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Starting young... and nostalgic

`THE CHILD is the father of man,' thus spoke the famed nature poet Wordsworth. And these days children are proving him correct. Not long ago, did we hear of the exploits of the likes of Parthiv Patel and Tathaghata. Examples abound, so do talents, in domain countless. Carrying the tradition forward is Laldinkima Sailo, who turned 18 this August. His debut anthology of poetry, `Spectrum - A Plethora of Rhapsody' was recently released by Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister of India at India International Centre in New Delhi. He was a XII standard student of La Martiniere for Boys, Kolkata, when he finished this book. He is now a student of first year, St. Stephen's College, Delhi University.

Dedicated to Brigadier T. Sailo, former Chief Minister of Mizoram and his grandfather, the book published by `Books for All' is an amalgam of joy, sorrow, wonder, prayer, faith and inspiration that the little poet tries to spread under various headlines. At the beginning though it vents pessimism and searches for an answer divine. He admits that he has been "submerged in the sinful pool of death" though seeks salvation from Lord to show him the way "so that the horrid deeds of (his) epitaph may be omitted." Not an outcome of a few months of toil but five years -- Spectrum is a collection of Sailo's poetic talent since the age of 12 when was in class VIII at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. Yet the maturity of creation fails to tell the age of the poet.

"I had been a keen observer always and ardent admirer of my grandfather. The situations helped me pen down my feelings and the latter encouraged me," says this admirer of Anita Desai and Amit Choudhary.

Remember `Country Roads Take me Home' the famous song sung by Richard Marx that has a similarity with `Chitthi Aayyi hai' of Pankaj Udhas where the singer longs to go back to his native place? Sailo gives you similar nostalgic feeling though in a different context where `the land he longs to see' on which `river flowed' and where `At once a thousand pagodas beautifully scattered' but now is a victim of "merciless brigand". But "The Sun May Rise Again," an innocent hope prevails all over!

The book's intention might take you over with its innocent hopes and pleas on behalf of a victim of poverty for whom the celebration of Independence and "thundering sparks of `nationalism'" does not bring any cheer while its language, pregnant with taxing words that best befits a philosophical piece, hurdles its smooth flow at many a places.

RANA A. SIDDIQUI

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