When you read a few poems of Deeba Irfan’s, you get the impression from the richness of her verbal imagination that she is a poet of rich personality.

This scribe is neither a professional Book reviewer nor a learned scholar of English literature. I can’t claim Ms Deeba Salim Irfan as a close friend either. However, as I’m an avid reader of her literary creations and I’ve a claim as her fan to know her personality more closely that many of her real life friends. We had met, few years ago, in the digital space just before Deeba Irfan was ready with her novel ‘Urma.’ I’ve not yet read that novel but got to see some reviews upon it. Last month I was pleased to receive an invitation from Deeba as her collection of poems ‘Charcoal Blush’ was released along with her husband Irfan’s documentary about Bangladeshi Women in US peace keeping force that was shown first time at India Islamic Centre, New Delhi.

deba Charcoal Blush A Compendium Of Thoughts And Feelings Of A womans soul

Since this article is about her poetry, I focus on it only and would discuss Irfan’s masterpiece some other time.

urma book Charcoal Blush A Compendium Of Thoughts And Feelings Of A womans soul

She has opened the dialogue of her book ‘Charcoal Blush’ with a short poem:

“Love, an essence

May just be a drop in an ocean

Of life experiences

But that one real drop

Overwhelming with depth

Will create ripples

To last you a life time.”

For a less complicated human, not entangled with the cobweb of fancy ideologies and Philosophies, a life without love is of no life, The kind of love may vary but the essence is in the impact that may be divine, spiritual, mundane or material. Love has no proper definition; love is what it is pure and simple. A life without love is like an object without self value. As the famous song written by Hasrat Jaipuri –

“Khubsurat ho magar pyar ke andaz nahi

ye kami hai ke tumhara koi humraz nahi

dil me jab dard nahi baat banegi kaise

saaz chheda bhi magar pyar ki aawaz nahi

falsafa, falsafa pyar ka tum kya jano

falsafa pyar ka tum kya jano

tumne kabhi pyar na kiya, tumne intzar na kiya

Kaise smajhau ye nazuk sa fasana tumko

ye vo manzar hai jo mehsus huya karta hai

rahti duniya me wohi rahta hai markar zinda

pyar ke naam pe jo jaan diya karta hai

falsafa, falsafa pyar ka tum kya jano

falsafa pyar ka tum kya jano

tumne kabhi pyar na kiya, tumne intzar na kiya

Pyar shiri ne kiya pyar hi laila ne kiya

pyar meera ne kiya pyar hi radha ne kiya

pyar har rang me logo ko sada deta hai

pyar ke parde me hum sabka khuda rahta hai

falsafa, falsafa pyar ka tum kya jano

falsafa pyar ka tum kya jano

tumne kabhi pyar na kiya, tumne intzar na kiya

tumne kabhi pyar na kiya, tumne intzar na kiya”

“How would you grasp the philosophy of loving When you have never fallen in love before”

Love is tuning in to the flow of life. Love has many faces as there are moments for loving. These moments are not a product of well laid out plan or policy. We find ourselves in love, in relationship that is transparent, unselfish. It happens when we honestly and genuinely connect, involve and plunge into another soul with total surrender. There are no inside and outside but only one side.

charcoal blush Charcoal Blush A Compendium Of Thoughts And Feelings Of A womans soul

After going through ‘Charcoal Blush’ I realized that what she wrote here is not an outcome of any deep analytical or physical thought process. She turns out to be an spontaneous poet as she herself claims to be compulsive poet under certain circumstances; circumstances that may be beyond her control.

Deeba is the master of a style: that is the most remarkable thing about her. Her gift for combining words is fantastic but sure. Reading her poem ‘Delirious’ I got an impression that even when you do not know what she is saying, you know that she is saying it well.

“Delirious

My mind is under a spell

anaesthetized

blocked

heart has taken control

and wants to explore

I walk in trance

I cannot comprehend anymore

Want to experience

And traverse the sea

To reach ashore.”

 The poems are , charming and beautiful and often do not always quite satisfy the expectation aroused by the titles. For example :

Mind War

“My mind wants to slash you out of my life

Yet the heart wants to keep away the knife

Wants to keep you intact and I strive

The deafening voices up in my head

Keeps me awake instead

Black or white, it’s easy to choose

It’s the red or grey that gets me confused

Right or wrong

God knows what I long

And so the war still wages on!” 

When you read a few poems of Deeba Irfan’s, you get the impression from the richness of her verbal imagination that she is a poet of rich personality. She is an avid observant without that quotient of tragedy and irony that often haunts the Eastern poets. She is fresh, genuine and winning with a gift for language. It is not the melting music but sonorous touching often the sublime.

Soul Search

“Where have you been so long?

I have been at the edge, holding on

My word in a spin

With you getting under my skin

We are lying down, getting up

Walking in and around

We all carry a soul but at times

Our own world seem scrunched and curled

Still holding on, all along

Deeba had spent a large part of her childhood in Iran, which coincided with the eventful years in the country.

She had seen the fall of Shahenshah Raza Pahelvi and the evolving Iranian Revolution. The images of those days had left the indelible marks on her psyche. Deeba had often recalled in Facebook the times when the beautiful city of Tehran was called the Paris of the East. She has not put the dark and scary images of that period. It reflects nostalgia with underline sympathy and understanding. Often her poems have the tint of rhapsodizes in soft light baggage of memories.

Trapped in a Moment

Time elapsed

Left its trace

What once was lavender field

Now mopped with a deep ravine

And just an empty time

Since we drew a line

Memory’s stuck

Of mist fragrance and you

Of those moments few

I turn around and glance

On those days of prance.

I can picture her offering off her poems as spontaneously chuckling with the delight of a school-girl. In the beautiful bind of ‘Charcoal Blush’ there are a number of poems which are delightful for sheer appalling cleverness. There are poems which are full of boisterous energy, and seem to have been written with great gusto. The picture she gives of her own time is invariably vivid, and almost invariably pleasant but often morose.

By Naim Naqvi

Image Source: 1 2 3

Custom Search

Do you have any contrary opinion to this post - Do you wish to get heard - You can now directly publish your opinion - or link to another article with a different view at our blogs. We will likely republish your opinion or blog piece at IndiaOpines with full credits