Sarojini Naidu is a poet of Indian thought and culture and her poems described Indian flora and fauna, Indian customs and traditions, festivals, men and women, places legends of kings and queens etc. Naidu was a freedom fighter and a patriot and was known by the sobriquet The Nightingale of India. She was a sensitive poet and wrote poetry based on the beauty of simple joys and sorrows of life. Her poetry included children’s poems, nature poems, poems on love and death etc.
Discuss Sarojini Naidu’s poetry as ‘Indian in thought and spirit.’
In the Bazaars of Hyderabad is a vibrant, colorful poem describing the bazaars of Hyderabad. This poem was written during the British Rule when Indians were asked to boycott foreign products and buy goods from traditional Indian bazaars. During this time, publication of Indian newspapers was banned so she might have thought the best way to spread the message to people was through her poems.
Folk theme is one of the dominant themes in Sarojini Naidu’s poetry. In the Bazaars of Hyderabad deals with one such theme, the loveliness and vibrancy of a traditional Indian bazaar in the city of Hyderabad.
The poet has vividly described the bazaar with vendors selling different kind of wares. Sarojini Naidu visits the stalls given by merchants, maidens, pedlars, goldsmiths, fruit sellers, musicians and flower girls. She questions them about what they are selling about what they are selling and who in turn politely answer.
Through the poem, we see the bazaar witnesses both sorrows and joys of life. They witness happy moments such as wedding when the bazaar is crowded with people buying garlands, jewelry etc and also during the festive occasions like Holi, Diwali, Eid etc.
The bazaars also witness occasions of sadness like death when kings and soldiers die and the flower girls are seen weaving sheets of white flowers to be used for the dead people’s grave.
Another theme in the poem is the Swadeshi Movement. Though this theme is not explicitly mentioned in the poem but it can be deduced from the time period when the poem was composed. As we all know, Sarojini Naidu was a freedom fighter and she actively took part in the freedom movement and was an ardent follower of Gandhi and his ideals. During this time, publication of Indian newspapers was banned so she might have thought the best way to spread the message to people was through her poems. In this poem, she is asking the people of India to boycott the foreign goods and buy products from the typical Indian markets which she has beautifully depicted in her poem In the Bazaars of Hyderabad.
Therefore, we can say there is a lot of Indian spirit in all her poems. Indian customs and traditions, Indian men and women, Indian festivals and rituals, Indian myths and legends, Indian locations like bazaars and fairs are the dominant themes of her poetry.
If one goes through the poems of Sarojini Naidu, one can easily make out that Sarojini Naidu was a poet of Indian thought and sensibility.