Arav Rajesh, only 16, composes poetry that reflects harsh social truths – glimpses from Melodies of Society

Meet Arav Rajesh: a young poet with social concerns

Poetry is an ages-old genre to express love, emotions of other kinds, contempt, paint pictures with words, and also exhibit the truths of society. Poets, through time, have used this tool to entertain their readers and educate them about many issues. In India, poetry has a very ancient history. Indian English poetry, however, does not reflect the same impression. It is relatively new and not that dense (compared to other languages). Nevertheless, from time to time, some sparks and flashes affirm the proof of Indian English poetry being lively. Today, we will discuss a young poet, Arav Rajesh, only sixteen, and his debut poetry collection Melodies of Society. The book has been critically appreciated by many critics writing for different literary platforms in India. 

For the poet, Arav Rajesh, poetry needs to address social issues. He believes social images, events in society, problems and subjects can be represented visually in poetry with the help of words. In particular, the poet discusses the practices that need to be highlighted to bring them to the attention of people at large. In his own words: 

“Living in India, I have seen a variety of social evils proliferating through my own eyes. Each of these social issues has its own nuances, and through poetry, one can use words and images to explore voices that might initially appear unknown. It is unadulterated. Each issue has its own image, and each image can be composed of rhymes – it is this characteristic property that allows me to bridge the gap between poetry and society.” 


Melodies of Society Arav Rajesh


In his debut poetry collection, Melodies of Society, Arav Rajesh discusses the plight of a child being sold by his father, a mother working to feed her children, people waiting for food, and many others. He believes the dark side of society needs to be exposed so that people come forward and address these issues. 

Arav Rajesh thinks that poetry can serve a multitude of purposes. However, his focus remains on social justice, harsh realities and the plight of the unheard. When asked what purpose poetry can serve, Arav Rajesh answers this way: 

“Poetry and rhythm allow everyone to share their voice. Unlike other art works, poetry does not discriminate on background, experience or ideas. Some of the earliest forms of historical communication have been through orated poems – an anthropological phenomenon that transcends geography. Lastly, poetry allows one to elevate even the ordinary, providing a new perspective to even the most mundane objects and ideas.”

It is truly remarkable and highly appreciable seeing a young poet discussing poetry like this. Moreover, in his poems in Melodies of Society, Arav Rajesh has highlighted many things that only mature poets could have done. Perhaps, that is the reason many people have endorsed the book and appreciated the poet. One can find those endorsements and critical opinions about the poet and his creations in the book. 

Indian English poetry has often seen ordinary productions that seldom add newness to the existing corpus. Melodies of Society, I believe, has many things to offer to serious readers. The imagery might be grim and dark, but it does move you as a reader. Emotionally driven, visually sensitive, and thoughtfully compensated descriptions of events that no one might want to see in his or her life arouse various thoughts in the hearts of readers. 

True judgement of a poetry collection, nevertheless, can only be done by readers. Melodies of Society, on the front of subjects and themes, is a collection that offers many things. In terms of poetic composition, however, the collection relies on forced couplets (mostly) and carefully picked words. The length of lines, it seems, may have been squeezed or pulled according to the scheme of the illustrations on the pages. Well, nothing matters more than a poem making a reader think or feel. In spite of every pros and cons analysis one may offer, Melodies of Society will keep readers engaged for a while. And it is certainly a well-made debut by a young poet with a lifetime ahead of him! 

Adarsh J for Literature News 

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  • Great effort by a teenager poet… the article is rather balanced and I like the tone. We must guide the younger generation in the right direction rather than fueling the wrong meters.