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Judging a Judge’s Poetry - Review of ‘New Frontiers'

Dr. SL Peeran, Member CESTAT is an acclaimed poet, having to his credit six published volumes. We have Dr Sreekumar Menon, Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise another acclaimed poet reviewing Dr Peeran's latest book, "New Frontiers".

 

New Frontiers!
Judging a Judge’s Poetry
Review of ‘New Frontiers' (Poem)
by
Dr. G. Sreekumar Menon,
Commissioner of Customs & Excise

Poetry writing judges are very rare, for constraints of time and temperament inhibit many from pursuing literary pleasures. But, occasionally when we bump into a poetry writing judge, he elicits our admiration and accolades. Dr. S.L. Peeran, Member CESTAT, Bangalore belongs to the rare tribe of poetry writing judges. His latest poetic creation ‘New Frontiers’ is before me for a review. After traversing the 100 odd pages, I feel Dr. S.L. Peeran sitting directly opposite me and declaring

“But mind you, Sir, I am steadfast
Truthful to the hilt; simpleton
Sans show, pomposity, gibberish
Mindful of my business and my work”


Those who know Dr..Peeran will appreciate that the above self introduction is apposite and calls for no correction. In case you have misread him, he volunteers a further clarification :

“No, he isn’t a crazy man or ill
He is too Conscious and sane
He is on a high intellectual plane
With a broad prophetic vision”


But, why a prophetic vision? Because :

“Only a prophet can shake
you from slumber”

                          (Let Them Sleep)

And what does the prophet tell ?

“Over indulgence in the pleasures of the body and in organs of procreation
Disturbs the rhythm of sleep and rest
Dancing to the tunes of mirth and joys”

                                                   (Betray Yourself)

Pathetic desperation of the poet seeing the world abounding with cheats and crooks.

“The Corridors of power are thrown open
To marauders, plunderers and thugs”

                                                 (Betray Yourself)

And what is the recipe for their success ?

“By being sly, secretive towards one and all
just to remain in power
Position, fame, by hook or crook”
                                              (A Knave)

And if you cannot be like that, then :

“Your career and reputation damaged beyond repair
Your heart bleeding and your body becoming deed wood”

                                                (Dead Wood)

The poet is grief stricken that every body misunderstands him :

“His actions were all the more defensive
Than to cause hurt or offence
But the timings of his acts were such
That he was pronounced “guilty” by all”.

                                                (Haste Makes Waste)

Passages like the above abound in this collection. There is an auto biographical element strewn all over. And when he is not in an autobiographical mood, he is sermonising, moralising and preaching to a generation that is uncomfortable with such a line of thinking. Dr. S.L. Peeran himself is fully aware of this, and his self confession is revealing :

“You are an odd man in the lot
who should have lived in some bygone era”

                                                      (our Capital City)

The poems are full of candid confessions, sentimental outpourings and self appraisal of a wronged man thrown amidst wrong people.

Dr. G. Sreekumar Menon
Commissioner of Customs & Excise


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