So proud to share this with you my friends:
My Guruchi, my Hindi translator and my good friend, Alka Tyagi –
a wonderful poet and a great Yoga teacher, here in a very impressing review published in The Hindu about her last poetry book – I had the honor to write the preface to this amazing book, a book that lifts and elevates its readers to a divine experience.
Here is the Introduction that I wrote to the book WHISPERS AT THE GANGA GHAT AND OTHER POEMS | Alka Tyagi
"The eyes are beyond time
Beyond words – "
Whispers at the Ganga Ghat and other poems, is a beautiful corpus of outstanding love poems. The whisperings that we hear while reading these poems, are love whispers that compasses both the human being and the universe. By rhyming words, the poet Alka Tyagi makes the universe and humanity become one.
The poems mirror all the elements which go into making of the stuff called life – love, pain, separation, our social reality and our need to relate to something beyond all these. Each of the poems as well as the whole corpus embraces life, life that is seen and described through eyes that are beyond time, beyond memories and beyond words. Life that bridges between the personal existential phenomena and the all mighty everlasting nature, life that encircles both of them, life that does not see or mind when sometimes these two elements of nature and human become one, when these two elements mix, chance roles and exchange positions.
But not only nature and human become one. In Alka Tyagi's poetry, the divine and the material become one. At the same time, the divine and the material can also change roles and exchange positions. Pain and sorrow are being cured by accepting their contribution to become divine, while the divine suffers, not less than the human being, from pain and sorrow. Gods are an imminent and accesible power that combine both and bridge between the personal and the universal. They are a presence and they are present always everywhere, and they are the addresser and the addressee of these poems. Just as for a Sufi, God is the Beloved, for a devotee beloved is the God; for the poetic persona the Guru, the spiritual Master, the God and the beloved are one and the same. This scheme of thought prevails in a large number of poems. Some of these poems are an urgent dialogue with this all-embracing entity, which is addressed as ‘Beloved’.
Mysterious as they are, these poems place the poet Alka Tyagi in the very unique area of the metaphysical poetry. They are an intermediator between two giants: Basho (Matsuo Bashō), on one hand, and Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī), on the other hand. Like Basho, Alka's poetry, treats the beauty of nature, and like Rumi, Alka's poetry treats the beauty of love. However, Alka's poetry climbs into a new peak. Here, the Nature and Love become one. Divine and Material become one. Nature and Material, Love and Divinity – these are the basic components that inhabit the poems and they arouse the reader to ask questions regarding the place of the sole personal individual in this world.
Like the medieval saints' poetry, that Alka Tyagi was researching, she takes the place of the Saint to tell the world a new perspective, a new point of view. This is the closest perspective one can achieve to The Divine. And The Divine, in Alka's poetry, is composed from Love and from Compassion. And like in the case of all true Saints, one can obtain this approach only by practicing a complete and total devotion.
This collection is divided into three sections, ‘Speech’, ‘Whispers’ and ‘Silence’, which are symbolic of different states of mind ‘Conscious’, ‘Subconscious’ and ‘Unconscious’ respectively. The poetic persona seems to be in a journey through these stages as we proceed from first poem ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’ in the first section to the last poem in the ‘Silence’ section ‘Lantern and the Mirror’. While the first poem reflects a deep desire to be born as a Buddha, to live life fully, the last poem in the collection is a statement on endless cycles of rebirth and death. This structure elevates the collection in a way that affects its reader.
Alka's poetry is written and is read like a prayer. That is why they contain the quality of a poetry that is written by a Shaman. And that is why these poems contain the quality of healing.
Alka Tyagi's poems are precise and accurate in their wish to obtain the good through a holistic approach that offers to its reader a new understanding of the meaning of life.
The reader of these poems will find in them not only the beauty of poetry, but also the beauty as the reason for his life.