Jejuri | Arun Kolatkar | A Review
Jejuri by Arun Kolatkar-A Review
Arun Kolatkar’s ‘Jejuri’ is a masterpiece of modern Indian poetry that blends tradition and modernity, spirituality and skepticism, and mythological themes with contemporary observations. Published in 1976, ‘Jejuri’ is a poetic travelogue that takes readers on a journey through the holy town of Jejuri in Maharashtra, India. Through a series of finely crafted verses, Kolatkar explores the multifaceted layers of the town, its religious significance, and the juxtaposition of ancient rituals with the complexities of the modern world.
Exploration of Themes:
Spirituality and Religion: At the core of ‘Jejuri’ lies the exploration of spirituality and religion. The town of Jejuri is a place of pilgrimage dedicated to the god Khandoba. Kolatkar’s poems delve into the essence of devotion, the rituals associated with worship, and the intense faith that binds people to their religious practices. The poet captures both the fervor of the devotees and the underlying skepticism that questions the validity of rituals.
Mythology and Tradition: The town’s rich mythological history is a recurring theme in the poems. Kolatkar weaves ancient legends and tales into his verses, painting vivid pictures of the town’s cultural heritage. Through these stories, he celebrates the resilience of tradition while also critiquing the rigidity that can come with it.
Modern World and Urbanization: ‘Jejuri’ is not just a tribute to tradition; it also portrays the impact of modernity on the town. The poems reflect the changing landscape, the encroachment of urbanization, and the erosion of traditional values in the face of progress. This dichotomy is skillfully depicted as Kolatkar navigates through old and new Jejuri.
Language and Expression: The language in ‘Jejuri’ is rich and evocative, blending Marathi with English. Kolatkar’s mastery over language is evident in his ability to convey intricate emotions and complex ideas through seemingly simple phrases. His wordplay and metaphors create a tapestry of emotions that resonate deeply with readers.
Identity and Belonging: Through the protagonist’s journey, the poems touch upon the notion of identity and belonging. The protagonist grapples with his own identity as he immerses himself in the rituals and surroundings of Jejuri. This mirrors the broader struggle many individuals face in reconciling their traditional roots with the modern world.
Style and Structure:
It is known for its unique structure. The poems are divided into three parts: “Jejuri,” “Arun Kolatkar,” and “Kala Ghoda Poems.” Each section has its own distinct flavor and tone. The first part captures the essence of the pilgrimage town, the second delves into the personal experiences of the poet, and the third takes on a more urban and contemporary perspective. This structure allows Kolatkar to explore a range of themes and emotions.
The poems are characterized by their brevity and succinctness. Kolatkar employs vivid imagery, metaphor, and irony to convey his thoughts and observations. The use of colloquial language alongside more formal expressions adds authenticity and relatability to the verses.
‘Jejuri’ by Arun Kolatkar is a literary gem that continues to captivate readers with its intricate tapestry of themes, language, and emotions. It’s a poetic journey that not only offers insights into the sacred town of Jejuri and its spiritual significance but also reflects on the broader human experience of navigating tradition and modernity. Kolatkar’s ability to seamlessly blend myth and reality, skepticism and faith, and the past and present makes ‘Jejuri’ a timeless work of art that invites readers to contemplate the complex interplay between culture, belief, and the evolving world. 0 0 0.
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N.B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘The Reviews of Epic Literature Around the World Vol-II‘ by Menonim Menonimus.