (cooperation with magazines & interviews, Her poetry and haiku have been translated into several languages.

To download in PDF, click Poems by Tatjana Debeljacki

The New Home by Kaveri Murthy

The New Home by Kaveri Murthy
We moved to Mussoorie in May, 1997, the hottest month of the year. We previously lived in Delhi, where our mother had been a high school biology teacher. But despite nearly twenty years of living there, she was not happy, and since our father's untimely demise had contemplated moving back to her hometown.

When she first told us (my elder sister and me) of this plan, we violently opposed it. We grew up in Delhi—we didn't like leaving our familiarities for a place only our mother knew. But she was firm; she had lived in this hot, dry city long enough.

And so we decided, like the kids we were, to be as difficult as we possibly could in order to get back home. We toyed with the idea of asking mother to put us in a boarding school. This plan fell flat as soon my sister set eyes on the new house. It was evidently quite old, made of stone. It was built sometime in the early 1900s; the former residence of a retired Anglo-Indian civil servant. After living our whole life in a three-bedroom flat, this house seemed huge, mansion-like. It had creepers hanging down on one side, with a sloping red-tiled roof that glowed in the afternoon sun.

My sister was a bit of a romantic lot. She had read enough fairy tales to believe that all old houses contained some sort of secret, or treasure. Left to herself she would have probably thumped the back of every cupboard in an old house, looking to discover another Narnia. The fact that they did never turn into trees and snow didn't faze her. She scrounged and raked up what little history she could find with a tenacity that would have been admirable had it not seemed so silly.

The inspection of the new house proved futile. There were no new discoveries, not even some old toy a child might have been careless to leave around. There was a gorgeous stone fireplace, but that was all. My sister felt bitterly disappointed, and I began to entertain hopes of Operation Tantrum being put into action after all. Ironically, it was my mother who brought on a bit of a damper, as my sister sat complaining throughout dinner.

'Haven't you seen the attic yet? The old owner said there were all sorts of junk up there.' My sister's face lit up.

'Attic? What attic?'

'The one at the end of the stairs above the first floor...'
My sister was off like a shot. She tripped on the stairs, sprained her ankle, busted her toe, but eventually made it , limping but undefeated, to the old wooden door with a tiny staircase leading up to it. I followed, more to protect her from other unprecedented injuries than anything else. An old trunk, fashioned from the blueprints of my sister's imagination stood quietly in a corner. She immediately pounced on it in a manner that would have one wonder if the trunk was magicked to disappear at the touch of a human. I stood a little behind. The trunk was surprisingly unlocked and as she opened it there was a cloud of dust. A great deal of coughing later (we both had mild dust allergies) my sister gasped.

'What is it? Spell-books, sorcerer's secrets, charms? Wicked witch-esque deeds in print?'

'Old books. Novels. My day is made!' And off she went, her hands full of books, happy as a cricket.

I peered into the trunk. In addition to books, there was a funny-looking box and a rusted old cage. I took it. I loved birds and had always wanted one of my own, but our former apartment had too stuffy an environment to keep a bird in. The new house, with its extra space, was perfect, so I took the cage downstairs and left it on a little table in my room.

In the middle of the night, I awoke to the sound of a horrible, high-pitched chirping. I remembered my mother saying that some of the foundations creaked, and although the chirping didn't sound anything like creaking, I decided it was and went back to sleep.

The next morning I cleaned up the cage as best as I could and bought a pretty white pigeon at the local pet store. The cage, in my eyes, looked brand new. But the pigeon struggled as I tried to put her in it, screeching as if she had seen a ghost. After a few failed attempts, I gave it up and let her have the run of the house. She was quite tame and soon got used to her new environment. I dumped the cage back in the attic, having no more use for it.

The same night, I was again awakened by a shrill chirping. It was louder than before, and I assumed it was the pigeon. I yelled for a bit and bade her to be quiet. The sound stopped abruptly.

Back from work the next day, my mother announced her new plan to get rid of all the things we weren't using, or hadn't used, in a long time. She wanted to donate to a nearby orphanage.

“I was also thinking we could get rid of all those things upstairs.” She gestured vaguely to the ceiling.

So next morning we cleaned up the attic and stuffed all the items into cardboard boxes, and my mother drove off to the orphanage with them. Her eyes sparkled with goodwill when she came back. “Its quite different, being happy because you made someone else happy. Its somehow better than receiving gifts yourself,” she said.

The same evening, before I went to sleep, I gave what I believe now to be the silliest speech—a lecture to a bird. I told the pigeon sternly to not, under any circumstance, wake me up by making loud sounds.

At the point where I threatened to lock her up in the attic with nothing but breadcrumbs, my sister walked in to the room. She stopped, stared, and her face cracked into a hideous evil grin. She didn't let me forget it for weeks.

But that night, I slept undisturbed. I concluded that the bird had learned a lesson.

Author's Bio:  Kaveri Murthy, a 2nd Year student studying English Literature at Madras Christian College, Chennai, (India) has interned at The Hindu Metroplus, for whom she wrote three articles. She has also illustrated a book 'Where is The Button', published for visually-impaired children. Her essay, a take on Bernard Shaw's statement "Science never solved a problem without creating ten more" won a bronze in the Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition (2010). Kaveri's interests (apart from writing) include Carnatic music, which she has been learning for the past thirteen years, and painting, which is self-taught.

This story is inspired by Kaveri’s a month-long trip to Mussoorie in May, 2004 where she had stayed at a resort, the former mountain residence of an old army major. The romantic story attached to the place as well as its general antiquity left her enthralled. Her assiduous (but futile) search for secret passageways, documents, etc., inspired her, many years later, to write a story on it.

To download in PDF, click Story by Kaveri Murthy

An Interview with Jitendra Sharma by Khurshid Alam

An Interview with Jitendra Sharma by Khurshid Alam
CLRI Que 1: Hi Jitendra, can you share the reason why you selected Sri Aurobindo Ghose’s works as your research topic while there are so many Indian writers in English? Particularly now there are a good number of Man Booker Prize winners also.
Ans: Sri Aurobindo, a great politician, philosopher, freedom-fighter, mystic, literary critic and Yogi, considered himself primarily a poet. He had an integral vision of life and spirituality. Sri Aurobindo’s poetry has already carved a niche for itself. His vast poetry, encompassing many forms and moods, expresses an enormous variety of emotions. All this provided me with a wide creative space for research.
Of course, there are some Indian Man Booker Prize winners like Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and Aravind Adiga whose excellent novels provide ample possibilities for serious research. But being an alumnus of “Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry”, I had a natural preference for Sri Aurobindo. As there had been no research on the concept of Man in Sri Aurobindo’s poetry, I decided to present his concept of Man to the masses.
CLRI Que 2: Sri Aurobindo was a philosopher at heart. What is his contribution to Indian philosophy?
Ans: Most of the philosophers have always created a gulf between this world and beyond, but Sri Aurobindo creates the perfect synthesis of spirituality and the world. His theories of evolution, consciousness and matter place him at the forefront of Indian philosophers. He formulated a scientific and spiritual vision of evolution. He foresees a complete transformation of Man and the world. He believes that a new spiritualised race of humanity is about to come. His unusual life experiences convinced him of such future possibilities. He traced Man’s evolution through anthropology, sociology, politics, psychology, culture and religion in over 37 newly-published, huge volumes of writings.
CLRI Que 3: What is the outcome of the synthesis of Aurobindo’s Western and Eastern philosophies?
Ans: Sri Aurobindo’s teachings reflect that man is a portion, a spark of the Divine. Hence, man is very much capable of living in harmony with the entire Creation and society. By a radical change and upliftment of his consciousness, man can live harmoniously despite any political, religious and economic structures. Human evolution integrates all levels, from the spirit to the very physical.
In the psyche of humanity, Superman has always been an archetype. Around 1900, the notion of the superman became common in European philosophy. Many philosophers along with Friedrich Nietzsche tried to put forth theories and suggestions to alleviate human misery and improve the human condition. But it is extremely difficult to transform matter, the earth and Man.
Sri Aurobindo, based on a great and perfect philosophy, advocated an ideal world of social equality, fraternity and freedom. He showed how to perceive politics from the standpoint of spirituality. After clearing the incompleteness of Marx’s philosophy, he presented his integral philosophy in which the elements of the east and the west, past and future, science and religion, heart and mind, which seem contradictory to us, are presented in a beautifully synthesised image. Sri Aurobindo has a vision of the possibility of a divine life for man upon the earth.
Sri Aurobindo emphasises the complementarities rather than the oppositions of Eastern and Western philosophies. He believes that all humans are of the same divine origin.
CLRI Que 4: In his earlier life, Sri Aurobindo was a revolutionary political leader. Why he spent his later life in seclusion?
Ans. In 1908, Sri Aurobindo was implicated in the Alipore bomb case. During his one year’s confinement in a solitary cell, he unexpectedly had many unique and great spiritual experiences. On being acquitted, he continued his revolutionary work for India’s liberation until 1910. Then, in response to an inner command from his soul, he went to the French colony of Pondicherry to devote his life to a single concentration on spiritual practice. The political fighter turned into a revolutionary Yogi. Despite personal appeals from Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi and many others, Sri Aurobindo did not swerve from his firm resolution to follow the spiritual path until the very end of his life.
CLRI Que 5: Sri Aurobindo is regarded to be the first Indian who created a major literary corpus in English when India was still under the English rule and there was no concept of Indian English Literature. Your comment.
Ans. Sri Aurobindo was a prolific writer who wrote extensively on various subjects and topics hardly leaving any . Some critics equated him to the level of John Milton and Dante on the basis of his magnum opus Savitri. Sri Aurobindo had made insightful comments and literary criticisms on great figures like Shakespeare, Homer, Goethe, Dante, Wordsworth, Aeschylus, Virgil, Milton, Sophocles, Valmiki, Kalidasa and Vyasa.
“Review of Collected Poems and Plays in the Times Literary Supplement [London] (8 July 1944)” appreciated Sri Aurobindo in these words:
Of all modern Indian writers Aurobindo — successively poet, critic, scholar, thinker, nationalist, humanist — is the most significant and perhaps the most interesting ... In fact, he is a new type of thinker, one who combines in his vision the alacrity of the West with the illumination of the East. To study his writings is to enlarge the boundaries of one's knowledge ... He is blessed with a keen intuition. He knows that a man may be right and not wise. He treats each word of his as though it were a drop of elixir. In all this he is unique — at least in modern India. ... a yogi who writes as though he were standing among the stars, with the constellations for his companions.
CLRI Que 6: In his early days, Sri Aurobindo’s poems were influenced by the beauty of nature, Irish patriotic movement and Greek heritage. Can you please cite some of the poems or lines which second this?
Ans. Sri Aurobindo believed in fighting for the liberty of one’s own country. In 1891, he paid tribute to the memory of Charles Stewart Powell, the Irish patriot in the form of a beautiful poem.
Sri Aurobindo had mastery over Greek and Latin languages. In his poetry and plays, he frequently refers and alludes to ancient Greek myths and legends.
I dreamed my sun had risen.
He had a face like the Olympian Zeus
And wings upon his feet.
Sri Aurobindo portrays the beauty of nature in myriad ways.
CLRI Que 7: According to you, “Man is everywhere in his poetry with minute projections, innumerable possibilities and natural tendencies towards self-exceeding.” Can you give some examples with a few of Sri Aurobindo’s popular works?
Ans: Sri Aurobindo does not reject man’s day-to-day worldly life. On the contrary, man’s mundane life should be transformed and divinised.
Only when thou hast climbed above thy mind
And liv'st in the calm vastness of the One
Can Love be eternal in the eternal bliss
And love divine replace the human tie.
(Savitri, Book VI, Canto I)
Sri Aurobindo’s vision of man’s destiny is lofty even in social and political spheres. In Thoughts and Glimpses, he states:
What is there new that we have yet to accomplish? Love, for as yet we have only accomplished hatred and self-pleasing; Knowledge, for as yet we have only accomplished error and perception and conceiving; Bliss, for as yet we have only accomplished pleasure and pain and indifference; Power, for as yet we have only accomplished weakness and effort and a defeated victory; Life, for as yet we have only accomplished birth and growth and dying; Unity, for as yet we have only accomplished war and association.
In a word, godhead; to remake ourselves in the divine image.
Man has an indisputable urge to exceed himself and realise a higher life. In his great prose work The Life Divine, he elucidates thus:
“The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage…The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last,—God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.”
CLRI Que 8: Sri Aurobindo prophesized The Future Poetry. Can you tell me something about its concept?
Ans. Sri Aurobindo defines poetry as “rhythmic speech which rises at once from the heart of the seer and from the distant home of the Truth”. He asserts that “Vision is the characteristic power of the poet.”
Like man, poetry also keeps on evolving continuously. Sri Aurobindo believes that English poetry is progressing towards the poetry which is capable of expressing itself in the Supreme rhythmic language which “seizes hold upon all that is finite and brings into each the light and voice of its own Infinite.” Sri Aurobindo’s aesthetics, rooted in the Vedas and the Upanishads, assimilated and accommodated many modern trends. He has very clearly identified and shown several layers or planes from where the Muse descended into the poetry of Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Shelly, and Byron etc. He opines that Poetry is the Mantra of the Real. Mantra is the “inevitable word”, emerging from the depths of a poet’s soul, enabling readers to experience delight, joy and beauty. In long poems like  Savitri, Ilion, Love and Death, and Urvasie, Sri Aurobindo sustained high poetic inspiration over long stretches. His profound vision of life finds expression in unfaltering rhythm, vibrant with revelatory power.
In The Future Poetry, Sri Aurobindo says:
The world is making itself anew under a great spiritual pressure… It is in effect a larger cosmic vision, a realizing of the godhead in the world and in man, of his divine possibilities as well of the greatness of the power that manifests in what he is, a spiritualised uplifting of his thought and feeling and sense and action, a more developed psychic mind and hear, a truer and a deeper insight into his nature and the meaning of the world, a calling of diviner potentialities and more spiritual values into the intention and structure of his life that is the call upon humanity, the prospect offered to it by the slowly unfolding and now more clearly disclosed Self of the universe,. The nations that most include and make real these things in their life and culture are the nations of the coming dawn and the poets of whatever tongue and race who most completely see with this vision and speak with the inspiration of its utterance are those who shall be the creators of the poetry of the future.
CLRI Que 9: Savitri – a Legend and a Symbol is Sri Aurobindo’s magnum opus but is it exactly the same story of Savitri from Indian mythology or is it different. If different, how?
Ans: Savitri, the longest poem in English language with its 23, 815 lines of blank verses, provides perennial inspiration to seekers of Truth. In Mahabharata, we have the legend of Savitri who proves love’s potential superiority over death. Sri Aurobindo transforms this legend into a symbol of elaborate significance. Satyavan is the soul besieged by darkness and ignorance. Savitri, the creative power, saves Satyavan from the doom. This legend is a source of inspiration for Sri Aurobindo to traverse the path to immortality. Man is too weak, puny, meagre and distorted to challenge the oppression of death. But Savitri’s sadhana, on behalf of the humanity, will one day usher in the Divine Love which will conquer Death.
 Savitri has the large canvas of human history. It is a story of man’s evolution. Man’s future, the occult cosmology and the geography of the entire universe are revealed wonderfully. Savitri travels to find her soul , encounters her soul-forces and feels the bliss of unity of Consciousness. She grapples with Death and wins. Savitri embodies images of infinity.
CLRI Que 10: What is the message you wanted to convey through your book?
Ans: Man is not a finished product of Nature. In the next stage of evolution, Man will be eventually transformed into Superman. The entire book hinges on this prophetic vision of Sri Aurobindo. Man can consciously participate in the process of evolution from mind to Supermind. It will hasten the birth of a divinised humanity upon the earth.
Author’s Bio
Dr. Jitendra Sharma obtained his Master's Degree in French from Karnatak University, Dharwar and had M.Phil. in French from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad. He has also studied in the Stendhal University of Grenoble in France. His literary articles have appeared in various journals and he has participated in more than 80 national/international seminars, workshops and conferences. He heads the Department of French at St. Joseph's College, Devagiri, Calicut (Kerala) where he tries to implement Sri Aurobindo's education methodology in his teaching profession.

To download in PDF, click An Interview with Jitendra Sharma

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