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.
Continue reading “Beginning by Mitra Samal”
I lay on the bed
for the better part of the day
looking listlessly out of the window
the wire mesh blocking the view
partitioning the sky into small squares.
Sleep eluded me
pain overpowered me
I longed to die.
I felt my heart thudding
hanging on to dear life.
Death laughing sardonically
watching with cold glee
whispering in a thin voice
your time is yet to come.
Continue reading “Tagore’s The Post Office”
A judgmental person is shown the mirror.
Judging people sitting from a high throne
Who are you?
Have you never made a mistake?
If not how are you human?
Which planet have you come from?
There is no place
for people like you here.
Sitting in judgment on friends
for what they choose to share.
They consider you an insider,
the story of their lives is precious.
Is it to be listened to with full concentration
or with half a mind sitting in judgment?
They talk of experiences you will never have.
Of the people you will never meet.
Of the places you will never go.
They give you a window into a new world.
Sharing their highs and lows,
moments of ecstasy,
pain and confusion.
Not to be judged, surely.
So that you may live,
more than one life.
Sitting in judgment on family.
For the things they do.
For the things they do not do.
For the people they are (or appear to be).
For the people they are not.
What will please you, pray tell?
If the world is run to your diktats and fancies,
my way or the highway style?
Sitting in judgment on strangers.
People you come across in everyday life.
The fleeting connections
which touch us or pass us by.
Subjecting them to your petty judgment
without even knowing them.
Do you know yourself?
Set aside all judgment.
Look at yourself.
How you really are.
Not what you want to be.
Not what you appear to be.
Just as you are.
It would make a world of difference
Pondering on what is real and what is not while rains lash on,when I’m neither asleep nor awake but in a world in between, in a dream like haze.
I’m steering back and forth
a dream filled reality
I know not.
The rain has stopped
but the growling thunder
is a sign
of what is to come.
A gentle cool breeze
is coming through the open window
along with a fine spray.
The house is plunged into darkness
the power as unreliable
as the weather forecast.
I only realize the true value
when it is no longer within my grasp.
That is when I want to come back
the bridge burnt
and the leap can’t be taken.
I listen to the birds gaily chirping
in spite of the constant growling thunder.
A plane flew by desperate to land
before the rain descends again.
When the light comes
I find its glare too harsh
having been comforted by darkness
I have made my peace with it.
I maybe afraid of it
but it has become my friend.
I am a wanderer
without moving an inch.
An arm chair adventurer
my mind the best mode of transport,
transporting me into fantasy lands or into different realms altogether.
the mind a nebula.
Thoughts born anew,many zillion a minute.
Flitting past each other never going beyond the mind’s narrow gate.
Breaking free towards a new path
a new vision envisioned.
New light shed on the black path
things born anew.
Moving towards a transcendental experience
beyond mind’s narrow thoughts.
Soaring into the world and being one with it.
Everything in tandem shutting out the chaos.
Peace and Orderliness restored.
This was posted around a year back in the writing section of Goodreads,in fact my first poem which people have read.Why did I post it here?Nothing really justifiable,I just wanted to start April on a good note.Of late I have been feeling really hopeless and nothing good is coming out of my pen.So I’m going back into flashback mode hoping to be inspired.