Review: ‘DREAM KEEPER’ a book by Bindiya Bedi Charan Noronha and Komal Bedi Sohal
Find the book here:
Let’s begin from the end of the book – ‘Dream Keeper,’ which is a perfect confluence of the human energy with the divine. We are all born and source our existence from the divine, yet we stay disconnected from this divine energy.
“You hear stillness
Symphony of the cosmos
Reverberating in and out
Of the vast empty spaces
No finale and no beginning.
Let yourself loose in the
Nirvantic bliss, infinity and continuum.
Bindiya with her poems and Komal with her photographs put together the essence of life in this engaging and insightful book called the ‘Dream Keeper.’
Well I decided to put this in the beginning for no reason at all. I just felt it would be the perfect start. The book can be a quick read in one go. But, I read the book bit by bit to enjoy, pause and absorb its rhythm and breathe.
Yes, books are alive with the writer’s emotions. And this book is even more special because, both sisters Bindiya Bedi Charan Noronha and Komal Bedi Sohal have infused so much of energy into it with a moving collaboration of poetry and photography.
Without further ado, let’s step straight into the first section.
She is a creator herself and creator’s most prized creation. No one is perfect – but a woman is expected to be all-encompassing and perfect. As she dons many roles, the hidden treasure that she carries with her since birth reveals bit by bit to her utter disbelief and she is awestruck – when did I learn this? Yes, if a woman is in awe with herself, we cannot really blame her- for each woman is perfect in her own way.
What a way to start a book, Bindiya!!! You’ve stumped me right in the beginning of the book sistah. Bindiya begins with an ‘Ode to woman,’ the first section.
Her poem, ‘Pursuing Perfection,’ is a befitting ode to a unique expression – woman!!
“In being you
You find all.”
Bindiya says a woman doesn’t need to struggle for perfection – she is what she is in being natural and just being herself. A woman finds her self in being what she is. This uniqueness is expressed in her beautiful poem “I coloured my glasses pink.”
“No matter what
My pink glasses
Colour my life
I live insync
Now, before I delve further into the vast variety of subjects that Bindiya has expressed her thoughts through poems, I have to share with you about the impactful photographs that adorn the book in cognizance with each poem. They are befitting, brilliant, candid and candour.
What would you expect when two ‘Dream Keepers,’ walk together on a journey of a unique artistic expression? Their love just can’t stay concealed.
I wonder if they’ve had endless discussions about the photographs that match each poem. They’ve agreed and that is something tough to happen when two sisters come together – I feel they must have argued endlessly and this book has seen the light of the day just because they’ve debated. Not sure. Maybe both of them can throw some light on this.
I will be taking you through the book, section by section.
The second section is called ‘The very first time,’ – Oh what would this section cover? Let’s unfold their thoughts here.
‘Home alone’ expresses the fear that is predominant when for the first time you feel alone or maybe when you fear the unknown as Bindiya says,
“Big lesson learnt
Exists in every situation
An unknown quotient.”
So, we are all sailing in the same boat, we don’t know what might happen and unfurl in the next moment. Every moment has an unknown quotient. Bang on Bindiya and yes, the corresponding image is a perfect picturesque expression of the poem.
There is always a first time to everything. And this section covers those first-time moments. I’ve started loving the way Bindiya has created these sections because, the moment you turn to the next section you get curious about what treasure she holds for us in it?
“Crying in public,” is about how Bindiya’s heart melted when her grandma expired and that was when she cried in public for the first time. Here the image is more like a metaphor of the poem.
In this section she has written few poems about love, the quintessential first-time moments that are an invaluable treasure when we look back on our life.
These poems are a reflection of the first-time moments of Bindiya’s life that we can relate to as a reader because, we all have gone through similar moments. Undoubtedly these are unforgettable. Thank-you Bindiya, we are all reliving these precious moments through your poems.
Now we enter the third section – Rage!! Hey, I wonder why rage? Is she trying to delve into different emotions or just anger? Let us find out!!
‘Recoil’ is the rage expressed against greedy humans who are destroying the earth bit by bit. And the photo of a snake recoiled to a branch of a tree is amazing. I wonder how this moment was captured and blended into this poem. Well, these two sisters have delved deep into the words, thoughts and feelings to hit it right into the human conscience.
Okay folks, now I get it; the section ‘Rage,’ is about everything that upsets Bindiya- different issues that have raged and shook her from within. She has penned her rage in words, so simple yet profound.
‘Guardians of innocence,’ a poem about busy parents giving the responsibility of their kid to a relative who turns to be a pedophile. The child is scarred forever- the child’s mind is disturbed forever. Somethings cannot be replaced and one of them is childhood memories. Here Bindiya specifically questions how right it is to give birth to babies when we cannot take care of them? A lost child in dry grass is a perfect image corresponding to the poem.
There are a series of issues that Bindiya has covered in this section. You can feel the anger manifested in her words but hidden within these poems is hope to fight against injustice, walk the untrodden path and not to accept injustice. This intense emotional upheaval that she goes through is a call to humanity, so forgotten in these turbulent times.
Humans have washed away their essence and responsibility towards humanity. They have turned their faces away from compassion and replaced it with might, brute force and unending hatred towards nature and their race itself.
In the last poem of this section ‘Rage,’ Bindiya expresses why she resorts to writing?
“My heart bleeding.
Outpour of stories,
Hitherto came dancing
An explosion of verse
One by one
I expiated all dark furies.”
Now, Im not revealing to you what the next section is but I dive straight into its first poem. It is called ‘Bewitched,’ which is about nature’s delight that has caught the poetess by awe and you witness it’s beauty in the photograph by Komal that encompasses us too in its embrace.
She becomes a part of nature’s delight and says,
“She nods in candour
Love in all splendour
Delirious, joyous in unison
I remain no longer
‘Tears;’ and ‘Bad Love,’ are heart’s outpour about moving on from relationships that challenge your individuality and don’t let you be what you are. It is about maintaining and preserving your self-identity and getting ready for a new day and a rebirth.
I loved both these poems as they are powerful and etch your path for future journeys. Only when you let go can you welcome new relationships in your life. If you are stuck with emotions of the past relationships it just isn’t easy to move on.
The section is named, ‘Shades of love,’ that expresses myriad shades of love lingering on poetess’ life palate.
After all the love in the world that has been so wonderfully expressed an obvious progression is marriage. The next section is called ‘Marriage mirage.’
This is one awesome section of the book – Yes, I know it could be the most complicated and uninteresting but, Bindiya puts her unique perspective into her poems on marriage. It delves into different aspects of marriage like the deep bonding, love, sacrifice and the companionship. Each poem reflects a unique shade of marriage.
The poem, ‘The Lighthouse,’ says it all in the last few lines,
“Either find a lighthouse or be one
Just have to climb and climb
Shedding the baggage behind.”
In marriage it’s all about leaving behind the emotional baggage, the differences and bitter memories – it is about preserving the soul of the relationship- love.
The poem is a beautiful metaphor about a couple climbing the stairs together – a journey of togetherness going through the myriad experiences of life by maintaining coherence/balance.
Well, these are not the only shades /types of marriage she reflects upon. There are other aspects that she ponders on and till far I found this section gripping. Not all marriages are happy or rather I would like to say all marriages aren’t just about being happy.
Bindiya has also given a tribute to the soldier’s wife- a simple yet heart-wrenching poem.
“Sad but proud she stood
For the final picture
With him wrapped in tricolour
The soldier’s wife is
The last poem is ‘Only Memories’ -all that we do is to hold on to them but some of us just tend to move on.
Chat and cuddle
To move on
Donate his clothes
To a new space
Her only treasure”
Life is a string of moments, which reveals itself bit by bit and we don’t know what is in store for us- this makes life worth living. We need to do our best, which means living life for the moment and enjoy each moment.
The next section ‘Myriad moods’ brings to you various moods that reflect life experiences.
The poem, ‘Call to silence’ in this section is about finding those moments of solace in the world of noise and chaos. Its about befriending silence, inviting it into your life to delve within.
“I invite quietude
Be my friend
I so need you
To delve within.”
Bindiya takes us through myriad emotions of life- most of them we can relate to.
By now you connect with Bindiya and start relating to her as not only a poet but an extremely vibrant and sensitive person. Each moment brings us something special, but you need to be observant and it’s possible only if you are in sync with yourselves– when you listen to your body and mind. The path inward isn’t easy but once you dive into it there will be so much of life into each moment.
The next section is, ‘Finding my own path.’ Before I start reading it I feel she must have written about her journey inwards.
Let’s explore. Yes, it is about the journey of realizing that life must flow by breaking shackles and living with no unnecessary burden. Bindiya also talks about how life metamorphosizes from being a caterpillar to transforming into a butterfly.
“I rejoice today
I will walk the steps
Nimble and sure
With no fear and
Also, when we delve within, we find ourselves and start to let go.
‘Oh my God’ is the last section and frankly, I can’t figure out what it is all about.
As I read on, I only wish this journey that I began with Bindiya and Komal just doesn’t end. Well, I can begin all over again to unravel some more experiences from the wonderful poems and photos. This book is certainly and undoubtedly worth many re-reads.
We end from where we began. This last section is a tribute to the human desire and will to embrace the divine energy that surrounds us but we often fail to connect with it.
Each and every photo of this ensemble is fantastic, you just want to absorb the moment that has captured these wonderful photographs. Komal in the concluding section is at her best.
We are here at the end of the book ‘Dream Keeper,’ a poetography ensemble, which is a perfect blend of photos and poems capturing various shades of life that is all about hope and fulfilling our dream no matter what life has in store for us.
As Bindiya rightly puts it in a note to the readers,
“To dream is easy. To hold on and nurture is not. If you can keep it alive, you are a Dream Keeper.”
I take your leave folks and start reading the book, ‘Dream Keeper,’ again to connect in a new way with sisters Bindiya and Komal.
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