Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Poetry Out And Loud -II by Sujata Parashar


Sujata Parashar makes beautiful poetry out of everyday mechanics. What makes me want to read her again is her manner of bewitching the reader with the simplest of words. Her poems are straight forward and reflect her candid attitude towards life.
It is this honesty that pierces through the reader’s heart.

 Her simple style is in no way lacking in beautiful images . To quote from ‘ The bridge of Friendship’ , the third poem in the collection–
“and  sadly even  land of five rivers
All of them burning...”
Such intense lines push us into a whirlpool of turbulent   emotions and we witness the poet’s plight not as a mere observer standing on the shore, but like a comrade drifting together in the same boat. Even the saddest of her poems end on a positive note, a hope   underlying all difficult circumstances like a silver lining in the greyest clouds!
Her poetry emerges from somewhere deep within her- and it is not just her soul, her poetry feeds the mind- in good humour  and  taste . Her observant nature is visible when she reveals her true thoughts to the readers, while stuck up in social situations  , so very characteristic of the modern world. The urge to break free from the constraints   that surrounds us and submerge the being into  deeper  and more meaningful  experiences is evident. In a way these mirror our times , the fact that we are losing on basic tenets of humanity and happiness and embracing the hollow foolishness trying to top some rat race.
 But it is not a one sided release , we as reader’s are released too.  These bits and chunks of dry humor somehow bring a faint smile on our face.
What holds more value is that  such  poetry does not have a melancholic effect on the reader, instead it belongs to the league of writing that revives the spirit after a toils of a hard day.
One finds himself uplifted, redeemed and accepting life’s experiences as teaching lessons...learning to move on ...

Her voice is neither too loud or over the top bold, she just manages to convey deepest yearnings of her heart in a very subtle way, which is an achievement itself.
Poems like ‘ Why blow your own trumpet’ and ‘ Tell the truth’ contain valuable advice applicable to each one of us in a non-lecturing style. Infact,   Sujata speaks like a friend sharing her views and not like someone  who tries to enforce  them on us!
While poems like ‘Guruji’ show the truth of so called religious leaders, who fool innocent public, it also shows what a minute observer, our very dear poet is.
To sum up in one line “ I find in her poetry, careful observation sewn together in soft words still  pricking our conscience deep within ”.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


This is the second book by RAJIV SINGH is an author who is courageous enough to write on topics on which people refuse to comment. Infact, he rushes where angels fear to tread……his first book “SO NEAR YET TOO FAR” was a story based on extra marital affair . Unlike the cheap sizzling romantic thrillers which arouse the body not the heart, it really touches the reader.
In his second book he has addressed some major isuues. He notsalgically starts the novel in Shillong, the north eastern state whose natural beauty is marred by the separatist forces. These states have accussed NEW DELHI of ignoring the issues concerning them. A feeling of second class citizenship meted out to them by mainland Indians has led the natives of the state to seek greater participation in self governance.
There have been no. of insurgent activites and regional movements in all parts of north east.
The story moves from Shillong to Delhi back to Shillong and then Mumbai
Rajiv also tells us about the local goons who roam around freely and think themselves demi gods with social responsibility to save any girl from disgrace. They feel Deepak is simply playing with the girl …they keep an eye on him throughout . They even know about the elephant falls incident (that’s one element in rajiv’s novels he makes sure the reader identifies with the characters and enjoys sweet erotic moments crafted very skillfully)showing how much they could intrude in a person’s personal life….
The next major issue the entire book is focused on is the incurable disease called AIDS. The story discovers the reaction of a person to otherwise normal situations once he he is bitten by the termite called phobia. DEEPAK, a highly qualified individual who fears that he has become infected. A simple test can prove him wrong yet he fears social stigma and thus continues the thick black clouds of doubt to extend beyond the raven night when he made love to a stranger. The story also reveals the fact that once you are suffering from AIDS people have their attitudes changed, no matter how close they are to you…
Apart from addressing the social taboo , rajiv has meticulously potrayed the recklessness of todays youth in exploring their sexual desires. Although Deepak is not one of those who are too desperate yet the ravishing beauty of the girl casts a spell on him and he is bewitched to give in.
Neha’s story is heart warming especially for those who have been victims of beautiful lies .Rakesh is the man who gives her everything---status, money and love .But is it love that asks us to blind ourselves and kill our conscience which imbibes moral values we have grown up with????Neha’s part is depicted with utmost sincerity and delicacy. Infact Rajiv poignantly gives us the reason why a particular person especially a woman behaves in a particular manner…..the exploring of woman psyche is evident by the clarity with which he tells a part of the story from Neha’s perspective. I personally applaud Rajiv for bringing to our notice characters like RAKESH who are affluent enough with happy respectable families to boast in front of the society but secretly harbor illicit relationships without any guilt.
IN a nutshell it is a book that should be there in the shelf of any AIDS activist but also with anyone who has genuine love for life and seeks salvation in exploring the psychology of the social animal called man.
we should live every moment to the fullest and as rajiv says ”Don’t die before Death!!”


FOR THOSE who are tired of the novels that focus on cheesy relationships or the classics, preeti singh’s debut novel is a welcome change.It is a book that has something of both…it has soul and substance and delves into the human psychology bringing to surface the pain and agony of a person who crosses every limit to gain love and acceptance. Her novel takes the reader on a roller coaster
ride with her words that flow rather “ naturally”. She succeeds in creating the perfect imagery in front of the readers ,as one turns the pages of the book he is effortlessly carried from one chapter to another. The author’s treatment of the subject of epilepsy is also very sensitive and she has put the naked truth of the callousness of the people when they discover someone has it and their misconceptions about the disease. . A great book is not only that which entertains us but also gives us some message,just like PAULO DOES..here we have the powerful message of KARMA conveyed subtly in the book I Karma in Indian religion is the concept of action or deed which causes the cycle of cause and effect. God does not make one suffer for no reason it is simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. In a layman’s words YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW .
The story is set in the beautiful valley of shimla. ANAND , the protagonist of the story is a boy who is abandoned by his parents and is left at the doorsteps of palash –an orphanage run by a samaritan called mr GONSALVES.He is assisted by SRIBEHEN ,the housekeeper who has a secret crush on him. To serve as the icing on the cake is the humourous character of Fluffy. The dog at palash who is a know all and smells everything that anand is upto. For a dog lover like me it was a delight to read some part of the story from a dog’s perspective.preeti singh lucky owner of the wonderful amber subtly brings out the helplessness of a dog’s inability to express his emotions and warn its master from impending danger.

AS a kid anand’s heart pained at his being poor…….the lustre of the luxurious cars hurt his eyes, he desperately wanted to be among the elite kids he yearned for that kind of lifestyle and riches…
Anand acts like one demi god and wants everybody to behave according to his whims and fancies. He firmly believes that he has the power to give punishment to anyone who wrongs him or is potential threat to anyone he loves. He manages to uproot anyone and anything that comes in the way of his happiness.
There is a mention of a box called “seeds” in which he keeps some remembrant of the evil deeds he does—its creepy just like any typical psycho killer. There are many victims of his disastrous wrath whom he kills for his crush, for his sister, for his own self ego .Due to his evil tactics and drive for money and power he becomes a local goon , manages a comfortable ,rather affluent life in delhi. Having illicit relationships with his landlady, as well as the wife of his business partner. He has it all…the women…money..power..lust ..passion and has got away with all his crimes…murders,…rapes n deceit. But he does return home to Shimla, thinking hes conquered the world….to be with his true love.