Sunday, July 23, 2017

Aatm-Sakshatkar Abhi Baki Hai… Answering the perennial questions…

These days we often hear that poetry is dying out, no one reads poetry and no one buys poetry books. The last one may be a bit true, as we hardly buy a book of poems but neither it is dying out nor it has any dearth of readers. And poets, their number is flourishing like never before. Question though there is one: how many of them write good poetry, poetry that will survive the test of time?

      Well, frankly speaking, apart from my college days I have never bought a book of poems. Last time, I had bought a collection of poems was a decade ago. It is more or less due to online availability of poems, and also because my office library, parliament library, has reach collection of books. But anyway, I never gave up reading poetry.
Recently, I bought a book, Aatm-sakshatkar Abhi Baki Hai…, after reading a poem from it on Facebook. Though Vikash Bhattacharya has been a Facebook friend for quite a long time, I didn’t know him personally.

      But I am happy not only to read his book but also to have a friend like him, who is a genius and a multi-talented person.

      I would call Aatm-Sakshatkar Abhi Baki Hai… a collection of gems. It reminded me of poems by Bhavani Prasad Mishra, the noted Hindi poet.

Vikash pours out his heart into his poems. And emotion flows like a river in the summer, cool and calm yet reminding us of its flow, its breathing and its deepness.  

     The success of these poems lies in its flow, its simplicity and simple words, and then without difficulty their ability to tell us the most complicated aspects of the life. The Poet is so fascinated with life that he keeps on questioning about several aspects of it, though at heart, he knows that these questions have never been answered. No, he doesn’t philosophize; he tells us the plain truth through his own experiences.

     What strikes me most is that many of his poems, directly or indirectly, talk about the ultimate truth of our life- death. I did ask him, why so many poems on it.   ‘Death intrigues me,’ was his reply. And it is quite visible throughout the book. But beauty of it is that he doesn’t make us sad about it. 

     Poems like Ye Reteeli Zindgi… (The Sandy Life), Shav Yatra (Funeral Procession), Mrituy (Death), Sadak Durghatna (Road accident), Samay ka Chakra (The Wheel of Time) etc talk about the grim realities of our life.

    What is more interesting is that a poem, Meri Priyatma (My Beloved), which we may take as a romantic one, and  in fact it is as long as we don’t go into the deeper meaning of it, also talks about the ultimate truth.

      It has been after quite a long time, I have read such beautiful and intriguing poems. I am more than happy to recommend this book to readers, especially poetry lovers. And I think smooth flow of these poems will take them along nicely, giving them soothing pleasures and some new perspectives to their otherwise mundane life.  

Book: Aatm Sakshatkar Abhi Baki Hai...
Poet: Vikash Bhattacharya
Publisher: Zorba Books
Genre: Poetry 
Language: Hindi
Available on:; and book stores

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Girl Who Loved A Spy

        For last three or four years, I have been trying to read all kinds of books, expanding my world beyond the horizon of literary books.  And to my surprise, the spy novels and thrillers have surreptitiously but very beautifully made a niche for themselves in my heart. A little credit for this goes to my first failed attempt to write a thriller.  Without being a good reader, one cannot be a good writer. Better the book, greater the chances of improvement.

      The Girl Who Loved A Spy by Kulpreet Yadav is one such book. This is the third book in the Andy Karan series and I have been waiting eagerly for this after reading the second book in the series, The Girl Who Love a Pirate, in early 2016.

     Set in Delhi NCR, Rewari and Mumbai, it is certainly a gem for the lovers of spy novels. The story begins with the murder of a drunkard in a village in Rewari and it immediately sets the pace to the story as the murder raises a question why someone would kill a poor drunkard man.

     As Andy sets out on the mission, his boss Monica seems too concerned for him, hinting a brewing love in her heart for the smart and dashing spy and adding another twist to the story. Andy has an insurmountable challenge because his gut feeling is that a sinister plan is being hatched against the country and soon he discovers it.
A more determined Andy continues on the mission despite several warnings, dangers, murders and withdrawal of permission to investigate the matter. Monica doesn’t want to put his life in danger. But Andy is an Army man to the core and he cannot leave the nation in danger.
         Kulpreet Yadav moves with his story in a very immaculate manner and his style is so flawless that it keeps readers hooked to the end of the story. He keeps his language simple and his sentences are short and neat not leaving any space for the ambiguity.
        The Girl Who Loved a Spy is a treat for those who love thrill and suspense. 

About the book:
Title: The Girl Who Loved a Spy
Publisher:  Rumour Books India
Author:  Kulpreet Yadav
First Edition:  2016
Price: Varies from seller to seller (originally priced Rs.199)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The First Step

Ten years ago, I selected 50 poems that I considered were good ones from my coffer of published or unpublished poems and made a collection and named it 'The First Step'. It was entitled so, simply because of two reasons. First, it was going to be my first published book and second, it had a poem, The First Step, which was written when my daughter started to walk. Now, finally after lying in shelf for 10 years, it is going to be published.  So the first poem of the collection is: