Note – The book Beginning written by poet Mitra Samal is published by Authors Press. She is a bookish acquaintance and gave me her book in return for a review. I was initially reluctant because I was busy and poetry isn’t something which can be rushed. She agreed to wait and I thank her for patience. My hesitation also stemmed from the fact that it’s the first book of poems that I was about to review and I don’t think poetry can be reviewed as such (not by people like me at least!). So what follows is my takeaway from the poems.
There are 50 poems in the book and I read them over the course of a month. Beginning is accessible poetry for the common reader where people like me can appreciate poems without feeling the need to whip out a dictionary. Her simplicity is her strength. It is written in free verse. The poet said it was better than forcing it to rhyme and I agree.
Fairy Tales started well about the girl wanting to be the hero and her own saviour then became about a working woman being better than a homemaker, a bias which I never truly understood. Because work is work and both contribute to the GDP. What a woman chooses to do should be her own choice. Unfortunately we are far from a society like that.
Still got a Chance reminded me of Neel Mukherjee’s A State of Freedom which had the insider’s point of view as opposed to the outsider looking in here; the former worked for me.
Her poem Scars covers the entire gamut and this line really resonated with me – Scars that stay whether or not you want them.
Trust me Father is about an offspring telling a parent to let her fight her own battles. Letting go as an Indian parent (most just want to swoop in and take care of the problems for their children) is hard even when the children are adults. In this regard, like in many others, animals fare better than humans.
Will things be back to normal again? asks a line in Will the Rains Feel the Same. The normal is always changing but it remains our single minded pursuit to go back to what doesn’t exist and only remains in our memories.