This bilingual book collects the poetic oeuvre of Mohan Gehani, who in the Sindhi world of letters has already garnered substantial acclaim as a scholar, playwright and translator. It includes poems from his three previous collections, published in 1993, 2001 and 2013, with a smattering of new poems.
The first thing that strikes the reader is the brevity that the poet has made his unmistakable hallmark.He can’t help but ‘sell flowers’ amid ‘meat sellers’, although ‘writing’ poetry might be viewed as nothing short of ‘churning water’ in a world teeming with ‘counterfeit coin[s]’ that do not flinch to ‘offer each other for sale’. ‘[T]ied /to the mouth of a cannon’, this incorrigible dreamer of a litterateur is ‘awaiting /the first ray’ while the ‘gunner has fallen asleep’. Despite the travails that life might hurl his way, he never loses sight of the ‘[m]ountains’ that ‘embrace’ ‘happy /hillocks’, ‘the sky’ untying ‘the knot of its dupatta’ to give ‘the gift of a gentle wind’.
The upshot of this lilting meditation is a book that is certain to attain a permanent place on the mind’s bookshelf. It is an unassuming poet’s charming invitation for us to ‘fill each other’s shadows /with colours / to create a beautiful painting’.