‘Manglesh Dabral was not free of the past’

Manglesh Dabral hailed from Kafalpaani village in Tehri Garhwal. No wonder, mountains have a larger-than-life presence in his poems, which talk about local legends, mother, father, grandfather, rains and dreams. Doms also live in the mountains but they never drift into his poetry. How could they have? He had no connection with them. Kanwal Bharti re-reads Manglesh Dabral

Those other than Dalit poets also figure in my personal collection of anthologies, and I find their work quite impressive. They include Pash, Gadar, Gorakh Pande, Varavara Rao, Gauhar Raza, Bhagwat Rawat, Alok Dhanwa and Anshu Malviya. Their expressions are distinct from the others. I have more than 100 collections of poems of four-dozen-odd such poets. Some of them are famous names such as Ashok Vajpayee, Kedarnath Singh, Arun Kamal, Kumar Vikal and Ritu Raj. But I am not adequately intellectually equipped to understand their poetry. Manglesh Dabral’s collection of poems, “Ham Jo Dekhte Hain”, also falls in this category.

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