Zindagi

1

2

Zindagi har sira khole,
Mere saamne Hain
Na koi libaas,
Na koi alfaaz,
Bikul safed, thandi.
Ek dabi aah,
Ek akhri aason,
Ek aur baar
Thak haar ke,
Baaith gayi Hain.
Na koi shikayat,
Na koi shikva,
Bas ek akhri
Cheekh jo
Dab si gayi Hain…

-Rashmi

Life has undressed itself,

Right in front of me,

Life in its naked form,

Silent and numb,

White, pale and cold.

One suppressed scream,

Makes life shed its last tear,

Tired and famished,

Sits right in front of me.

Without any complains,

Without any desires,

Just one final scream,

That has been suppressed.

Life is naked, cold yet,

Not destroyed!!

© Copyright 2019 Rashmi Malapur Jaswal All rights reserved

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“Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” – 1.Lyrics & Translation

Luisa Zambrotta thank-you for writing about this song. I love Luisa’s blog!! Guys do follow her blog!!

words and music and stories

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them…

View original post 560 more words

Indrajit Ghoshal’s selfless initiative, Poetry Darbaar is taking poetry to the masses – A brief interview with the Co- Founder

Hi guys! How are you? Enjoying your weekend? I am extremely happy to introduce to you Indrajit Ghoshal, a dynamic and enterprising poet and co-founder of Poetry Darbaar.

Indrajit Ghoshal pic 1.jpg

About Indrajit Ghoshal:

Indrajit Ghoshal is a Delhi based, upcoming poet and the co-founder of Poetry Darbaar, one of the most prominent not-for- profit poetry initiative, founded 2.5 yrs ago, with its hub in Delhi NCR and which has taken baby steps towards its pan India presence.

Indrajit so far has conducted 26 open mics of which 15 were in Gurgaon and others in various cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Bhopal to name a few. Indrajit has recited in several open mics before introducing Poetry Darbaar to Gurgaon, which never had any poetry culture before. Indrajit has also been a featured poet a few times and has recited at places like India Habitat Centre, India International Center, Alliance Franciase, Epicentre (Gurgaon) & IIT- Delhi.

Indrajit has judged numerous intercollege poetry competitions at popular college fests of IIT-Delhi Rendezvous 2017,2018, IIT-Kharagpur Springfest 2018, 2019, IIT- Guwahati , Alchiringa 2019, Venkateshwara college fest, Nexus 2018, Shiv Nadar fest Breeze 2018 and at a Gurgaon school. Indrajit has also been a panelist at Shiv Nadar University and at Jashn Lit fest. Indrajit has been featured in The Asian Age, Dainik Jagran and Okhla Times.

Indrajit works in an MNC as an analyst. He is also an occasional blogger and loves listening to music.

Poetry Darbaar, which is a democratic space and lets in poets of all caliber and age groups, has also been featured in various Hindi and English dailies and on some prominent websites. Poetry Darbaar till date has been invited by close 10 leading colleges at their yearly fests several times.

Indrajit Ghoshal poetry darbar 1.jpg

Rashmi: You are doing a lot of events on poetry. How do you conceptualize them, prepare a plan, manage to make them so interactive and if I may say, trendy?

Indrajit:

My intent was always to provide a platform to the poets of all age groups, create a space where an elderly can be as much at ease while reciting as a kid and make it open for everyone without forming a group. This was the concept with which I started it with the help of Yaseen, a friend, in Gurgaon. After the 1st event three years ago, I handled all the events independently till date.

Before announcing the event, I first finalise the venue. All the venues till date were very conducive for poetry and free of cost. I check if audio-video would be required and if it fits my budget, I arrange it. Earlier, I used to ascertain if some collaboration is possible for cross publicity (however, now it is the other way round; people have been approaching for collaboration). The next step is to create an event on Facebook. Rest of the thing happens organically- people share the event, create enough buzz and every time I get a great number of people from all strata of life. New faces come as the old, the old ones remain loyal to this initiative. This has really caught people’s imagination in Delhi NCR majorly because, this is a democratic space, which welcomes every one and gives a stage to every poet irrespective of his stature.

You won’t find such space in Delhi. Everyone says they find this space full of warmth and love.

Rashmi: Please mention about some of the events you have organised and what is Poetry Darbaar all about?

Indrajit Ghoshal Poetry darbar 2

Indrajit:

I have organized close to 20 events in Delhi NCR, majority of them in Gurgaon, its hub. There are few events, which were organized in other cities like Bhopal, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Patiala, Kolkata and Jaipur by other interested poets who volunteered to do it at their cities. Poetry Darbaar also gets lots of invitations at annual college fests in Delhi NCR ranging from poetry performances to judging the inter college competitions.

Recently, in Gurgaon, Poetry Darbaar collaborated with ALAP ( Associated Living for Autistic People), a trust where some of the autistic adults performed along with regular poets. The event also had a panel discussion of experts on Autism. The idea was to bring the people on Autism spectrum in mainstream.

Poetry Darbaar is a not for profit initiative started with the intent to bring poetry to people and ute the dwindling art spaces in the city of Gurgaon. It aims to make the expression of art and the artists more accessible. It is a free for all space for art lovers and poets to come together and share their love for poetry.

Indrajit Ghoshal Poetry darbar 3.jpg

Rashmi: Have you written any books?

Indrajit:

Not yet. Maybe someday. No such plans as of now.

Rashmi: When did you realize such events are important?

Indrajit:

Back in 2016, Gurgaon didn’t have any such poetry meet ups. This is the only thing the city lacked. There was no art space and no engagement. I knew there would be many people looking out for such kind of poetry meet ups, especially those who cannot travel to Delhi. A city like Gurgaon deserved its own art space. It is also important that like minded people gather at such poetry events.

Rashmi: Is poetry as a medium of expression meant for a few exclusive audiences? Or does it also have the power to reach a wider audience?

Indrajit:

Poetry indeed has the power to reach a wider audience. Words can resonate far and wide, can create an impact on the society and generate a wider engagement across all strata of the society. Poetry started with oral traditions and that’s how we know our epics, passed on from one generation to another. In the present times, it is even more crucial. The good thing is poetry is more accessible today with the presence of social media and can reach millions of people.

If you look at spoken word poetry, which has gained immense following across the world over and which encourages to start a conversation on stigmas that have been avoided for too long.

You would see this has become a cultural movement thus, making poetry mainstream. This form of poetry is quietly stirring a revolution and bringing a gradual change, empowering women, accepting vulnerabilities and making them more fearless to come on stage and express.

Indrajit Ghoshal Poetry darbar 4.jpg

This art form is prevalent in India today and is a force to reckon with. And as I mentioned, with the presence of social media, the relevant topics are finding thousands of takers, giving voice to the suppressed and connecting with thousands to millions who have gone through the same experience.

Rashmi: Please share your journey as a poet with our audience.

Indrajit:

I would rather call myself an aspiring poet. I am still learning the craft, unravelling life and trying to discover more about myself. The process of refining myself and reinventing is an ongoing thing.

Poetry came to me when I was in class 11 and from there , I started writing Bengali poems while in school. Then there was a gap for few years and then after almost 5-6 years I started writing again in English.

Again a dry spell and finally, I fell for Hindustani poetry around 2015. I started writing after reading a few good poets on Facebook. Later, I also started reading random poets of yesteryear. All this while, I had forgotten to write in my mother tongue and English poems were few and far between.  I am still trying to be consistent, read more and understand various forms of poetry.

Indrajit Ghoshal Poetry darbar 5.jpg

Rashmi: What does poetry mean to you?

Indrajit:

Poetry to me is an antidote to everything that assails me. I learn a lot about myself because of poetry. It can cut both ways. It can heal as well as wreak havoc. It also helps me to pick up my pieces. It can be one of my major outlets that helps me grieve following which I snap back to life.

If you would cry – Shanti Harjani Williams

I am extremely happy to have a guest blogger today. I always like it when someone agrees to share their writing on my blog. Shanti is my Facebook connect and a dear friend. Today she shares her poem, ‘If you would cry.’

Read, like, share and leave your comments.

About Shanti Harjani Williams:

A lawyer by training, my full time job is being Mummy to my three amazing kids, Ryan 17, Abby 14 and Shane 9.  While home (Ontario) alone in the days, I would find the urge to write and began posting faith testimonies on Facebook on my personal page. This led to my prose writing also surrounding my Christian faith. Now I write in prose and poetry daily on my page as well as on other poetry sites. The areas I write on are faith, self awareness and growth, romance and world issues. I live and breathe my poetry and most of my work reflects my own daily experiences and life generally. I have been posting my poetry on my Facebook page for about 4 years.

Shanti Williams FACEBOOK guest blogger poem 1

If you would cry

Shanti Williams FACEBOOK guest blogger poem.jpg

Photo credit: The personal collection of Carl Scharwath

If you would flood the river bank with your sun-dried tears

I would choke back my own

For to witness the workings of your words

Shall leave me scarcely rooted

As my love is sometimes

When uprooted by my slim pickings of yours

But to behold your tears

If you should ever have them

To see them fall everywhere

As the sun falls around a shady tree

And takes to the day with its sun drenched kisses

If you should cry for me

I should let the ashen dew become the mist over my eyes

I should fall in love with the stars at night

I would become like a thief in the overgrown woods

Stealing the drops that accumulate in the full grown moss

Wiping my eyes with the leaves that grow densely

In an overpopulated paradise

If you should cry for me

I would dry your tears with mine eyes.

© Copyright 2019 Shanti Harjani  All rights reserved

Interview: Films and cinematography; tête-à-tête with Anil Akki

Camera speaks the story of the characters in the movie- it has the power to leave the audiences awestruck and create a lasting impact. We see movies through the eyes of a cinematographer (Director of Photography).

If you remember, Ive been talking to you guys about Anil Akki, Director of Photography for the movies ‘III Smoking Barrels’, ‘Dosti Ke Side Effects’ and ‘Ti Ani Ti’.

We last met at the release of his movie ‘Ti ani Ti’ and got some time to chat for a while.

Anil was sharing with me that photography runs in his family. His family is in this profession since five decades. It is one of the oldest family of photographers and the first name that strikes when people of Vijayapura, Karnataka (Anil’s birthplace) talk about photography.

And Anil is following the footprints of his family. I remember the first time I met Anil was when his movie “III Smoking Barrels” released. The movie “III Smoking Barrels” has been selected at various film festivals: Durban International Festival 2017, South Africa, International Film festival of Mannheim Heidelberg 2017, Germany and International film festival of Kerala 2017. The film is shot in the backdrop of the struggle in the North Eastern region of India. Primarily shot in this rough terrain, Anil told me it was a tough task to shoot this film.

I spoke about his contribution in the movie

He had invited me for the pre-release of the movie ‘Dosti Ke Side Effects’ where he contributed as DOP and I had the chance to review the film. It was out and out entertainment movie, a typical Bollywood flick.

A month after I watched and reviewed ‘Dosti Ke Side Effects’, I received a call from Anil. He was excited about the release of his movie ‘Ti ani Ti’. After watching the movie, we just sat down to discuss his journey and his experience of pursuing his dream of being a DOP.

Rashmi: “I still remember Anil, I spoke to you when “III Smoking Barrels” was about to release. I loved the movie and your work. It hasn’t been too long and you transitioned to an out and out commercial project, ‘Dosti Ke Side Effects’. I think commercial films are easier to shoot.”

“Rashmi it all depends on the subject, budget and the scale of the movie. Compared to “III Smoking Barrels”, the film “Dosti Ke Side Effects” was tougher because, it was on a bigger scale and it had all the elements of the a mainstream Bollywood masala movie; songs, action, wider star cast. Yes, “III Smoking Barrels” was tough because it had a smaller budget but, the canvas was big. The film included three different stories and had limited artists.

But, I had the opportunity and freedom to explore the North-Eastern terrain of India, which is extremely beautiful. “Ti ani Ti” was simpler to shoot as compared to these two movies.

It is a romantic comedy produced by Pushkar Jog who is also the lead actor in the movie and directed by well-known actor-director Mrinal Kulkarni. Most of the movie was shot in London and I again had an opportunity to explore a beautiful city. (major part of the movie, which is filmed in the United Kingdom is shot by Anil Akki).

The story required us to cover tourist spots and the movie was shot when the weather was pleasant in London. But, for “III Smoking Barrels” things were challenging as we travelled in the interiors – jungles where the weather is harsh and just not right to shoot.

But, you know Rashmi, Iam open to different kind of projects. I have done a short film too called, “A reasonable compromise” which was presented at COURT ME’TRAGE-Short Film Corner, Festival De Cannes 2012.

So, its always great to explore new subjects and projects where I get to challenge myself and do great work.”

Rashmi : “I am a bit curious about how you communicate with the actors?”

Anil: “I m in sync with the director, his approach towards the story and the characters. I communicate with the actors and directors continuously as the camera captures the essence of the character, story and movie. So, our work is vital for the success of the film. I discuss with actors on and off the camera too. Filmmaking is a collaborative art so we have to discuss things with the director before we finalize a scene.

Yes, it true that cinematographers play a vital role in film making. It isn’t limited to just pre-production, production and post-production. The work begins once the script is locked- it involves setting up the right canvas, look and feel of the film. Its important to use the right tools including- camera, lens, lights, supporting equipment – dolly, crane, Steadicam, jib, etc – all this helps in telling the story in the most convincing and impressive manner. Generally, the challenge is to complete the movie in the scheduled time.

Rashmi : “So, Anil what next?”

Anil looked at me and flashed his frank and innocent smile, which kept me guessing about his future plans. But, Iam sure he has some great plans for the future. I take his leave with the assurance that the next time we meet, I have some thing more to write about and share it with you all.

All the images have been shared by Anil Akki.

© Copyright 2019 Rashmi Malapur Jaswal All rights reserved

Corporate

corporate poem on blog travel beyond words

Image courtesy: https://born2invest.com/articles/economic-costs-sexual-abuse/

#Corporate

In between for few minutes,
She went out to smoke.
She smashed the bud,
Crushed it with frustration.
Quietly she parked herself in her chair,
She masked her face.
Just like any other day,
It was work and more work all the way.

Lights went off,
The floor quietened.
Her pals left,

#Thinking

Just one of those days,
Her senior made a blaring stare.
Shrieking yet shirking,
Packed for the day,
She passed through the corridor,
And paused for a smoke.
Flipped a cigarette.
A few puffs,
Buds crushed.

#Nextday

Repeat, rewind,
Blaring stare,
Eyes raped.

Rashmi Malapur Jaswal

 

© Copyright 2019 Rashmi Malapur Jaswal All rights reserved

Is Love at First Sight Real?💙💙💙

words and music and stories

cupid.jpg photo by megforce1

(abridged from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201801/is-love-first-sight-real)

“A compelling idea, but is there scientific evidence to support it?
……
The idea is wonderfully romantic: Two strangers see each other “across a crowded room,” there’s an instant attraction, an electric spark, and suddenly they’ve found their match and never look back. In a world where dating often requires a lot of work — work that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty — falling in love at first sight has strong appeal.
People say it happens all the time. If you start with personal testaments, love at first sight seems like the real deal. Prince Harry reportedly experienced it, saying he knew Meghan Markle was the one for him the “very first time we met” (BBC interview). .. You probably have friends who swear this happened to them, or maybe you yourself just “knew” in that very first moment you laid eyes on…

View original post 445 more words

Happy World Poetry Day

Hi everyone. How have you been?

Happy World Poetry Day to everyone around the globe!!

Me and poems- Everlasting friends

#Poems #Poetry #WorldPoetryDay

Me and poems- Everlasting friends.

A poem just spoke to me,
With lithe hands,
A smiling face,
Twinkling eyes.
Hope and love all the while.
A poem lived with me,
Each day and always.

Through the thick and thin of my life.
Selflessly each poem- mine and others,
Gave me the will to fight,
Recuperate from hurt
And at times enjoy lovely times.

Walking with me,
Lifting my spirit.
Speaking with me-
Holding my hands.
And hugging me tight.

If you hadn’t been with me
Oh lovely poems,
I would just lose my way,
Unbearable loneliness
would come my way.

So be there,
Now and always.
For your presence,
Is the fragrance in my life,
That keeps me alive.

© Copyright 2019 Rashmi Malapur Jaswal All rights reserved

Review : Positive Sutra: Life says, “Never give up.”

 

Book: Positive Sutra: Life says, “Never give up.” by Rashmi Malapur Jaswal

 

Review By

Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar

Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is a multilingual poet (Maithili, Hindi and English), short story writer, critic and reviewer, based in Kolkata. He is regularly published in various national and international magazines, both printed and online. His poetry springs straight from heart and mind as unification of sensibility. He uses catchy lines, expressions and images. In his poetry, social issues, romance and love are tackled with equal passion. Resonant with profound spirituality and intricate mysticism his poems are stunning and enlightening, buoyant sometimes and intense at other times and always have a deep meaning beautiful enough to touch hearts of avid readers. One of his poems on Nelson Mandela is included in the academic syllabus prescribed for the school students of Philippines.

Soothing Serenades: Straight From the Heart is his first volume of poems and Two Indias and Other Poems is under publication. He is also a contributor to journals like The Criterion: An International Journal in English, IJML (International Journal On Multicultural Literature), The Anvil (Forum of Literature & Academic Research in English) and Harvests of New Millennium, The Interiors, Taj Mahal Review, IJES (The Indian Journal of English Studies). He is also a part of several anthologies like ‘Epitaphs’, ‘Purple Hues”, “Whispering Winds”, “Just For You, My Love”, “Heavenly Hymns”, ‘I Am a Woman”, “The Significant Anthology”, “Umbilical Cords”, “A- Divine-Madness” (Five Volumes), “Poetic Prism” – 2015, 16, 17 & 18, “Searching For Sublime” (Australian-Indo Poetry), “She the Shakti”, “Whispering Heart”, etc.

He is also the Review Editor of Asian Signature, a literary e-journal, managed from Kolkata.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rashmi.malapur.9

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rashmi-malapur-93a25015/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/malapurrashmi/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rashmimalapur

Positive Sutra: Life says, “never give up!!!’ is the debut book of Rashmi Malapur Jaswal, an outstanding blogger turned poet and author. Dedicated to her parents who have been a constant source of inspiration for her, the book is succour to ‘the people suffering from depression and negativity in life’. As the encapsulating Preface says –‘The book will serve as a “travel guide” to those who are navigating through a period of depression through their life”. Divided into three sections the book opens with the writer’s interaction with the readers. She explains her motif and purpose of writing the book: “I took to writing this book with the aim of reaching out to people who have faced depression or immense emotional challenges. We often get hovered by spiral of negative thoughts to get pulled into depression. The force of negativity kills energy within us and replaces it with mental lethargy. Sometimes even walking a few steps to pick up a glass of water or grab a newspaper becomes a herculean task. Our will power is weak and we only see the negative aspect of life.” As a matter of fact, she is subjective, introspective and reflective in her poetic expressions. Her poetry abounds in feelings, emotions, sentiments, reveries, memories, nostalgia and above all, motivational and inspiration approach to life.

In the beginning of the book, she offers some useful suggestions and tips for a better life because she holds that “Only positive thinking can pull us out of this spiral,… through moments of stark darkness and disappointment.’ And this is the reason why most of her poems reflect the positive attitude towards life. Positive sutras as given by her encourage us to connect with someone, ignore problem seekers, never ditch exercising, harbour hobbies, read inspirational literature, quit smoking, drinking and substance abuse; and most importantly avoid fatalistic views. Acting on these tips one is sure to get] perfect happiness’ and ‘peace’ as she upholds:

Yelling within, peaceful ‘me’ is just a sham.

Words wane the anger, disgust and fury

String of hurriedly typed words with a gush of emotion.

Now a peaceful me is a picture of perfect happiness

This apart, the poems as showcased in this book fall into two categories: Aikya- Oneness or Unity and Smaran- Fragrance of times. The section” Aikya-Unity” comprises of some of beautiful, motivation, encouraging and inspiring poems written as a responses to critical circumstances to soothe a restless heart. It reflects the poet’s reflections and musings over dreams, submission, love, journey, memories, miseries, spirituality, peace, and nature, to mention a few. The poet believes in the present moments. She encourages us to ‘Embrace the moment and challenge the day’ because ‘Today is your day,/Tomorrow is elusive,’. She exhorts her readers to

Grasp the moment and ride it with your confidence.

A small ripple spurts enthusiasm,

Carry it through,

Like a flower that blossoms and spreads its fragrance till it withers,

Spreading joy for the beholder and for each glancing soul,

Be a flower in the beautiful garden of this universe.

Her ‘Sharing “is a beautiful poem pleading to surrender oneself in order to ‘selflessly immerse in you”. Symbolically, here “you” stands for the ocean of divine love. In another poem “Today’s share” She expresses her wish to “dance in the joy of trying to fathom the depth of desires. “Dreams” creates a dreamy atmosphere where she compares heart as a ‘blossomed flower’ and her love as ‘a constant source of power.’ In fact, her love is a physical reflection of eternal entity that she carries on in her life. “Surrender” is a fine poem soaked in Sufism. Her love comforts her, thus making her strong to sail across as she is so submissive in love that she has made it the captain of her ship.

The poet celebrates eternal camaraderie in the poem “Our Journey”. With a beautiful and apt use of hyperbole and paradoxes she expresses:

We were together long before we met.

We met where the minds are free from the shackles of rules,

Where the words fail, silence speaks and

We traverse together beyond time,

This is and will be our journey forever

Smile is very essential to love. It fetches joy, peace and bliss. She observes loving pairs hand in hand on the roadside and their intense love for each other and her feelings take a shape. She thus reveals hidden power of love in the poem “LOVE – by the roadside”

When a small lithe hand touches him,

Smile that rekindles his desires,

Felt after a chasm of emptiness.

A fresh air, despair vanished now,

Rejuvenated with a colossal hurricane of emotion LOVE.

She wants to contribute to the cosmic painting of God. She yearns, in her poem, to paint ‘an unexplored landscape’ of life. Loneliness is very painful. Devoid of any soothing, comforting company, a person feels the pangs of despondency. It becomes hard to forget the intriguing moments’. She affirms it her poem “Departed”:

They don’t let me rest,

They don’t let me breath,

They don’t let me think,

They encapsulate my mind,

In the absence of her love she feels let down, downcast ‘in this boundless sky of loneliness. “Goodbye” gives a befitting response to her in solitude. She musters courage and marches on, undeterred. She says:

Now in solitude, serenity and strength,

With a multitude of dreams,

And unwavering focus,

I am back not with vengeance but, everlasting love

That will lift me every time I fall in the ravines of misfortune,

Because

I stand with belief, dreams and hope.

I stand with will and confidence unshakable.

“Destination” is a powerful poem reflecting her killer instincts to fight both the aspects of existence- internal and externals. She is optimistic bent of mind and hence she makes reconciliation to transcend the fetters of grief. Using a wonderful metaphor he proclaims:

I’m free like a bird that crosses boundaries

Flies miles to cover its next destination.

Love is the only destination she seeks because she says- ‘every time you leave, it is nothing but a departure destined to end in each other’s arms.

The poet is a peace loving person. For her silence is the best way to bring for the ecstatic moments of peace and serenity. As a matter of fact, silence and smile are the two powerful tools that either solve or avoid many problems. She holds that ‘Being silent is a bliss,/For it calms all the rush of emotions and thoughts, /That crowds out the peace,’. In the poem “Peace Within” she offers her poetic key to unlock the secrets of her positivity and feeling of peace:

I am rather scared of it getting disturbed,

By worldly worries, entanglements,

The day I don’t sit with eyes closed,

And peep within I feel incomplete,

Disturbed I worry about all that I don’t have,

All that I have left behind.

Peace is when I stop fearing,

And start accepting the world as it is,

Don’t get hurt by people,

Just stay calm and love not only myself but, all that is made to be just the way it is.

‘He lives in me” is one of the best poems of Rashmi who expresses the most in the least words. Her love is source of everything, be it happiness, faith and life. She declares:

He left a world of happiness.

He filled me with a brook of love.

A feather like touch.

 

He instils faith,

He lives in me.

He breathes in me.

 

He lives in me.

In this way we see the poet helps us out of the thorny situations of life with positive approach, rejecting negative aspects. Many of her poems are filled with unbridled optimism and positive attitude.

‘SmaranThe fragrance of times’ is the concluding segment which takes us through the ‘fragrant lanes and by lanes of life filled with nostalgic moments.’ In the section “Smaran”, the poet takes us to the fragrant realm of existence where memories and nostalgia matter much more. The poet is in search of the understanding of some of existential quests. She begins her poem “Caged” with an existential question;

Why does the mind linger on moments that are fleeting?

Why does the heart crave for physical yearnings?

………………………………………………………………………………

Why do I flutter like a caged bird?

While you wait tirelessly that I open my mind and embrace you completely.

She is a lover of nature. The world of nature fascinates her to the extent of gazing at the beauty of the sky and the lush green grass. “Solitude’ captures this thought and mood of hers. She writes:

I open my eyes and surrender myself to the beautiful clouds, that form a different world,

Away, away, away from you,

From everyone,

Perfect solitude.

“My being” is one of the most powerful and emotive poems. It probes into her mind, her feeling. Like a common being, she is also swayed away emotionally by the turbulent times but with a strong conviction she comes to terms with the stern reality and successfully breaks free the shackles of grief, and depression. She boldly proclaims:

A feeling encapsulates my mind

Fear, love, hate or discomfort, takes me to a distant land.

It shakes my identity, it breaks my dreams,

But, a sudden belief springs that I exist for a reason,

I realize that I cannot surround my mind with these weak feelings.

I get up and live each moment breaking these shackles

And love myself for my being…

Surrender- devotional and spiritual- is a spiritual and devotional way that leads one to salvation- redemption of soul. She is suggestive in the poem “Salvation” as she echoes the divine words:

Surrender to me without pride and when I embrace you,

You will saunter your way through solitude and salvation.

Her perspective on life is brilliant. On the one hand, she wants to live the life with all its sweet and bitter moments; she has also the realization that whatever pertains to life is temporal, transient and futile as it has no realistic permanence. “Illusion- part 2” is a metaphoric poem in which she makes it evident:

Life is but an illusion,

I run after everything temporal that doesn’t exist in reality,

…………………………………………………………………………

So then is life about running after the distant dream?

That I am never going to achieve,

A mirage, life is an illusion,

When it has to end it will reach a sense of completeness.

Why should I care how much wealth, fame or respect I receive in this world?

For the people who remember me today, will have another name to play with,

Heroes do fall,

And the pit is a grave self dug.

She believes in precious value of each and every moment, hence she wishes to live her life, come what may- ‘A flame that kindled a desire,/To live a life without fear’. “My Path” is a suggestive poem that she seems to have composed just to make herself realise the value of life. The poet addresses her own self to take a lesson:

…life is where heart carries you, may it be duty, love, ambition, vision or may

it be a simple life with not much struggle.

Pave your path, because that will be your own chosen one,

With success and failures of your own.

When your heart guides you it is simply the best for you.

In the poem “Presence” she validates the existence of divine being in the core of human being. She says: “Your existence is undeniable,/The fact that I breathe, is a proof that you dwell within me./My existence is temporal, but you are the eternal truth, who makes my living meaningful.” “Coming back” is a heart wrenching description of a beloved who is critical yet seeks love. The description is full of pathos. She gives a vivid account:

She whispered, “I want to live, will you save me again.”

He held her hand and the moment he said “Yes”,

She closed her eyes and never smiled again.

As is evident in the foregoing analysis of her poems, the poet gives preponderance over the power of silence which is essential to deep introspection. She is of the opinion that silence creates a very conducive inner atmosphere wherein one can get connected with one’s true Self. In the poem “Silence” she says:

In the quiet moments of life,

You are a soothing rhythm,

Which inspires me to transcend all boundaries,

Travel within and drown in silence.

Metaphysical search she carries on in some of her poems. She says-An eternal existence that abodes me with happiness./Now I search for him in the moment that slipped but yet stays eternally.’ In the poem “Immersed in oneness”, she says:

Starting a life that has no boundaries

Now immersing with each moment of life

This journey where I disperse my happiness

Which returns back to me in abundance.

The poet tends to explore the source of peace in the beauty and serenity of nature. Supreme beauty, in particular, is fascinates her poetic soul. She expresses her perpetual longing for the ultimate peace as well. The poem “Peace” is an expression of this yearning of hers:

There is something that is beyond what the eyes meet

And I cannot fathom it

And I try hard to

Perhaps this desperation should stop

And be transitioned to the natural gaze

Perhaps peace lies just there

Just there and you too.

In another poem “Circle of life” she also makes it clear that she is in search of peace that enables a soul for divine communion and union:

Peace that rests within the unfathomable depths of my heart.

I immerse, dissolve and you remain the focus,

A complete thought that leads to an unwavering mind,

A distinct knock is a call of the divine.

She explores certain metaphysical questions in her poems such as philosophical issues of life, death and suffering, of self and the Supreme. Her creative mind turns inward to introspect, to understand the meaning of the reality- the divine union:

To the two disparate parts,

When they come together,

They create something beyond imagination,

The soul and the mind unite,

A divine union.

To sum up, Rashmi Malapur presents in her poems a melody of romance, spiritual, metaphysical and familial, tender love – romantic and divine. Her poetry also offers a totally new and fresh perspective on life. Celebration of togetherness, memories, dreams, dejection, reconciling of dichotomy between positive and negative aspects of life, mundane and divine, attraction and repulsion followed by reflection on the way of the world are some of most important and recurring themes of her poetry. Some poems are terse and pithy and express more in a few words, while some are suggestive and didactic in tone. Indeed, her collage of lofty ideas and uplifting thoughts is brilliant with sublime, purifying flow of love and romantic sentiments. She, through her poetry, tells us to both banish negative thoughts and develop perpetual positivity to live a better life. In this way we see that the book under review is remarkable for presenting the poems of hope and resilience, of positivity and vitality, and inspiration and motivation.

Copyright of this review /post is with Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar

© Copyright 2019 Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar All rights reserved

Review: ‘Bare thoughts’ by Lavanya Nukavarapu

About Lavanya:

One fine day, poems and stories spoke to her and her journey as a writer started from 2017; before that, she never wrote a single word neither did she dream to be a writer. And now a single day does not go without scribbling a few words. She believes life is like this, full of surprises, unexpected turns and new horizons waiting to be explored every day. She considers herself pretty much a heathen in the writing world. She is also a published author, and when she is not writing, she likes to travel and dance.

I came across a one liner on Facebook and found it impressive because, such a profound thought was put forth in simple words, directly without unnecessary ornamental words. I got curious about the writer. This profound thought was penned by Lavanya Nukavarapu.

As days passed by, I got hooked to these one liners by Lavanya. I had been waiting for her to publish a book and when her book released, I immediately bought it- I knew I am going to relish each one of her poems.

And it turned out just the way I had expected it to be- it was an absolute joy reading her book. True to the title of the book, ‘Bare thoughts,’ most of the poems are honest expressions of myriad emotions in few words with a clarity as to what she wants to convey to the reader? I would say there are three main aspects in her poems: honesty, brevity and introspectiveness. When a writer or poetess has clarity of thought these three aspects are bound to be the essence of her writing.

As you read poem by poem a common underlying thread is observed or rather felt throughout the book. It is ‘hurt and pain.’ But, mind you at no point of time there is an element of weakness that is revealed through the hurt and pain expressed in the poems. Each poem comes out as a powerful expression of individuality and the stubbornness to move on in life.

The most significant poem in the book that shuns weakness is the poem ‘Scars.’ Though the poem speaks about the boundless and bottomless pit of pain and seems to be dark – it ends in a manner that reveals the strength and stubbornness to overcome the hurt and pain, to give a befitting reply not through vengeance but by not giving into the pain.

I would want to share the last line of the poem ‘Scars’:

“I remind myself, I was not meant to hide my scars,
I was meant to be a war cry, the roars of roars.”

Now you see what I meant? Doesn’t it just hit you hard with the power packed words and expressions?
This power is bewitching and is present in almost all poems.
The poem preceding ‘Scars’ is the poem ‘Bare’.

Just midway through the book Lavanya reveals the purpose of all the poems. The purpose is to put forth her emotions naked and bare, without any pretence, no fear and with no resistance to express the truth.

Another poem that makes your belief stronger in her power and individuality is the poem ‘Stream.’

“Let her be what she is,
Don’t be afraid to lose her,
For she is the stream,
And she will find her way to the ocean”

These few words encompass everything a woman craves for – to be accepted just the way she is. Infact, each one of us would love and appreciate freedom as no one can deny the fact that freedom is precious and valuable in everyone’s life.

Another poem that expresses the necessity of preserving one’s individuality is “I did not come this far.”
The last lines are:

“The only way to have all of me is to let me be and love the way I am.”

A special mention of a short poem “Firefly”:

“She was a firefly trapped in a jar.
I had to just open the lid.
She became radiance.”

Some of the poems are so intensely expressed in the most succinct way possible like the poem “Chandelier” and “Mocking Silence.”

The book also touches on various aspects of our life. One such poem is called “City and Me”, which is a reflection city life. It is about how we live in circumstances where we ought to protest about many things happening in the city but, we seldom revolt as we have become immune to our surroundings thus, resisting change.

‘Why’ is my favourite poem because, it puts in simple words the redundancy of most of our feelings and actions. Lavanya’s words are sharp like a sword cutting through the conscience of the reader:

“And lastly when death is the final destination,
Why are we so much attached to life?”

As a tribute to her readers Lavanya writes the poem ‘Crumbs’ where she puts forth her feeling about how she would like to be remembered by her readers:

“When I cease walking, I will be the breeze;
Blowing and settling next to the reader,
Laughing and crying with them.”

All in all, it has been a wonderful experience reading ‘Bare thoughts’ for Lavanya’s knack of moving her readers through her bold and direct way of sharing her thoughts.

As a reader you might unearth different aspects of her poems, something that I haven’t fathomed into, share your thoughts with me true to the spirit of her writing- ‘bare’.

© Copyright 2019 Rashmi S. Malapur All rights reserved