Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review - Celebrating India Love without Borders

Picture Credit HERE
A maid falls in love with a blind man,
A bird falls in love with a kite
Monuments whisper love notes
and poetry that sings in the night
Separated lovers meet and unwind
A man searches virtually for another man
And many other stories and poetry
that leap borders of all kind.

These inspiring lines on the back cover pulled me like iron filings to a magnet to pick up this anthology of short stories and poems. Starting with Epileptic, Anita Desai’s beautiful short story of lovers who met in college and waited a long time to get married, Gulzar’s brilliant story of a bird that fell in love with a kite, the collection of 12 short stories and 17 poems are a delight to read, especially, because they are all about love in its different shades and colours. Untitled, a rainbow story, puts the ill conceived assumption that same sex love between men is all about sex only. Jatin Kubekar’s Tangled, is cute and shows how a helpful friend brings two shy of love people together. But when a fiercely independent woman, with a volatile temperament is mellowed by a man, eager to keep his tradition alive, Paulami DattaGupta, surprises us with how emotions mellow with companionship of two people quite different from each other. Closely following in the pursuit of intellectual partnerships resulting in love, is Githa Hariharan’s prose-poetry of an extraordinary story between a teacher of poetry and his student. 

But Kabita Sinha’s (1931 – 1998), perhaps deeply personal story is really one that touched my heart. So did, Nabaneeta Dev Sen’s Dismissal. There is something so personal in both these stories, they leave you to ponder long after you have put the book down.

The reason to read stories and poems, are many, but for me, it is this, this and only this – they keep the muse alive in me and my romance with the written word, short, crisp and continuous, like, as if I was entering the minds of different people for a short time and moving to the next set of people. The poems, ignite my thirst for the muse, who for long has not visited my ‘home & hearth’ – my mind.
The collection of poems, are inspiring too and the choices vast, but in all, it is all about love. In my former review HERE, I found some poems repeated here as well, but some were brilliant and original.

Marriage Vessel by Pratima Ray
Her youth spills over as the sun strikes her
Cheeks and is reflected back.
Her Marriage mark’s vermillion smeared from
Her brow back of the crown of her head.
The mango-leaf veil pulled down to her nose as if
she’s some silenced empress.

But what really stole my heart was Fire, by Taslima Nasrin! But for that, dear reader, you will have to wait until tomorrow.

There is one poem, I wish was not included in this collection. And that is The Tamilian. Really, no matter how you look at it, it is racist and distasteful, even though the northerner, Anjali Khurana, finally falls in love with the Tamilian. 

You might like to Get Your Copy Now from HERE

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