Yasir Javvad

Yasir Javvad

The reviewer is a journalist and literary translator. He has got translations of many books published.
Yasir Javvad

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It is hard to say that women have a female perspective of history and psychology, because they never find the ease to write or present it. We should not see it as a battle of sexes, but it is a constant struggle which was recognized not before than 20th century. We had Amrita Pritam, in the South Asian region, and Simone de Beauvoir, in European region, as examples who had tried this their own way. Interestingly, most of the women who tried to go beyond and rise above the social limitations and incapability were somehow thrown out of mainstream ‘normal’ society. Hence, their agony of being an outcast surfaced as dilemma. We had Sappho, Hypatia, Cleopatra, in the ancient times, and women like Mary Wollstonecraft, Bronte Sisters, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Virginia Wolf, etc. of the not−so−recent times. Interestingly, most of them detested or avoided a relation with men, and preferred to become lesbians or developed queer sexual tendencies. To achieve their so called soul, they had had to break the shackles of family, of being a part of the tradition. Perhaps, this was the reason that Utopians thought it necessary to free the man from the devotion of family to create a communistic society with all living a blissful life. We should remember that such societies deemed necessary the presence of slaves, and women were no better than slaves until 19th century as a result of division of labor, not because of their sex. Men saw women as the ultimate refugee, so did women imagine men, even in their wildest fantasies and imaginary worlds (e.g. heaven). How women chose to see them in an imaginary world of their own? Perhaps Ramsha is able to give it a try, before getting mad. Admittedly, life is a chaos, because we are conscious beings (do sparrows feel the same chaos?), and through that same consciousness we can create some order and harmony around us, which is the aim of all art and writing.

There is a cosmic anger and sadness covering up all the poetry or poetry constitutes all the sadness, a consequence of human fate. From the Egyptian poems “In praise of death” to the doles of our poetess a string is attached, weaving the mesh to catch some fish of fleeting moments of bliss and ecstasy, as we call anything which take us into transforming oblivion and forgetfulness.
Perhaps it is not right to discover and point out the social and political links of poetic orders. Poet, in my view, becomes the actor who transforms our consciousness, and takes us into a world of his/her own, conceptualized through incapable, poor yet mesmerizing words. Reading poetry is a pact between the reader and conceptual planner: I am here to watch the spectacle created by you, and will not try to reach over behind the curtains or backstage. Any endeavor to see the spectacle maker is like violating the pact and spoiling the fascination it creates.

The creator of Enmeshed, (the use of word creation for poets demands care though) is engulfed in her poems. To deny living life on a natural and accepted animal level is a worst condition for her.

The thirst to know the meaning of life takes away all its essence, which is not different from other species. Consequently you cut yourself away from the mainstream of society and People (“Insane bastards”) start calling you “mad”;

But what if a mad woman could sing? 

To scare them away…
Suffering alone,
Caught up in a spiritless Mesh. 
You feel that 
You are undesirably living
What they call “life” 
And you call ‘afterlife.

The poetess becomes an eye which cannot see itself until it finds an engineered ecstasy. She takes ‘him’ or the society as the other, “locked in each other’s arms/ trying to explore the caves behind lips” But the demigod, with all his fragrance, part of her bodily soul (a rather odd term), “want me as normal as you are?” She left him, the territorial beast, which do not let her enter in his territory. The poetess likes to ‘play fire’, like Sylvia Plath, that burnt itself and others lurking around. The poetess rediscovers and re-experiences the dynamics of male female relation through body as well as psyche, where man is the egoistic god who does not care for the other. It is the inherent and deeply ingrained dichotomy of the social archetypes that kept them jailed in their definite behaviors, which poetess try to break and run away or avoid in the end, keeping her own self intact, which, however, was mutilated, bruised and died in the process.
I could find certain influences of Amrita and Parveen Shakir as well in her poems. A common shortcoming is evident as well. Like living in a glass jar from where the individual witnesses every line in a curvature. This jar or bowl is the social conditioning of male/female psyche which the poetess strives to break. There were women who tried to accomplish this with a very small amount of success. They were able to partly break the social cast and psychological mesh of their relations but not the influence of archetypes. Hence, the common shortcoming is: not being able to outline an existence which is not dependent on the “territorial beasts’ and where the woman is not declared “mad”.