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Homelessness And Identity Crisis In Poetry Of Tabish Khair

1735 words - 7 pages

Tabish Khair is an English writer in English whose concerns are about India even though he has settled in Denmark. He belongs to state of India which is entirely different in language, culture and tradition as compared to the European nations. He is a poet whose poems deal with small town culture, and experiences. His style is simple, rich in metaphor and irony. Concept of identity crisis and anxiety is a new emerging trend in world literature and every writer makes it his particular genre. World literature is that which is accepted and read in the whole world which deals with diversified issues and identity dilemma is one of them. Khair’s poems reveal his nostalgic feelings for his homeland and dilemaic feeling for his identity. Being an Indian Muslim who has migrated to a European country his whole identity has changed but his feelings and memories for his own identity and home are still the same.
In his two collections of poems, he had deliberately shown his yearning for an ideal home which provide him a desirable feeling of homeliness, love, care, security, belonging. Through his poems he recalls his childhood days and also laments the present day life style of children who miss games of adventure and learning due to perforation and the like electronic gadgets. Today English poetry has overcome the subjugation to the influence of English, American or western poets and post colonial temperament.
The whole range of contemporary poetry projects the inner self of the poets. Their history, surroundings, culture, and inner self are revealed through a cluster of symbolic representation. They display their hones love for culture and heritage with comfortable strength on common themes, just as they explore “new horizon in contents”i, and at the same time maintain the Indian spirit. Of course they are conscious of the country’s multi-lingual and multi-religious reality and seek to present the nation’s diversity and differences.
Many examples of Indian poets are there who mourn for their identity and homelessness. This anxiety is also present in Tabish Khair which is find by readers. He is distinctly discernible that his roots are confined to his homeland even though he is far from it (his homeland). Through his memory he delves into past, lives his present and let the future determine his poetry. Despite of the fact that he is living with his own family in Denmark, Khair’s first collection of poems “Where Parallel Lines Meet”,(2000) (which is considered to be one of the most significant collections in recent years by an Indian writing in English.2) reveal the nostalgia for India in general and town in particular. In this collection there are poems which propagate Khair’s views, feelings and respect for India.
He uses very subtle words and unwraps the scenes, senses of small towns from the repertoire of his memory. He has highlighted these in his “Summer Senses”:

“The soft, sweet smell of his hookah,
The starched smell of her sari,
The smell of...


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