The Purpose of my writing

Kazi Nasir Mamun
Art & Literature, Articles
The Purpose of my writing

While thinking of the purpose of my writing, I feel puzzled. Because, when I go deep into the question WHY I WRITE, I never come out successful. Rather, an unnecessary load of thoughtfulness is imposed upon my mind, which gives me no chance to be spontaneous in my writing. A bar of despondency rather than inspiring mode is a lot I am to follow then. Taking all these into consideration, I have decided myself to think that art, if it is related to any aesthetic value, does not have any certain purpose. To put differently, creativity cannot be intentional unless or until it is for any constructive function. If I build something, any one intelligent can easily find out the purpose. And necessity works hidden behind the purpose. Creativity is self-grown. If I create, there is no such purposes to be disclosed. Those serving our purposes are of greater significance in our daily life. They have worldly value but no artistic importance. For instance, we go to take water from tubewell. Tubewell is the source of water. It serves our daily need. But a tubewell is not associated with our artistic sense, that is to say, setting up a tubewell relates to a constructive work which is highly praiseworthy so far as public needs are concerned. But, while selecting a place for going on a picnic our priority goes to a different thing. In most cases we prefer to visit mountainous area where sounding waterfall of a fountain creates an atmosphere artistic to the core against a natural setting. Fountain is also one of the sources of water. However, none comes here to store water from it to quench one’s thirst. But the thirst they want to satisfy is the demand of heart. Otherwise it would have been considered useless to be in touch with the sweet-sounding cataract as it does not serve our practical purpose.

Sometimes economy can be strengthened as an aftermath of great creation. Then this is one of the pragmatic consequences, not the purpose.

Then why I write? I write to respond to the call of my heart. I write because I can’t help doing so. I write to raise my creation up to the peak of its artistic height. It is a continuous process without having any final destination. My commitment to the whole humanity is the basis I like to pass my writing through. This sense of humanity does not allow only the unipolar presence of human being. It includes even the smallest insect that contributes to human society in any way or the other. Cordial setting of my mind never disallow significant existence of inanimate object. Thus recognition of all inhabitants of the world is the ground on which moral thoughts of my writing develop throughout the course of my life. I never think whether it is human, animate or inanimate. Nothing in this world is meaningless. We are put on earth only to represent God. Man has the power to reset everything as per the necessity of wellbeing. Human being is the best creation on that ground.  So I never concentrate to what I achieve. All my attention is to how much I am true to my heart, the source of power in connection with the Almighty.

My love is both that of a dog and a cat. Dog remains loyal to the person who rears it. Its love is supreme for its lord. But the love of a cat revolves round the place it lives in. Replacement of a house owner has a little impact on its bestial mind. But a dog goes after its lord when he shifts his living place. The cause behind giving reference to the psychology of these two common animals is that once I was transferred to IMLI ( International Mother Language Institute ) on deputation as an assistant director. The institution is situated in Dhaka, the capital city. The atmosphere in and around the institution was too sophisticated for me to inhale an easy breath. The glassy bound of the office with a telephone and a computer on the desk seemed to me suffocating to some extent. Even the car facilities provided by the govt. could not satisfy me as all the vehicles came to a sudden halt due to unendurable traffic jam. I could not write a single word in that situation. I got used to living in a little town almost in touch with villages in a walking distance, swimming in the pond and canals with my student devotees, running through village path on a three wheeled auto-van with a view to visiting village market, taking tea and gossiping with local crowds and so on. Now here in IMLI I am lost in official decorum. Far from being an all-devouring extrovert, I was bound to be within the range of a little room avoiding the poetic relations with all my urban friends. It happened so because I was habituated to cling to the local places said above. Just as a cat is used to doing the same in its own place. Like a dog I was chasing after the owners of my heart in recollection− those local poets, shopkeepers, story-tellers, school masters, college teachers and others who accompanied me in my frequent visits to different country sides. When I came back to my former teaching profession at my previous college, It seemed as if I had been free from a hard bondage of a cage.

Thus I came to a realization that hidden thought or Inner theme of a poem can be universal. But Poetry is the most local phenomenon so far as its external beauty is concerned. Not only that, Local setting of a place leads a poet to different observations that contribute to the development of a poet’s thematic idea and thoughts. In one of my poems I wrote:

Rice tree never last forever; in kadambas

Last not dawn’s china-rose. In that blue sky-leaf

Rains not see trees, rice trees

                                          never last forever.

( Translated by Ahmed S. Kaderi )

It was my local observation. I saw that paddy fields of my area were turning into fishing farms. Farmers were trying to cope with the economic demand.

 Moreover, regional background helps a poet cover up his thoughts in disguise of imagery, simile, metaphor and other formal technique. Just as the thread of a garland is concealed by the cover of flowers. Thoughts must not be given chance to govern a reader’s sense. Readers must be impressed instead of being controlled. Otherwise poetic sensibility will be lost in thoughtfulness. But ‘local’ here is not a marginalized word referring to the backward side of a region. Urban setting is a ‘locality’ for a poet living in city. What I want to say is that habitual action of a poet in a certain geographical location play a vital role in the enrichment of his poetic sensibility. Because in most cases a poet’s settled practice is formed within a location where he strolls every now and then and bears witness of a variety of human actions.

After reading two prominent poets of Bangla literature namely Jibonanondo Das and Al mahmood, I had gone through W.B Yeats and T.S Eliot as a part of my poetic quest long before I started reading Modern English Poetry included in my English (hons) course. I tried my best to cross academic limitation while reading these two famous English poets because none of my endeavour was only to cut a good figure in my course exam. Yeats gave an impression how a modern poet keeping aside urban gravity came in contact with country side natural setting and was inspired to pen many famous poems. Trees, sky, water, uninhabited landscape- all these elements remain in his poems as a great source of inspiration. Despite that, global perspective of his poems is unavoidable. So Yeats was my first surprise. So far as I know, he never speaks of tradition though his poems are traditionally enriched. I think he was poetically committed to his heritage. My attempt was not to escape daily grind of the city but to learn how to receive my locality, animate and inanimate traditional elements of my surroundings more cordially. Accordingly, I could not support the second wonder of my poetic reading T.S Eliot’s intellectual sense of tradition. As per his theory, tradition can only be obtained by hard labour. This labour is needed to know the past writers. But this bookish tradition, I think, is the secondhand presentation of tradition. A poet must be hereditarily involved in tradition. What he needs is to cast a hearty look at tradition with inmost feelings. A question of laborious acquisition includes those who are strangers not directly involved in tradition. My distinct sense of tradition has been shaped and reshaped again and again by my discussion with Abdur Razzak, a freedom fighter, who was nationally awarded as the best craftsman. He is now engaged in self-employment and works as an api-therapist within the range of homestead. He wrote a book named Himenocamotherapy focusing on the method of his treatment in the light of age-long tradition of medical treatment in this Indian subcontinent. Razzak Bhai (I address him as Bhai meaning brother)  quoted Freud and Joseph Campble and explained human psychology in conformity with Indian myth. Folk wisdom rather than acquired knowledge is of greater importance to him. I was inspired. I read The power of Myth by Joseph Campble in Bangla translation. Talking of Eliot, his significance to me is elsewhere. Technical strength of his poems has opened before me a new horizon of possibility in poetry. After the publication of Waste Land and Four Quartets, poetry has been an all-devouring literary genre in the sense that all the main sectors of knowledge can be incorporated into a single poetic territory. In this fiction dominating literary age, I have been encouraged to write poems because Eliot gave vent to such freedom in poetry that is needed to compete fictions, so to say.

Thus side by side with my favourite Bangladeshi poets, I owe to Yeats, Eliot, Joseph Campble and above all, Razzak Bhai. All of them work together secretly in giving me a new and individual shape of my poetic sense both technically and thematically.

Life itself is a discovery. A poet should not be indifferent to life. Rather than doing so, he must be meditatively absorbed in life to add a meaning to it. It seems to me that I was just sucking the external pleasure without achieving this meditative nature before the death of my younger brother on 04 November 2007. On that very day I was conferred `award of honour’ along with Aminur Rahman Sultan and Jahanara Parvin. Prominent poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay was the chief guest in the programme presided over by Murtaja Bashir, an outstanding painter of our country. The programme was organized by Kobitasongkranti. In the face of the death my achievement seemed worthless. For the realization of life, the death of my younger brother is a marking line. For the realization of life, the death of my younger brother is a marking line never to be wiped out. Afterwards I wrote a long elegy in memory of my late brother. This death gave birth to a realization that life is to live and death is to celebrate. I write poem to give life  a celebrational glory.

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