Hats off to the universal poet

Hats off to the universal poet

In 1953, releasing Kaloji’s first anthology of poetry ‘Naa Godava’, Sri Sri commended Kaloji as a true poet representing Andhra...

In 1953, releasing Kaloji’s first anthology of poetry ‘Naa Godava’, Sri Sri commended Kaloji as a true poet representing Andhra Pradesh. But before that Kaloji was a regional poet. And only then he became a Telugu poet, a national poet, and a universal poet. Rabindranath Tagore is well known throughout the world as a universal poet. People might have called him a universal poet, considering various aspects of his poetry. If we come to that, we can find many more facets to Kaloji’s poetry. Kaloji too, undoubtedly, is a universal poet. Issues untouched by many poets were dealt with by Kaloji with ease and audacity. In this aspect, Kaloji is, if not greater, at least, equal to Sri Sri.

Kaloji is one of the few who lived their dreams. To live like that one needs not only courage but also self-confidence. And, one should be able to safeguard that credibility in the society. It is not a cakewalk. It needs not only composure but also determination. Every simple living person cannot maintain to be looked upon by common people in society. Millions of people come into this world and exit without making any mark. Kaloji never put down his bow and arrow which he aimed at in his youthful vigour.
He could sustain the tempo until his final journey. Getting perplexed, we keep on mumbling how it is possible for a person to lead his life like that. But he stubbornly made the impossible possible. Kaloji is a poet, a dreamer, and a humanitarian who made an indelible mark on our hearts.
While assessing a poet, an artist, or a humanitarian, readers, people in general and critics in particular see through the lens of certain set standards. It all goes on in an academic fashion. Particularly, intellectuals who shoulder this responsibility measure scrupulously and deliver their critique. Sometimes, that analysis flows unbound voluminously. But we can never have a final say, because, nothing in this world is immutable. There can always be a new beginning.
I am not blinded by some new theories but I proclaim once again the freedom of an artist to think with poetic liberty.
Sometimes art and literature flow torrentially like tsunami. In that tidal wave, in that flurry many priceless jewels get submerged. But what we have to keep in mind is that they have not taken their last breath, but just hidden momentarily, and when time comes they will be uncovered and stand erect, defying time. Then sprout new thoughts which will never lie idle. They pose queries to people relentlessly.
Countless fruitful ideas might crop up from them becoming curtain raisers for new assessments of society. Kaloji’s life is crystal clear. It is an open book. Kaloji slipped into permanent slumber, after walking this earth for decades, leaving his footprints behind. But we have been underestimating Kaloji as a poet. Despite the fact that we cannot find in any other Telugu poet of the century, the diversity of subjects we find in Kaloji, not even in other Indian poets. He is a volcano, not just an ideological one but also an emotional one. Through his poetic boulders, innumerable issues inherent in human subconscious mind were made explicit prolifically.
Kaloji loves freedom. Freedom for him is not licentiousness. That is his lifestyle, a flow of thoughts spreading across all the corners. When we perceive this, we become ashamed of our narrow mindedness. Having the ever-changing social scenario over a period of time, as his background, Kaloji uttered many poems, knit poetic nets, responsibly, as a freedom loving man. We memorise his deceptively simple poems which redefine life after every reading. They give new perspective to life.
In the present context of Kaloji’s centenary celebrations, I hope, we estimate his poetry rightly, savour it and awaken the inherent universal human being in ourselves from deep sleep.
A look at the contributions of Kaloji Narayana Rao, a poet, dreamer and a humanitarian, to the society on the occasion of his centenary celebrations which will begin on September 9
(Translated by NS Rahul)
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