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- Sunday, September 22, 2013 - From Print Edition




As a Mirror of Integral structure of evolving consciousness, Akhtar Raza Saleemi’s collection of poetry ‘Khawab Daan’ marks his poetic moments of truth lived in the present and yet extended into a temporal existence outside of linear time and space. Touching on facets of space and time, Saleemi’s poems belong to the realm of the lofty and mythical.


After grooming himself successfully as a poet of ‘ghazals’, Saleemi ventures into the world of versified poetry in ‘Khawab Daan’, seeking to revel in his poetic liaison to a larger consciousness, embracing the order of things from small to great and how they are interrelated, sharing a oneness with the nature and human existence.


Saleemi’s verses paint portraits of individuals at a certain point in time representing the poets own varied experience over a span of time, yet the same themes run through all of them in a mystic connection.


Going through Saleemi’s moments of truth, as intricate as the sound properties of poetry may be, it is difficult to imagine a poet more straight- forward and unadorned in modes of address.


Plain statements, often in simple declarative sentences, make up most of the verses, leaving no room for decoration of any sort. Even metaphor and simile appear sparingly, and they often come more in the form of a parable or story than adornment, embellishment, modification, example, or accessory.


Selecting any single verse from his collection to define his poetic mood is difficult as he moves from moment to moment, rising and falling in the rhythm of life as he feels. In one of his verse ‘Manzar ek Bulandi per’, Saleemi writes:


‘Mai kisi shaffaf manzar per, nazar se dastakhat kar ke abd aasar hona chahta hoon, aise ek manzar pe, jo pehle kisi bhi aank per utra na ho’.


The simple words carries immense depth with his desire to be familiar to the gaudiness and inane phraseology of many modern poets, yet stand out as different individual looking down the desolate slope of a mountain-towards the valley of human abode, daring to dream of seeing and touching something no one has seen or touched before, yearning to witness life free from all taboos, hate, and conflicts decaying the body and spirit of mankind.


Saleemi’s verses appears as a sum of experiences that he encounter while passing through life, day to day struggles and triumphs as experienced by all of the world’s creatures. By choosing to react differently, Saleemi makes his own choice of words that reverberates through each of his verse in a connecting bond.


Among his other verses included in the book:


Media azad hai, Poochiye humse hum bata saktey hain, Andhera, Eik Kahani, Daira, Maut, Apney abaai makan ke darwaze per, Hairat zindegi hai, Safar hai shart, Koi waqt ko rah pe laye.


Saleemi portrays a unique blend of reality and dreams expressed with exacerbated sensibility, fine sharpness of his perception, clarity and splendour of his language.