Anju S George: ‘Homeward Bound’
Homeward Bound: Poems from Australia & India
Ed: Jaydeep Sarangi & Rob Harle
Pages 124 | Rs 200
The word home is a transient term. Glistening with myriad meanings, exhaustive interpretations, diverse subjective narratives, it is at once personal as it is universal. The polarity of extremes it creates is an interesting paradigm. Sarangi and Harle's collection, Homeward Bound, tries to explore, trace and identify this journey towards home in the words of 16 poets separated by two countries, India and Australia.
The poets attempt to relocate their imaginary constructs of home, at times spatially, at times historically or at times metaphorically. As each retraces himself or herself in the past, surfing through memories, the simplest definition of home can be seen in Bibhu Padhi –
Home is where we are, today
this early morning hour. And we wish it
to remain as it is.
Indeed, home is where the heart is. A parallel meaning arises in Australian poet Bronwyn Owen Allen's words, "Home is a settling/ feeling safe and lucky: a glow" (Home, 31-32). There is a reason why home is precious to the poet. As in "Leaving Home," the message is reiterated again and again.
Beautiful country of mine
While I am away
I know you will still be here. (1-3)
The permanence of home, gives comfort to the poet. This is a reminder,
An old decaying can under an old decaying pepper tree.
Somehow assures the rough and tumble of my fortunes
That I will be back and I feel better
Leaving Home, 12-14)