“Uncle Mohan Singh”- A poem by Amarjit Chandan

1930. The people of Nakodar are wonderstruck tonight.
In the tent a silent film is being shown
and my chacha uncle Mohan Singh plays the harmonium.
A window is illumined in the wall of darkness.
The actors move their lips, voiceless.
A flower blossoms, silently.
In the film when they walk it seems they are running.
People watch their dream and laugh to their heart’s content.
Uncle Mohan Singh is accompanying them with his harmonium
and making the flowers blossom.
Tonight the people of Nakodar are dreaming together
awake.

http://india.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=10514

Simple imagery but very evocative. “A window is illumined in the wall of darkness”-imagine people sitting huddled in the tent to watch the silent movie,the screen appearing luminous in the sea of darkness. “The actors move their lips ,voiceless”-strange cinema where you have to imagine what the characters are saying by their lip movements.Even the flower here blossoms silently but Uncle Mohan Singh is actively making the flowers blossom through his harmonium music.Tonight the people of Nakodar are dreaming together their joint dreams,may be, their separate drams as well.

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3 comments on ““Uncle Mohan Singh”- A poem by Amarjit Chandan

  1. balvinder;chandigarh;india says:

    The poem really is evocative and provides a wide scope for imagining individual images of forgotten but still alive past. But I did not find the idea of appending to it an interpretation laudable. More so when the poem itself is self explaining. The inherent beauty of a book, which allows every reader to indulge in his own imagery fantasies was once illustrated well in a cartoon published long ago in a film mag. Outside a film studio two cows were shown nibbling on a celluloid-footage that was lying in a bin. One asked the other “how did you like the film?” “The book was certainly better”, quick came the reply.

    But then perhaps the times have changed. People today often are to be reminded, at the end of a joke, that it was a joke! No wonder a journalist friend who runs a weekly humour column every Sunday in the local HT has to append literally at the end of her piece that “this is a humour column!

  2. zubair ahmad says:

    It is a beautiful poem and very powerful. it recollects a special time in the history of Punjan and India when moves came in our part of the world. the time is recollected with the memories of his native/home town and with the memories of Chcha Mohan Singh. The poem displaces you from your present time and place and places in you another time which is no longer there but is alive somewhere else or in us. the poem tickles your memory clock and puts you in another time which is indise and but has also gone.

  3. ba1vinder says:

    since the poem’s iterpretation is not penned by the author who never indulges in such cheap self promoting gimmics it exposes the malafide intentions of the bloggers! please refrain from doing such unaesthetic tricks.

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