Book Reviews

Images in Still Waters

“On the wings of Poetry
I flutter and fly like a butterfly
To see the beauty that surrounds me
In its utmost softness of silk
To feel the tenderness of ecstasy”

Poetry is nothing but language of the heart. Every person who can think logically and listen to the heart beat can emotionally express feelings of love, hate, compassion, anger, feel and hurt balance system.
Writing poetry is like nourishing a garden where we sow seeds of thoughts, which sprout with the input of efforts when nourished with attentive seasoning. It is only then that the colorful ideas blossom with fragrance. The sown speechless thoughts take the support of words to find expression, they grow and mature as saplings, start whispering and walking. Still the fact remains unchanged that ‘Life is poetry’ but ‘Poetry is not life.’  Words and poet have a co-relative bond. Words may exist without a writer, but a writer cannot exist without words. Poetry in the form of words on paper is nothing but the fruit of thoughts that can find expression in the flow and flaw of the language of the heart.

“Pleasure is a flower that fades
But remembrance is the lasting perfume!”

The drifting of memories of bygone days takes one back to the valley of the trodden path of childhood and the related entity that fills the heart, the mind with solace and tranquility is “Mother”.

Mamma, Mutter, Amma, Maa
Mother in any language
The first word of the baby
The name that comes naturally
To the lips in times of sorrow,
Next to the name of God.    (Bereavement)

In the anthology of poems ‘Beyond Images’ Elizabeth Kurian, we call her Mona, a versatile poetess has beautifully expressed her thoughts in words- expressing all the possible shades of life, including the above said verse. The poems compiled in her first book along with artistic images by Sushil Thapa are really replicating each other so well that it becomes all the more easy to understand the language of poetry in unspoken words.
Walking through the one way narrow lane of life, we encounter pain, pleasure, joy, and love which in reality is a package deal. The richness of life is painted in colors of love that let you live in emotional harmony. The best thing that the heart can retain to survive in this world of uneven happenings is love and faith. Mona has delicately penned the feelings in her multiple poems related to life and its various shades –In ‘Shadows of love’ she opens her mind aloud to the readers in a majestic tone: 

Think, think and think again
Before you open the gateway
Of your heart to love,
Whether you are willing
To let in the shadows too.

A poet says - The father of success is work, the mother is ambition, Common sense is the son and opportunity is the daughter. Mona has well taken and grabbed the opportunity with her elated common sense and has tied strings to her bow and anchored the stage of life with the taste of delicate emotions that reveal the feelings of love, longing, innocence, pain, separation, solace, serenity in the lifetime of existence.

A peaceful message through the fading flowers in life is wonderful incentive for fragrance that is never fading. No gift is greater than the gift of knowledge, which reproduces and reflects the mind. The transparency of the thoughts is at times redirected in silence or in art of the marvelous depiction of Sushil Thapa. In her poem “Words and Silence” she goes a step ahead to define silence in her words:

Better still, to read your thoughts
Which are mirrored on your face
From your eyes and speak in silence
With frankness, unhampered by words.

Writing poetry is in fact a gift from God, especially for lovers of silence, for it is all time companion, especially in sorrow. Sorrow is really an ailment which makes one love solitude and in the stillness of sorrow, one finds God. Having very few choices to make, the awareness of insight of the lifespan - Mona puts her thoughts together so well saying -

‘There is no escape from this eternal captivity’

Elsewhere she says: 

‘Sometimes he surrenders to the shackles of love’

The love she refers is where the lover surrenders unconditionally to the will of the beloved. Love is the key that unlocks the locked doors of the heart, it adorns life with tears, washing all that is impure to make one beautifully pure.
In her expressions one finds her belief in the significance of the self, which is rooted in the heart. She forges a bridge between life, nature, self and God through her introspective vision. The attainment of this state of mind takes place after settling the struggle between sense and sensitivity, for she earnestly feels:

Within invincible walls
Of an invisible prison
Man serves a life sentence. (Captivity)

I extend my special wishes to Sushil Thapa who has really, as I Mona’s own words –“I was overwhelmed by the sensitivity and skill with which he has trans-created the poems into pictures’. It is a unique effort of the two to bring to the readers the reflection of the image in a unique way moving in all dimensions beyond the circumference of faculty.    

Book: Beyond Images by Elizabeth Kurian ‘Mona’,
Pages: 112, Price: Rs. 200, Publisher:

Image from the book - Beyond Images. 


More by :  Devi Nangrani

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