Book Review on Dr Dalip Khetarpal’s Refractions—At a Glance by Dr O P Arora

Refractions—At a Glance

An eminent poet and critic, Dr Dalip Khetarpal glitters like a   polestar  on  the  firmament  of  contemporary  Indian English  literary  world.  His  poetic  world  is  not  one  of imaginative flights or fancies, nor of rainbows or clouds, it is  this  real  world  we  live  in.  The  poems  in  this  collection are  a  feast  for  the  mind.  He  pursues  truth like a maniac. These  poems  here  explore  the  inner  recesses  of  man’s psyche, uncover the masks of lies, craftiness and hypocrisy that  man  wears  to  hide  his  real  self,  and  explodes  the rotten  traditions  and  myths. 

The  poet wonders why man should    burden    himself    with    all    the    meaningless, superfluous  and self-deceiving baggage of traditions and conventions  when  he  knows fully well that they have lost their  meaning and relevance in the modern world. Like T. S.  Eliot,  Dr  Khetarpal  is a hard-hitting realist and exposes the hollowness of the priest in the temple chanting hymns while his lustful gaze is fixed on the” most captivating and covetous  part  /  Of  an  exquisite  woman’s  anatomy.”  A usual    scene    in    the    religious    places—-the “oddest admixture”  of  “Spirituality  and  Sensuality”.  But  that  is what man is–in the garb of spirituality, he satisfies his id, the  animal  instinct. 

An  iconoclastic  like Bernard Shaw, Dr Khetarpal robs man of all the romantic masks and brings out  his inherent selfishness  in  not  only  befooling  people around  him  but  also  shaming  God  through  his  trickery and   wickedness.   The   poet   is   pained   to   watch   the helplessness  of  God,  the  Omnipotent  God  for  not  being able   to   trounce   Satan.   How   can   He   when   human consciousness  has  become  a  “seemingly  fixed Abode for Satan.

“Dr Khetarpal is a superb intellect and has been gifted with an excellent insight, and like John Donne, he has a feeling mind  and  a  thinking  heart.  ‘Soul  vis-a-vis  Eternity’  very poignantly exposes man’s obsession with the body which he  always declares to be transient while he gives only lip-service  to  his  soul  which  is  eternal.  Like  Donne,  he  gives logical,   analytical   arguments   to   convince   people   that death,  the  greatest  fear  of  man,  is  in  fact a boon for the world.  Think  of  old  people  living  eternally! 

Dr  Khetarpal doesn’t  spare  God  too;  he  even  dared  to  ask  Him a very unorthodox and gutsy question: ‘Isn’t He fed up with His eternity?’ It should be certainly painful and exacting for Him to manage the satanic animal called man, forever and ever. ‘Smashed  in-between-ness’  completely smashes you and  your  popular  notions  about  globalization.  It  distorts and  splits the cultural personalities of the individuals and poses   horrendous   dilemmas   which   turn   them   into neurotics.

The   poems   in   this   slim   volume   are   thoughtful   and thought-provoking,  both.  They  stir  your slumbering soul. They make you think, liberally, open-mindedly, independent   of   all   orthodox   or   rigid   traditions   and conventions. They also inspire you to think afresh and live your    life    in    a    better    and    psychosomatically    more wholesome manner. That is the finest contribution a poet can really make in today’s world that has gone haywire.

Title: Refractions — At a Glance
Author: Dr Dalip Khetarpal
Publisher: The Poetry Society of India
Available: Amazon

Author’s Bio

Dr  Dalip  Khetarpal worked  as  a  Lecturer  in  English  at  Manchanda Delhi   Public   College,   Delhi.   He   worked   in   various   capacities,   as Lecturer,  Senior  Lecturer  and  H  .O.  D  (English)  in  various  academic institutes  in  Haryana.  He  was  a  Dy.  Registrar  and  Joint  Director  at the Directorate  of Technical  Education,  Haryana,  Chandigarh. Dr  Dalip  has  also  started  a  new  genre  in  the  field  of  poetry,  which he would  like  to call  “psycho-psychic  flints”.

Critique’s Bio

Dr  O  P  Arora worked  as  Professor  of  English  in  Delhi  University for  over  three  decades.  A  poet,  novelist  and  short  story writer,  Dr  Arora  holds  a  distinctive  position  among  contemporary writers  in English,  in  India  and abroad. Five   volumes   of   his   soul-stirring   poems The   Creeping   Shadows, Embers  in  the  Ashes,  The  Edge  of  the  Cliff,  Pebbles  on  the  Shore  and Whispers in   the   Wilderness explore  the  inner  recesses  of  man’s consciousness  and  express  the  poet’s  true  and  honest  emotive responses  to  the  ailing  world  infested  with  corruption  and  torn apart  by strife  and  conflicts. His    poems    have   been   published   widely   with   leading   literary journals,   magazines   and   dailies   and   have   also   been   given   an esteemed  place  in renowned  anthologies. Dr  Arora  also  has  three published  novels: A  Bite  Of  Paradise,  The Siliken Traps  and  Beyond  the  Mists in  English  and  one  novel  and  a collection of  short  stories  have  come  out  in  Hindi.  They  all  are  his masterpieces.

Dr Dalip Khetarpal in conversation with Mr Khurshid alam