ANANYA S GUHA reviews Goirick Brahmachari’s debut collection For The Love Of Pork..
Goirick Brahmachari’s debut collection ” For The Love Of Pork ” is indeed a love for poetry, a way with words and stunning imagery. The collection travels through North East India, his own Silchar, Shillong and then within New Delhi. It is a travelogue of time, timelessness and history. The poems are a testament of love for communities in North East India and everywhere else. The strong bonds of history surface in these poems, not through any sentimentalism but through geographical contiguity and politics. If Meghalaya and Assam be the poet’s home, then neighbouring Bangladesh is the soil of his ancestors. The isolation of the Cachar District of Assam also weighs down heavily on the poems, but the pan India identity is overwhelming in the poet’s persona. The poems are inhabited by people of India and their culture of hope and optimism.
In the first section, Home, the poet questions the concept of home. The poems appear more in the form of a documentary and do not exhibit any form of exoticism, which many may fall for while writing about the Northeast. He tells us stories of interactions between communities, in a tone that is written matter of factly. The poet lives through this reality in myriad moments of passion, disappointment and love. It is love that overcomes obstacles and says that despite different cultures and communities, the world is borderless. He also attacks the geographical, ethnic and linguistic borders and blames it on the human race. It is a striving towards this end that the poems reach a sublimity and acme. The imagery is stunning whether of a roadside event, or a stop at Ladrymbai, or at an eating place en route to Silchar or Shillong or a narrow alley in Delhi.
Sadness weighs down on these poems when faced with unacceptance by people he loves. The trajectory of North East India with the Cachar areas being the epicentre is a focal point of the first section. The neighbouring areas of the Jaintia hills are also part of historical and social associations. Music and Food are also unifying factors. The smells and sounds of North East India fiercely inhabit the poems in this section, making them lyrical and memorable.
The second section of the book, Away, is where the urban alienation and angst get naturally imbibed into his verses. Traces of migrants from Northeast India and their life in Delhi can also be found in this section. The poems are murkier and sometimes even squalid. They naturally bring questions like – is there a severance? Is there an estrangement, loss of innocence in urban spaces?- to the reader. But even in this section, Goirick attempts to trace interactions between communities and how the borders we create do not really exist.
The poems have a music and express ineluctable delight in people, their ways, customs and mannerisms. This is broadly speaking a culture of humanity. Brahmachari’s poems are exploratory of time, space, politics and history- a superb collection.
For the love of Pork, Goirick Brahmachari, 67 pages
Les Éditions du Zaporogue, Denmark, January 2016,
Cover photo © Goirick Brahmachari
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