Book Six:


With This Promising Age and Other Poems, his latest collection, DC Chambial seems to have voyaged successfully through his poetic landscape to a still higher level of perception and verbal felicity.

He is essentially a poet of the hills – of valleys, clouds and birds. But he does not limit his vision to mere description of nature, but also charges his verse with a refreshing moral fervor. He is anguished by the corruption that has seeped into our lives. However, he does not articulate this disillusionment through abstraction but only through images, metaphors and similes which are truly striking. Take, for instance, the following lines from his poem ‘I Know’:

I know
the green sea seen from the top of a tree
shows stars in its womb.

Or take these lines from another poem:

Sand-smell spreads in sunburnt desert,
Squeezes every drop of water;
Fire, the volition of earth.

Here is indeed a true unification of sensibility, ideas and images merging into a poetic synthesis.

Since Chambial knows that every successful poem is a skilful manipulation of language, he handles each word and phrase with great discrimination.

Chambial is indeed a very promising poet who should blossom into a talented creative writer.

July 15, 2004                                                                                                              Shiv K. Kumar
                                    Ph. D. (Contab) FRSL

1.                  THIS PROMISING AGE

In this antagonistic society
tend to become acute
with unsympathetic attitude.
Civilization cannot reverse gears
nor present to past.
What, then, do we expect
in this jungle
of automation?
Vats-man is captive,
machines instruct,  
calculate and infer
of Homo sapiens.
Bits of reality
concatenated together give rise
to a new set of ideas.
What other role awaits
insignificant cog
in this robot culture
where soul defies
the principle of metempsychosis?
and enters into
wires, screws, transistors,
magnets and diaphragms
to help, interpret and amuse?

Where has gone
logic of inventive thought?
Fissures of cerebrum dive deep
into the waves
of computers and genetic code
in a venture
to unriddle the skein.
Estranged soul entangles itself
in the criss-cross of vibrations.
Entirely new features prop up
The land nourished by
Synthetic culture and ideals.
Plethora demoniac
descends down on the earth
like a beam
to impregnate
the abortive eye;
compassions, pity, sympathy
face retreat
before hypocrisy and cynicism.

Eros – the fairest –
dominates the Murdoch’s scene
where human crucibles
boil and transpire
and fall down with rain
promiscuously indiscernible
like a chemical whole.

Nature has been cruel
to the honest individual.
Painful cries rend
the sky and ocean alike
on the pitiless planet
where to do ill is the sole delight.

Can clouds save any more
the blistering skin,
breeze balm
the parched mind,
the marmorial wind
stop the  bleeding
of throbbing heart?

Thoughts peal in echoes
and defile the flow
of one serene and tranquil idea
Amazon deep and Mississippi long
and bound to leave
as clearly as one can
without having any kinds
to hand the sores of misery.
Individual bound
to lose moral identity
on the verge of catastrophe.
Ordinary time flows into
Bhrigu time.
Unknowingly centuries know
yet feel not so.

What is time?
Who cannot tell?
All know. Yet nobody knows.

In this affluent society
watch and sit, sit and watch
before the signaling knob;
morn to eve, eve to morn
on the cross-roads of crises
minutes are stretching longer
than hours and days;
years contracted to seconds.
Passions degenerated into
mechanized smiles
while coming and going
lips frigid to flowery kisses
inside the tube.

Brooks and parks
mysteriously disappeared
in the forced isolation
as glass acquaria stepped
into a room of hundredth
storey steel-house.

The unique individual
steadily disappears
at the hapless fate of RNA
and the soil is ready
for a bumper crop of deformities.
A business-minded mother
decides to be pregnant
for those who do not want
to lose their shape.

Neuromycin frees the brain
from habitual reflexes
and switches off reaction
and drops blank
unconscious schizoid problems
of unreal schizoid individuals
of this promising age.

2.                  DARK DEEPS

Before descending
into dark deeps,
unloaded the cargo.

If ever you decide
to crawl under the rock
and swim in the green waters,

do not delay,
for, mountains are budding
in the sea.

Sky-kissing mountains
begin to thaw and melt
into molten matter in sea.

Where is the rock
under which we sheltered
in the blizzard?

If ever you think
of trampling down
the twenty deep canyons,

come with your lights
lest you should grope
In the mazy despair.

3.                  I KNOW

I know:
he has entered my lungs
and digging holes there.

I know:
the sky is endless
for space ships to explore.

I know:
the green Earth is beautiful
in my blood too.

I know:
the green sea seen from the top of a tree
shows stars in its womb.

I know:
the pink and green leaves
that fanned life are yellow.

I know:
somewhere in the yellow He
ready to take, with Him, me.

I know:
welcome the guest and follow him
who has waited this long.

I know:
sincere shed blood-tears
not for gains but honour lost.

4.                  A PROUD PYRAMID

I stood a proud pyramid
On the solid ground of vanity;
A flash!

Glass is brittle, not sand.
Learn to be a healthy ear of rice.
Humility bends all.

All walls of vanity
Crumble like a house of cards.
The debris melts

Into a molten mass.
I look around to find
A vast expanse pass.

The wind blows and storms ravage,
Waves dance on solemn seas,
Volcanoes erupt, char the sides

Before the floods wash the rot
To a land far and unknown
The languid crowd does trot.


5.                  WITH A WHIMPER

While shaving
I vigorously brush and think
why I threw the blades away
after just one shave.

Now using the same brand
for over a month,
hard with my knot and pen
when soft is sweet and safe.

A malady in mind,
virus in blood,
cares of time and age
potent to make one forget.

I look like a fool
in the mirror
for an easy answer
with a whimper.


6.                  IRONY OF FATE
(for Kalpana Chawla)

Bang: sky flashes-filled,
fractions turn eternity.
Columbia: a history.

Ambition, hard work
took her twice into space;
returned to earth but once.

Eyes gleaming with joy
turn cork-dry and stupefied;
Columbia smithereen’d in sky.


7.                  HELPLESS VICTIMS

Dragon eats away
the pink and yellow
the plum and shriveled alike.

Satan pulls strings
like a puppet player; makes
them dance to his tunes.

Casualty: peace, love,
fraternity, harmony
and human faith.

Flows there among
the green grass a flood of blood

Dawn lies strangled
in this land of Gandhi;
teems in darkness.

The horizon hazy;
sea stirred. Helpless victims
await halcyon to nestle.


8.                  ON THIS DAY

On this day
I pray:
Lord ! come
and entice our polity
like your Gopikas
or pied-piper of Hamlin,
and teach them
a lesson in ethics –
when they
get to rape the nation next time
in the name of serving people,
their conscience is stirred
and they peep into the deep well
full of mire and stench
that alienate man from man.

Men and women born white as pearls,
innocent as lambs.
The lust for power
(political and religious)
Makes them blood-thirsty;
Turn into wolves and hyenas.
Save them! Save their souls!
Nainam chhindanti shastrani,
nainam dahati paavakah1,
badly need protection
at this hour of lust and covetousness.
paritranaaya sadhoonam
vinaashaaya cha dushkritaam2
O Lord, come!


1Neither weapons pierce it, nor fire consumes … [Gita II: 23]
2For the protection of the pious and destruction of the evil doers … [Gita IV:  8]

9.                  DUST TO MAN

Dust raised its head
from under the feet
of Proud man
and said:  ‘You’re me
and again shall be me.
Your haughtiness
can’t estrange you from me.’
And lay down again
on the dusty path
for the tramplers
and still be a witness
to the ever mutatime.


10.              MISTY REALITY

I see the myriad beauties
On the side of the hill
And perfect darkness
On the other.

Willy-nilly flow like water
From this to that
Forgetting about
The colour and creed
And be one there.

Go with a hope
To be part of the myriad:
Who has seen this
Dream become a reality?

We live and die
Embracing a misty reality
That keeps the river flowing
Forever and ever!

11.              BEAUTIFUL BEYOND

A beautiful home exists beyond:
Without roof and without floor.
Even without the walls around
Not to say of window and door.

Before coming, we have all lived,
Shall again go to live there
When our part is fully played
After the short sojourn.

No sun fires down on plain or hill,
Nor rains, nor any drought therein,
Nor any foggy freezing chill
Like frozen air in Siachin.

All the hungers and all the greeds
Left here on this land; carry no trace.
Serene Satisfaction, sans deeds,
Writ large on every face.


12.              MY SONG

My people! My land!
Salute you all. Love you all.
Know you to be good and kind,
Sympathetic and helping,
Light in heart and full of laughter.

Wind that blows by me,
heat that warms my veins,
juices of the Earth
to body give verve;
the sun that lights my path,
sweet essences suffuse my nostrils,
songs of burns and birds
fill land with mellowed melody;
wafted to the farthest bounds
rides Pegasus on fancy’s wings.

The poor souls, a little divulged,
strayed from light into night
will come, sure, to day again.
Let’s love and sing together,
fill the very space of this world
with mind’s mellow,
with heart’s honey.

13.              WORDS IN COMMOTION

In the wee hours
When I came out of darkness
I find darkness
More fertile
In darkness.

For, the darkness has been
With me since big-bang.
Before  entry
And to be my companion
After the exit.

It adds to
And elevated mercury
When dark clouds vault
And stand in between
Earth and sky
Engineering fake darkness
Helps stir words
End to end.

14.              MARINA BEACH, MADRAS

Coming to the Marina beach
With the lofty message of love and peace
From the higher Himalayan peaks
Heart full of immense pride and joy.

Come down to you, O Sea!
Full jubilant to dip fingers in you,
To feel the mountain in you,
To carry your message to the peaks
High, cool and clear.

Come to you and stand a little afar
Amazed at your joyous rollicking waves
Floating in the boat of fancy;
Ere recollect and come ashore
You race frolicking to meet the message.
Rise to knees to reach the heart.

Sit buoyantly on pebbles of the beach
To watch the sailing ships, the paper-boats;
In an ecstasy find myself
Rollicking between peaks and waves.
Slowly, slowly I find
Peaks and myself melting into your ripples
Somewhere distant on your expanse.

[ a Tribute to Kalpana Chawla]
She’d come to this world from beyond the stars
To tell about the might of will and mind
And suddenly she vanished among the stars.

She was an angel, bravely fought her wars
True, very rare are persons of her kind.
She’d come to this world from beyond the stars!

She toiled; her ambition spread to the stars,
From treacherous world heavens thought to unbind
And suddenly she vanished among the stars!

Gladly she volunteered to wear the scars,
Her gaze beyond the stars, nev’r looked behind.
She’d come to this world from beyond the stars!

She was wondrous work forged in fiery stars.
Though she’s gone, but her deeds to world remind.
And suddenly she vanished among the stars!

 Embraced death in prime of life, not yet destined;
Gem among gems to heav’nly heights she climbed.
She’d come to this world from beyond the stars!
And suddenly she vanished among the stars!

16.              POETRY

A beautiful babe
flits in dark moments
the world is flooded with wmile.

A crystal clear river
floods into
a vast expanse of searing sands.

A gust of youthful spring
silently stirs
dark, dismal, autumnal desert.


17.              AN OLD MAN

A dried tree with last leaf,
ray of effete sun,
eyes the hazy horizon.

A rock hit by wind and water
corrodes life
grain by grain.

A dry river in summer
singed with heat ‘n’ sun
awaits water desperately.

A bird with feeble sun
in bones and winds
looks at nest with love.

A solid stare
strikes the silent seas
in the veiled void.

An oilless lamp
moment by moment
stares at the fading flame.


18.              GYRATING HAWK

Hawk gyrates and gyrates
over mountains.
Mountains robed in snow
gradually melt
on palette.

Hawk gyrates and gyrates
over the vast, deep and calm
sea of dawn. Songs from Earth
and Sky flow like
by a sensuous hillside
where Kama and Rati sleep together.

Hawk gyrates and gyrates
and squeaks with a snake in claws.
Cats, leopards and wolves stretch legs,
walk into the pool of blood.
The hawk settles down on a rock.

19.              ON MY DEATH

On my death
people will say:
the old man is dead,
and pass their judgement –
free, frank and fair
that the whole life
could not buy.

Death buys for me
without any price
a moment of hearty laugh,
a hearty laugh.
Till date I
sank and swam
in a pool of tears.

Tears could not
vie with blood,
blood with water.

Water too dear
to be wasted
for blood and tears.

20.              CRUEL HOUR

The hour is cruel:
long cherished dreams,
meticulously planned, foiled.

When will those
vague mounts be clear?
When will those vain fingers

push the cloudy veils?
From the unexplored peaks
to be  ravished

in Summer and Winter
alike. An abounding
beauty full of quaint

and airy pleasure.
When you bechance to be there
in the mountains you

feel free and cry in
the heat of the moment
to be there for good.

21.              RESOLUTION

Words buzz the soft songs stolen
from the sun’s spectrum into
the ear of dead December.

The white king of the white land
spreads a white sheet
on the frost bitten earth.

Lame air drifts through leaves of frosty
trees. Dead stones moss-plaited lie
at the bottom of the drugged river.

White flakes, stillness, icicles
all shake hands and resolve
not to be stirred from slumber.

The mounting pressure of words
floods in blood to the farthest
bounds – fingers intractable.

22.              SAND-SMELL SPREADS
(for the women of Rjasthan)

Sand-smell spreads in sunburnt desert,
Squeezes every drop of water,
Fire, the volition of earth.

Shadowless opacities,
Pagodas on heads, miles of fire-tread
For life’s ambrosia.

Sink into, emerge from wilderness
Ploughing the sands
Mirage metamorphoses into reality.

Pagoda’s of water
Poised on steady heads:
The fiery sun feels defeated.