As a poet, Nandy attempted a breakthrough in form to evolve a new language. He felt that creative writing in English by Indians was largely an echo of the West, being imitative in form and approach. Nandy infused his idiom with myths and symbols of the Indian tradition. According to Nandy, Modern Indian poetry draws “strength from the bedrock of our tradition”, yet is violent, anguished and brutally contemporary”.
“Memory”, a short prose poem is based on an oft repeated theme of the poet, namely; that of memory which integrates the world of reality with the world of emotion. Memory, like a nightmare, “brushes past” the poet, its “giant wings” blotting out reality. It takes him to the root of his desire. The finite world recedes as memory distorts or perhaps sharpens perception. He is trapped by its nostalgic recollections. Helpless, he is forced to succumb to the sympathy of his loved one, for memory makes him a prisoner of love.
This prose poem poignantly recaptures in its image and diction a powerful personal experience. The image of memory brushing past “with a rustling of its giant wings” brings in the seas of darkness that mirrors the despair of the protagonist. In eight lines, Nandy effectively holds a personal experience in a unique idiom.