August 12, 2011

"Musings of a wanderer"--Book Review

Title: Musings Of A Wanderer.

Author: Shreya Chatterjee

Publisher: Power Publishers

Price: Rs 100/-

"Musings of a wanderer" is a splendid collection of heart felt verses by Shreya Chatterjee, a writer by profession and a poet at heart.
Born and brought up in the land of 'mishti doi' and 'rasogullas', shreya studied at the G.D Birla Centre For Education, Presidency College Kolkatta and the University of calcutta and has been writing since her school and college days.
She writes mostly in English and Bengali and has had her work published in college mags and other magazines like 'Rohon d'etre' and 'bohnik',
You can read more of her on her blog here.

On reading "Musings of a wanderer", it is impossible to ignore the deep talent amalgamated with a strong passion for writing, that this young soul is blessed with..
Shreya chatterjee has with great success, managed to use her literary abilities to ink out the simple mediocrities of day to day life.
While some poems speak of intense emotions, some manage to tease the small flicker of a feeling we all have encountered at some point in our life.

Each piece though short in length, manages to create a ripple of emotions and makes you reminisce long after you have finished reading it.
Be it through a small line like "Let the night remain the same" (from the poem 'a shower at night') which speaks about holding onto the moment and wanting to never let it go for fear that it will vanish in the monotony of an average reality, or the ending stanza of another brilliant verse which says "Lost roads are still whispering...beckoning me to walk over them", she manages to pick up a thought that you had tucked away and make you ponder on it, all over again.

The down to earth maturity and the free flowing language create an intrigue in the reader, leaving him smiling after every piece...a smile for what had crossed his mind..but perhaps could never express as lucidly.

A few personal favorites from the collection (in no particular order) of 93 and the lines i got struck by---
1) Name of poem: Fiasco of an escapist.
Favorite lines:
"I am running...
away in search...
of a little peace...
a little escape perhaps...
a little forgotten me...
a little deja vu-away, beyond..."

My thoughts: The poet has beautifully described the escapist frame of mind.We have all at some point of time, been through this phase, the urge to slip away from reality in that never ending pursuit of happiness.

2) Name of poem: The Waiting
Favorite lines
"She stood there
and i waited here

silence breathed
in between."

My Thoughts: How many times have we failed to break the silence due to reluctance of taking the first step?
torn between the if-only's and never-mind's...losing battles that are never fought!

3) Name of poem: Sombre Tales
Favorite lines: picking up a line would spoil the effect of the piece.
My thoughts: The poet speaks about a clandestine love and still maintains the secrecy of the affair.
The half spoken phrases which adorn the poem show a reluctance to narrate the story as it is and yet, the confidence that the air she breathes would whisper their tale.
All in all, a beautiful write.

4) Name of the poem: Downcast eyes.
Favorite lines: picking up a favorite line would not do justice to the poem.
My thoughts: Men don't cry...says who?
A poem which will make every woman rethink the next time she calls a man, heartless.

5) Name of poem: Sleepless.
Favorite Lines:
"I am thinking endless misstatements,
nights creep, crawl, tiptoe away,
i stare bluntly as they pass away,
Sleepless i remain sleepless, forever."

My thoughts: Something every insomniac would relate to, a haunting poem which will make you ponder on the reasons of your sleeplessness and perhaps give you more reason for the same ;)

6)Name of poem: Blood.
Favorite lines:
"Some like Keats have wondered about the redness,
some have just wiped it off,
for fresh blood to ooze out"

My Thoughts: a sad ironical take on today's harsh reality and our helplessness to know and yet, be able to do nothing about it..and once again, the same question comes to mind, "Are we really safe?"

7) Name of poem: Wires
Favorite lines: Picking up a favorite line would fail to render it, the desired perspective.
My thoughts: A heart wrenching take on love beyond enemy lines.
Reading it makes just one thought come to mind---love has no boundaries!!

8) Name of poem: To be a woman.
Favorite lines:

"Gauging me needs a fiery heart,
requires the prowess of a wounded lion.
touch me-a dream not to be fulfilled...
i am wind that never stands still
i am light that stays invisible."

My thoughts: a piece which reminds you of Elvis Costello's "she"..Shreya Chatterjee has rightly captured the heartwarming yet soulstirring journey in the life of a woman :)

9) Name of poem: Breaking.
Favorite Lines: loved the impact the entire poem created.
My Thoughts: Sometimes out thoughts are misunderstood..our actions misinterpreted.
"Breaking" speaks of the clear difference in the thought processes and ego clash between martians and venutians..and how an emotional crisis can cause both to lose clarity of the situation.

10) Name of poem:Sudden Shower.
Favorite Lines:
"a drop and another followed
i had given up hope...
and now my shower
has returned
with full vigor."

My Thoughts: There are times in life, when opportunity knocks unexpected..when light shimmers in at the darkest moments..when all of a sudden, wishes are granted when they are least expected.
"Sudden Shower" is based on the above experience wherein the poet has given up all hope only to find, by a twist of fate, her dream fulfilled.

Of course there are other pieces which make your heart skip a beat..which manage to get a lump in your throat..and make you sigh.
In short, the book might look pretty simple and straight..but its only when you read it with full concentration, that you get to notice the writer's inspiring insight in the normal events and emotions of day to day life..

However having said all of the above, here are a few minor deficiencies which require mentioning--
1) The index of poems could be well categorized into distinct sections based on the topics/labels.
This would enable the reader to select his 'read' according to the mind frame he is in.This is of much importance considering it is a collection of poems and poetry is something which can only be appreciated if read in the correct frame of mind.

2) There are many places wherein the punctuation seems marred.
This hampers the flow of the poem and makes it difficult for the reader to gauge the continuity in the right places as desired by the writer's perspective.

Other then these minor forgivable complaints, I find no other fault in the series.

The book ends on a lovely note, "we shall meet in a place" which speaks of innocence and hope..of living in a perfect world..of freedom..of a new day to come.

I'm glad I got a chance to read this book, and I know I will surely pick it up from my bookshelf whenever i'm feeling down--to read and learn from these innocent musings of an insightful wanderer, once again.

Book rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Anonymous said...

what a wonderful in-depth review!!
i am going to buy this book.
but how i wish i could have you by my side while reading it so tht i knew yr opinion on the othr poems as well :)

bravo for reviewing it sooooo well...

Subhrashis Adhikari said...

great review that

Spiritual Sherpa said...

Loved the review..the collection seems very interesting and the poetry soulful..will pick this up over the weekend

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

The lines look interesting indeed. The title is the most eye catching, and is that the cover page? It's good.

Blasphemous Aesthete

Pri said...

@ anonymous
but i still feel poetry is something which changes meaning and perspective from one person to just have to spend time with it----feel it from the heart and it will explain itself to you :)

Pri said...

danke! :)

Pri said...

@ india's number 1 blog
yups do that..if you liked what you read in the review, i think you are going to like the book too...

welcome to my blog :)

Pri said...

@ blasphemous aesthete
yups..that is the cover page :)

wanderer said...

Thank you for the review Pri-honored that your liked my verses. hoping that the poems will keep you in good company in future too.

Pri said...

@ wanderer
you are most welcome, was a pleasure to review your book :)

Anonymous said...

Pretty insightful. Thanks!

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Soumyadeep said...

Priyanka, such wonderful review of a book...perhaps others are also going to ask u to review theirs..
If possible I would like you to review my blog, though I am very nascent in this sphere..

Pri said...

@ anonymous
thanks for dropping by :)

Pri said...

@ soumyadeep
welcome to my space, soumyadeep.
im really flattered by your request..thankyou :)

however i dont normally review im afraid wouldn't be able to help you on that.
neverthless, will definitely drop by your space to read..and i would suggest you to keep writing :)

cheers and regards!