Book Review of Rising Waves by Jasmine Kaur Grewal

Dalvinder Singh Grewal

Book Review

Title of Book: Rising Waves
Authored by: Jasmine Grewal, 1925, Basant Avenue, Ludhiana-141013, Mob. 919815366726
Publisher: The Poetry Society of India, Gurugram, Haryana, India, 2020
Printed by: Yayati Madan G Gandhi Group of Publications, Hisar (Haryana) India,
Paper Back, Edition, Pages 58; Price: Rs. 270/-, Paper Back
ISBN: 978-93-89213-22-5 Price: 270.00, US Dollar: $ 27

Review by Dr. Jernail S. Anand*

Poetry is a form of energy, which makes the poet restless, and until he gets rid of it, the irritation does not go. There are a thousand and one definitions of poetry, but I believe everyone who writes poetry has his own reasons, and his own ways to express himself. For me, it is lava, which gushes out of your bones, and you are a helpless spectator. Poetry is the master, not a poet’s pet. It dictates and makes people write.

There may be other ways of writing poetry also, because after all it is an individual art, though after writing, assumes a social character. As such, Poetry must touch the lives of the people around us, and a poet, I think, must leave his ivory tower, and transcend his message: act it out, for, finally it is neither your thoughts, nor your intentions, nor your words, but your actions which finally matter. We have to act out our ideals, if we really mean them. So, poetry that gives us aesthetic joy, also calls upon us to stand for our ideals, in other words, literature is not a verbal art, nor only theory, it has a practical aspect also, and looks for its activist practitioners as well. If we want a better world, we need to bridge the gap between abstract philosophy and social activism. If poets are uncrowned legislators of the world, they must descend on the social evils, and while spreading their love for beauty, must also dive deeper into the reality of things, into the facts of existence. Only then, we can get better than mere dreamers. In fact, from dreamers to drummers, and from drummers to actors is the road-map for us.

Jasmine Kaur Grewal's debut work of poetry, 'Rising Waves' raises hopes from the new generation. Rich in emotional content and laced with rare passion and powerful imagery, the work presages a rich harvest of poetry waiting in the wings. Between childhood and growing up years she yearns with cravings.

The child within me often craves,
A bucket full of mangoes;
and Iced rose water on sunny days.
A pleasant heart-warming summer;.
The warmth of winter rays,
The child within often seeks;
Some lost feelings, where peace sneaks.

She considers nature as the best friend

When you are alone and feel sad.
Go to a tree and speak of your pain.
It listens to you better than an eerie lad,
Nothing will go out; with it, it will remain.
Best friend is nature; to love and to be loved,
Time spent with nature is never in vain.
Spare your time and have your life clubbed
With willows, with roses, with clouds, with rain.
Never they ditch you; will help you when you need
So beautiful they are that you watch and enjoy
They give; no one else can; a solace when you plead
Forget your worries and stroll with nature my dear boy.

She is aware of the surrounding corona fears but loves living naturally to ward of all fear:

Living naturally, in the house, like a tree.
From all world knots and businesses, free.
Living one’s own, with no burden at all,
No work, no job, no function, no ball
Bother no one, no stress, no worry.
Peace and calm prevail; no hurry.
No one in streets except dogs and cats,
Tigers and deer, some squirrels and rats,
Singing on branches the birds enjoy
Flowers blossom, dancing in joy
No office, no going, no walk, no talk,
Watching the neighbour from windows like a hawk
No cars, no trucks, no aircraft or rail,
No travel, no ticketing, no posts or mail,
No pants, no shirts, no socks, no shoes,
No meat, no chicken, no eggs, no booze
No hostel, no cinema, no shopping, no mall,
Enjoying at home with family members all
No work, all leisure and enjoying the play,
Ludo or tennis or carom at home all-day.
No test, no exam, no interview, no job,
Enjoying the free period the children throb
Enjoying with the family now after long
Misunderstandings gone; join all in a song.
Love is increasing within us now as such,
Never had I seen good days; so much.
Still, we pray for corona to go.
This world should be healthy without death row.

This is the reason she prays for caring for the nature
Bless me O God, to care for the nature.
Bless me O God, to value your stature.

but that is just one phase of her thinking. She thinks of the entire world in different colours as well and has her views expressed to celebrate the entire world when she prays for the welfare of all and doing good to all

Bless me O God, to work hard and sincere.
Keeping you in heart, and finding you so near.
Bless me O God, to earn and distribute.
Helping the needy, and caring the destitute.
Aiming to remove all hunger, and being truthful and fair.
Spreading happiness and joy everywhere.
Bless me O God, to thank you for all you gave.
Bless me O God, to be humane and kind.
Remaining honest and of clean mind.

Her prayers apart she not only feels her life before her birth but also she is equllay alive to the world and attuned to home of her worldly parents

When I wasn't born,
I was in the heaven's lawn,
I was with the God,
I know that sounds quite odd,
Before coming to earth,
Or where I was going to take birth,
I asked God for a gift,
A gift not too heavy to lift,
God said you certainly will get,
When you are able to yourself attest,
Now I realise when brought up best
Nothing is better than parents’ nest.
She explains why her parents are only next to God for her:

They told me exactly the right and the wrong.
They taught me from ABC to writing this song.
They taught me all the basics of this world.
They taught me to fight the evil being healthy and strong.

They are my gurus, my first love and true care.
They taught me to fly high and to dare.
They raised me so well; I now stand on my feet.
You can see them in me being so right and fair.

Because of them, my world is full of flavour.
I thank them for their dedication and endeavour.
Without them, the world I have never thought.
I pray; they are there with me forever.

She not only enjoys the love of parents but also the feels pain the world is suffering. The worst are unwanted wars against which she epitomises the dove.

Where is the dove?
The countries are rising to wars,
Where is the dove?
All this needs to stop.
Where is the dove, is she sleeping?
Terrorists are shooting where the children used to play,
Wake her up she needs to tell them,
Tell them that, nuclear bombs are not needed,
Why are the still making them?
Why don’t you tell them, dove!
What? The dove is dying,
No please don’t let her die!
If she dies, the streets will fill with moans and cries….
We need peace…..
We need peace within ourselves,
We need peace with nature,
We need peace between nations.

She feels that the world has become more dangerous because of misuse of science and technology
Technology is advancing,
The world is developing every day,
But I have something entirely different to say……
I am afraid that,
The world is marching towards a darker future.
I am afraid that,
Just for development, it is assassinating its nature.
I am afraid that, its youth just doesn’t care.
I am afraid that, what is happening is just not fair.
I am afraid that,
One day a blanket of smoke will totally cover,
No pure water shall the clouds shower.
I am afraid that,
All the rivers, ponds, oceans and lakes might dry,
Nothing will the eyes shed when we cry.
I am afraid because my fears are proving themselves true,
I am afraid because a little time is left for something to do.

This something to be done is to remember God and the motive of His Creation for which she says:

No one ever lives or owns even self.
It is the Truth; the reality of the universe.
Bubble like are these powers and self.
God’s play can only be understood,
If you attach to Him and His Word,
Forgetting yourself: if at all you could.
Truth is the Only One, God Alone.
Living forever and owning everything;
Creating new souls with new skin and bone.
Identity is transient, a bubble-like the name
Why feel elated with changing fortunes
To follow THE TRUTH forget this frame.
Whatever comes in the way, accept.
More than enough, he gives you to live,
Remain relaxed and enjoy it as the best.

These are a few extracts from her 50 poems in the book ‘Rising waves’ meant to raise the spirit of the reader. Jasmine’s poems are a treat in themselves. The freshness of outlook; beautiful word patterns, metaphors, the flow of thought and perfect at execution - these poetic compositions look, not the outpourings of a mind at the threshold of poetic creation, but of a mature poetic sensibility. At this tender age, she has compiled poetry which compels attention and admiration. I am sure as she grows in age, and writes more, she will have much more to say, and more effectively at that. At present, I welcome this wonderful collection and hope, it will inspire many others to start thinking in rhyme, and write poetry, which is the bulwark of human salvation.

*Dr. Jernail S. Anand,
Prof. Emeritus,
The European Institute of Roma Studies and Research,
Belgrade, Serbia.