“The Gorkha’s Story” by Prayash Gorkha is not a story in true sense rather it is a collection of forty poems having the glimpses of Gorkha history, life in the mountains, conditions of the people of the mountains and most importantly the inspiring landscape of the mountains. All these themes are reflected time and again in the poet’s writing.

The style that the poet has taken to write the poems is more story like. This is what is the defining characteristic of his poems and his poetic style. His poems have beauty, grandeur, magnificence, poise and the grace of their own.

The poet at times sings the praises of the Gorkhas and their noble cause. He gives words to his feelings in poems like Martyrs Call, Dream to be a Gorkha Soldier, Sarangi, Zehrensdorf Cemetery, Your Dream is my Dream. At times the poet reminds the readers of Homer who also sang the praises of Greek warriors in “The Iliad”. The poet’s “1986” reminds the readers of Yeats’ “Easter 1916” and “What If” by the poet is more like forming the backdrop of 1986 agitation and how the common people are affected by protests and rebellion. Other poems in this category include “Take if Courage and Valor”, “Maun Vrat”, “Red, Green and the Soil”, “Khukuri” etc.

In some poems the poet refers to the common people when he talks about the population involved in tea plantation. This is amply reflected in poems like “172” which is not only about the pitiable plight of tea plantation workers but also their families, “The Portrait of a Tea Picker” which reminds of Wordsworth’s “Solitary Reaper”.

In other poems, Prayash Gorkha gets involved in the scenic landscape of Darjeeling and in a Wordsworthian manner, he describes the beauty and landscape of Darjeeling. On reading poems like “Marigold”, the reader is immediately reminded of “Daffodils”. But again, giving it a modern touch, Prayash Gorkha goes beyond mere description and explores the importance of a simple thing as a marigold flower and writes about the cultural importance it has. “Toy Train” has the theme of journey strongly attached to it as the idea of a day in the life of a train is explored from a third person’s perspective. “Tiger Hill”,”Nineteen Forty”, “Darjeeling”, “Lali Guras and Oranges”, “Dasain”, “The Beauty of Darjeeling”, all describe the landscape of Darjeeling beautifully, so much so that they make the reader want to visit Darjeeling himself and enjoy the beauty of nature. “104” is a little different from the league as here there is the combination of cold temperature and violence in the poem.

In some poems, the poet attempts to think out of the box and write on serious subjects which affect the present day people. “The Story of Promises” is a comment on the political people who make promises and give people dreams of a better future and comfortable life but nothing actually happens once they come into power. Another poem “Pulbazar” is a nostalgic account of the poet reminiscing his father. “Fragments” is about pre and post independence times and how colonization has casted its effect on both the country and the citizens. “2018” is again a different poem about the present day landscape of Darjeeling and how modernization has affected and at the same time spread its influence on the places located in the lap of nature. “Avalanche” is about the highly risky life in mountains, every second being unpredictable and also the difficult circumstances people live in.

Other beautiful poems include “Red, Green and the soil” and “Gunshot” which are about the futility of battle that caused nothing but bloodshed and loss of life. These poems also remind the reader of the mortal nature of human life. The universal message of peace forms the hidden theme of the poems.

The language of the poems is simple and easy to read. Every poem in itself is a different kind. They seem simple on the surface level but they explore their respective subjects in depth and also burn the flame of the reader’s imagination strongly. The poems are on composite subjects which opens their appeal to readers of possibly all age groups and from all walks of life.


Author Name:  Prayash Gorkha
Book Title:  The Gorkha’s Story
Publisher: Evincepub Publishing
Review By:  Akhila Saroha

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