Dr. A. K. Chowdhary, the editor of reputed international journal Kohinoor, and a distinguished Indo-English poet, has published My Songs as one of his three collections, the other two being Eternal Voices, and Universal Voices. The collection lists endless explorations of mind on the lines of poetry. It is said that poetry is usually woven round elements of imagination, emotions, passions and feelings. Here, the poet appears purely as a realist of men and matters who has surveyed life in realistic perspectives quite contrary to imaginative form of poetry that takes the backseat in this collection and a strong sense and touch of realism within the parameters of theme, form and substance forms the bulk of 34 poems written in complete facts and figures and focuses on everyday life. Themes of poems are intensely varied i.e. nature, love, sorrow, life, man, injustice, terrorism, etc. and set against multiple facets of life with a novel vision and keen sense of observation. The learned poet voices his protest like a social reformer, explores like natural observer and exposes like typical judge the hidden facets of natural world, the mindsets of sectarian violence and threatening religious fundamentalism, and finally, a visionary mouth-piece and an outright economist between the rich and the poor, examiner of relationships between man and woman, friend and foe, poet and the teacher, thoroughly rooted in comprehensive ideas and observations and complete understanding.
Like a typical nature poet, the poet in the poem 'Cloud' shows how powerfully it appears on the world: ''You, a cloud of fire, / Roar as a king / wild with glee and carefree / A slender and a twig ---cloud" (4). 'The Ganga' is another poem in which the life-sustaining flow of the river is traced in its delightful routes: ''Ganga is a congregated might / Like many a voice of one delight / … / the myth of her Zenith / Is beyond Sabbath" (11). 'India' is a poem the poet calls it the land of Lord Gautam Buddha, Mahavir and Mahatma Gandhi besides the land of the Ganges. He writes: ''Budha, Mahavir and Gandhi / have taken Samadhi / … / India a land of the Ganga / Purifies filth like the Yoga" (15) Next, the poet goes sharply critical in one of the poems addressed to Leader:
A wolf in sheep's clothing
sheds crocodile tears for the suffering.
Faustus of the society
has rare vision for the prey.'
O! nest of the viper
your name is modern leader'' ('Leader' 18)
Poems like 'Love' and 'Life' reflect the poet's philosophy and view them from realistic point of view.
'Love is the fragrance of life.
It blooms only in perfect psyche.
Loveless life is worse than Death. ('Love' 20)
'Life is a crown of thorns,
Death is a bed of roses.
wealth is the raw spirit of life
life is like wife even at strife ----- ('Life' 19)
In 'Majuli,' the poet goes nostalgic and recollects the glory, beauty and wonder of the land of Assam. He writes: ''She is a tract of sphinx. / She is a tract of phoenix. / … / She is bliss of solitude. / She is a paragon of promenade'' ('Majuli' 21).
Like a poet who is socially-conscious, Dr. A. K. Chowdhary penetrates into people and objects and traces them with his keen sense of observation. 'Modern Man' depicts the place of man in the modern times in true-sense of his existence: "O Owl! / Do not play the foul. / To show white feathers / is modern man's features" (22). Continuing on the same lines, the poet, in poems 'The poor' and 'The Rich,' depicts class distinctions in consonance with his own lines of thought:
The poor are those
Who play false ('The poor' 26)
Riches are they
Who defray for the castaway
They are the insensate things,
Spell-bound in fatal feelings. ('The Rich' 29)
Again, the poet tries to deal with the crucial and sensitive term ''Religion,'' in eponymous poem: "Religion is an intoxication / it is an illusion, / It is a Karmarasa river" ('Religion' 28).
While depicting the horrors of contemporary world where it is living in constant threat of bomb-blasts, the poet, in 'Terrorism,' has crafted his verses like these: "O Darling of the odium! / Breed ogre and idolum / … / Affliction and adulation / Empoison humanly erudition" ('Terrorism' 32). 'Poets' is a poem which is dedicated to his fellow-poets around the world. He writes: "O Pneuma ! O Creator of Valhalla! / O Lama! O piercer of nebulosity! / … / O sage! Sabotage worldly cage" (25).
To conclude, the poetry of Dr. A.K. Chowdhary is socially relevant, morally suggestive, pointedly sharp and humanly evocative. The poet has touched upon various facets of society in multiple dimensions, taking individually and collectively the problems, situations, dilemmas, experiences and those associated closely with man. No doubt, he takes from simple to complex subjects for his poetry. Modern issues confronting man have been dwelt at length.
Some poems, such as 'India,' 'Death,' 'Earth,' 'Man,' 'Nature,' 'Terrorism,' 'Explorer,' are extensively dealt with. As a poet, Dr. A.K. Chowdhary is highly socio-conscious, poetically relevant, contextual and true to the core of men and matters around him.