Book Review: The Forgotten Champion

Prof Dr Shiv Sethi

ARBIND KUMAR  CHOUDHARY  is  a  poet  in  a  thousand  who  has been credited not only with the twelve  poetry collections in  English  but  also  has  been  interviewed  for various  magazines  and  anthologies  in  America, Romania, Albania, Malta and various other countries excluding a number of literary awards of China,  America, Geneva, France, Switzerland  and India. The Racy style of versification, Indianised version of Arbindonean Sonnets and The Phrasal Movement  are   his  unmatched creative gifts  that make him the champion of the champions in Indian English poetry. Arbind Kumar Choudhary  is  really the time’s chest who has buried the past for the best of the lovenest amidst many a litmus test?  Choudhary  is really the topmost who goes on the bust for the best of the literary contest amidst many a ghost  at the feast? This  is not only the maiden poetry collection in English on Veer Lachit Borphukan but also the gem for the verse- suitors and patriots alike. Veer Lachit Borphukan has been presented like the saintly figure  who has taken birth to abolish the fetor of the Satan in general and the Mughal  in particular. The title The Forgotten Champion speaks volumes about this leading champion who has been enlivened  after  the  seven  decades   of  independence?

The country Hindustan that has been called by number of historical names Aryavarta, Bharat Khand, Al-Hind, India, Jambudweep  etc  has been culturally highlighted followed by Assam where Veer Lachit Borphukan has given a befitting reply to the Mughal general. Both Shankardev and Madhavdev have moulded the Assamese society   towards the Sanatani culture. Sonitpur is the mythical junction while Jatinga has become the centre of attraction for all. These proverbial dialogues- Basudhev Kutumbakam, No rose without a thorn, Live locally but think globally etc bring to light his mastery over  proverbial passages. Veer Lachit Borphukan is the champion of The Saraighat War in which he, like Shivaji or Maharana Pratap, has shown his bravery and compelled the Mughal general to go back from the battle field? Veer Lachit Borphukan, the commander-in-chief of The Ahom Dynasty of Assam,  fights against Ram Singh, the Mughal general in the same way the falcon preys the sparrow. The Hengdang of  Lachit Borphukan, The Gada of Hanuman, yogan of the Murugan, Kawan of Madhuwan, pagan of the Suffragan, pollen of the stallion, Rimon of the Mermon ,Anjappan of Indian Bhupen, Farhan  of  Brajmohan,  banyan of Trinayan, clarion of the Orion, Chiron of saffron  etc are the striking word formations that stir sensations amidst the verse-suitors. The slain of his maternal uncle on the eve of  the Saraighat War  enlivens  Krishna’s  killing  of  Kansha of  Indian history.

Most of his  rhymed quatrains seem melodious, philosophical, and poetical due to same sound. The cultural, mythical, philosophical, spiritual and historical significance of this territory have been highlighted from one stanza after another with great poetic beauty and sanctity. Indianness runs wild across his verses that makes him out and out an Indian English poet from this cultural capital of the world. These Indian, Greek and Roman mythical messiahs- Arumugan, Devgan, Dragon, Gagan, Morrigan, Murugan, Pagan, Regan, Yogan, Zagan and many others blossom altogether through thick and thin that speak volumes about this mastery  over  the mythical messiahs.

So far the phrasal fragrance of his verses is concerned,  Arbind Kumar Choudhary  is next to none in Indian English poetry. Most of these  Indianised version of  Arbindonean  Sonnets are laden with the junction of the phrasal words that perfumes the poetic passage with the phrasal fragrance to its utmost degrees. Here lies  a melodious rhymed phrasal quatrain that contains the junction of four phrasal words- angry young man, strike out, ready pen and poison pen and lays foundation of The Phrasal Movement in Indian English poetry under the guidance this Phrasal Monarch.

This Jaiman is an angry  young man/Who strikes out plan of superman/

For the ready pen of Vaman/Amidst many a poison pen of Puloman ? (2024:24)/

His conception on sensation, affection and creation adds fuel for spiritual sanctification amidst many a repulsion. The uses of these numerical words- triple three, triple seven and triple nine make him the wordsmith while the painterly painting of his adventurous success story adds fuel to the creative flames among his suitors. The Forgotten Champion is, no doubt, one of the finest examples of Indianised version of  Arbindonean Sonnets that explores its various forms and designs for the verse-suitors and the critics alike.

The eastern cultural champions- Acchutan, Chetan, Destan, Kapi Ketan, Rambutan, Ratan, Shaitan, Sanatan  and many others perfume the poetic passage along with their western counterparts- Avestan Bostan, Kingstan,  Sultan,  Tristan and many others to its utmost degrees that  blend the east and the west for the new cultural order all around the corner. These western mythical champions – Endymion, Mermon,  Mammon, Melpomene, Rimmon, Soloman and several others appear again and again along with their eastern counterparts–all through his poems in general and The Forgotten Champion in particular with equal poetic flavour and glamour. The Indian mythical messiahs – Anjalipan ,Bhupen, Deipan, Rampan, Sandipan, Tarpan, Tapan and several others give their presence in one poem after another with the western mythical champions- Peter Pan, Zapan and many others that heal the gap between the east and the west from this cultural land of milk and honey. These Indian mythical messiahs– Alderman, Assamraman, Janakiraman, Meeraman,  Shreeman, Sitaraman and many others flourish with their western counter parts 一 Soloman and many others in one poem after another with great mythical meridian that persuade a group of the verse-suitors to honour him with the crown of the wordsmith in general and the mythical monarch in  particular  in Indian English poetry.

 Indian cultural messiahs – Aravan, Agnivan, Dewan, Devbhawan, Gajaran, Jawan, Kalayavana, Madhuwan, Malyavan, Ravan, Shravan, Vivasvan and many others give their presence from alpha and omega of  his verses along with their western counterparts that make him a poet of global repute without dispute. The western mythical champions- Acheron, Bifron, Chiron, Firon, Moron, Orion, Sharon and many   others  appear time and again along with their Indian counterparts – Bhaskaran , Drona, Jyotikiran, Harkiran, Haricharan, Gurucharan, Kumbhakaran, Kumaran, Lokpran, Prabhakaran, Samiran, Shivsaren, Vikarna and several others that heal the gap between east and the west. These cultural messiahs – Anjana, Agni ,Bhojan, Adhirranjan, Debranjan, Durjan,  Ishtajan, Nirangan, Prabhanjan, Priyajan, Razan, Rupanjan, Sajan, Viprarjan  and many others perfume the poetic passage with their western counterparts- Tarjan, Trojan and several others for the blending between Indian, Greek and Roman cultural messiahs.

Majuliscape has been painterly painted all through this poetry book. He has used a number of  adjective and mythical names- Balogun, Adigun, spear gun, Anantguna, Sadgun, Murugan, Alagan, Arivalagan etc that justify the supreme sacrifice served by Veer Lachit Borphukan for the sake of his motherland. India first was the hymen of that acumen who fills ups the energy men for the sake of the hanging war. He has been called Hanuman who accepts the challenge of the Satan for the sake of Shreeman amidst  many  a   Surapadman ? His fond  of  the  Charadeo swan, cultural city Sonitpur, river junction  Majuli, birds  suicidal  place Jatinga, The  Baligrama  swan, Shankardev, Borphukan  and  many  others  justify  the  poetic heraldry  of  this territory  without  fear  or favour .

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