Neurotic Guilt by Kamalesh Pandey

Neurotic Guilt by Kamalesh Pandey talks about demise and loss which seems as if the book is talking about its author who died young, unexpectedly.

The introduction itself is self – defeating in purpose as it focuses on the poet’s demise leaving the readers trying to understand the poet more than his poems. The book Neurotic Guilt is nothing different than other poetry anthologies in English language published in Nepal. The unaesthetic design of the cover gives the book a ‘meditation – manual’ feel and also the book has got its title all wrong. While the cover reads Neurotic Guilt, the other pages of the book reads The Neurotic Guilt. Moreover, the book has many errors, for instance, the first poem while sitting on Kedma’s Bench has many grammatical errors making the readers lose their interests. However, as you read through the lines, you will understand the voice and feel of it.

The poem could have stronger feelings and touched the heart of many if not for the errors and also the poet has created powerful – images in the poems. As you go through the poems, you will understand that love is something that the poet could never let go, separation made him feel as lost and alone as he appears in his poetry and anguish, too, is evident in his words.

The best word to describe Kamalesh Pandey’s poetry is perhaps, honesty. The poems were handed by the author to his uncle to read 4 years before his death in 2010. The author had no intention of publishing his works as he knew there were many corrections to be made. The poems in his collection give us a feeling that he never really left his dark room, however, saw many things from his window and wrote about them. Mostly the poet talks about life and it seems that he is testing how far he can tease its bleakness, its temporariness without succumbing to it. In his poem, the poet talks about ‘dry rain’, of ‘overcooked tears’ and of ‘white mushrooms’ and ‘grey stars’ and his expressions them seem to have something poignant about them. However, some verses are weak, like Nursery Rhyme has lines that verges on the realms of nonsense and are very unappealingly constructed which makes one wonder if it was ok to remove such poems from the anthology.

The author dwells on life, its meaninglessness, and thoughts and ideas, feelings and emotions that are so universal in their appeal because all of us, at one point in our life, have felt this way.