ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary

however a banality? Each person, once he arrives at the end-point, is in any case severely on his own, to each his particular peace that passes understanding But, for Samar Sen, it was a lonely trek in a more humdrum sense too. This man, fifty and odd years ago, wrote the most distilled poetry to define Calcutta's tragic isolation Those poems were violently different from what the Bengalis, till then, thought poetry was about. They were both lullaby and elegy. The substratum of the populace addicted to the morphia of Rabindranath Tagore's assured placidity were slapped into a rude, new experience None knew Calcutta or the vapid, cantankerous Bengalis more than Samar Sen the poet He despised them, he was indulgent towards them. Because he despised them, he soon stopped writing poetry; what after all, was the rationale of preaching to the near-dead, the colonial mode has its own codes and rituals, why bother to interfere with them; your poetry will not be missed, irrespective of whether you produce your measured quota of output, the historical process will continue to roll along But he was also proud of his being a Bengali, and that supplied part of the explanation Certain things he could say through his intense, ferocious, nonconformist prose poems, none said these things better than him, but, beyond a point, the basic themes elude the modality, he had already said enough of the obvious, why repeat and run the risk of being identified as just another one of the claque belonging to the miserable establishment of the non-established? Therefore, let him walk away from the stylised path, none will lament for him A few will pretend to To play to the gallery on their account would be beneath contempt. It was inevitable that, haunted by the colonial curse, he would write some brittle, brilliant poetry It was equally inevitable that his Bengali intellect will hustle him into the inexorable logic of dialectical materialism That logic will mature, in its own manner; it will mature even without him, and, besides, the substratum he was concerning himself with was neither the base nor the superstructure So it was for him a matter of private honour which was also public conscience, he walked away when the going was good, he walked away because the going could never be good.

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