Suddenly Injected with Hormones

Was there ever a time when I was not stupid
when the weight of the city didn’t weigh on my head like a loadstone
when I was lucid, and enjoyed,
the breeze
the smell of women
the crunch of leaves under the shoes
and the benevolence of strangers.

Dibyajyoti Sarma reviews Ankur Betageri’s  The Bliss and Madness of Being Human

At the first glance, the cover of Ankur Betageri’s collection of poems, with the portrait of a man in a turtleneck and a jacket, and a crow perched on where his head should have been, reminds you of a Milan Kundera novel – somber, philosophical, and abstract. You read the title – The Bliss and Madness of Being Human, and it sort of fits. Don’t be in a haste to judge the book though. It has more to offer than either bliss or madness, or for that matter, the secrets of being human. Here lies the beauty of this brave collection; it defies your expectation at every stage. As you start reading, you come close to catching the pulse of the young, serious poet and when you think you have nailed him, he offers you another poem, and you are caught off guard. You are up for an adventure. As Betageri himself defines poetry: “(it) simplifies/ the humdrum, amplifies/the hum,/ until the hum rearranges your essence.” His poems promise to do simply this.

The Bliss and Madness of Being Human,  Ankur Betageri,  Poetrywala, 2013. Rs 200

The Bliss and Madness of Being Human,
Ankur Betageri,
Poetrywala, 2013. Rs 200

Bhog and Other Stories
By Ankur Betageri
Pilli Books, Bangaluru, 2010
Hardback, 108 pp., Rs. 260
by Zafar Anjum

In Ankur Betageri’s debut collection of short stories, Bhog and Other Stories, the last story, Malavika, is about a Bangalore-based materialistic girl. The eponymous character, Malavika, is befriended by the narrator—a writer and a friend of the young college-going student. The writer shows that Malavika is confused about life.