Book Reviews

Letters to Him by Gargi Saha

Gargi Saha
Letters to Him
Kolkatta: Puthipatra. 2012. ISBN: 13-978-81-7962-106-6. Softbound: Pages- 140. Price- Rs.100/-.

Letters to Him is Gargi Saha’s second poetry book. It contains 212 finely weaved free Verses.

Poems stimulated by Love, Compassion, Spirituality and Inner Light.

The poetry collection under review entitled – Letters to Him – is the second venture of Gargi into the publishing world. English literature and in particular poetry has fascinated Gargi, since her childhood and she has pursued her academics in literature from prestigious universities. Her first book, The Muse In My Salad Days was published in the year 2000 which was critically acclaimed and reviewed by esteemed journals. She has been widely published and has been honored with various awards in India and Abroad. She is also a member of various professional bodies. Gargi has sincerely stuck to her beliefs and delivered a beautiful holy poetry book that everyone can relate to their experiences.
This book has been dedicated to her beloved Uncle; Sri J J Saha Roy who is deeply moved by her childhood poetry and he took intense interest to bring out her poems in the form of a book, The Muse In My Salad Days.
As the preface of Letters to Him tells all, this everlasting and ever new epistle brings out feelings of Gargi to realize the biggest purpose of life for herself and others. Through various poems, she has posed numerous questions to God to deeply understand the experience of tradition, ritual and mantras she has had since her childhood.
The entire book is written in small letters and it is one long poem that starts with a noble prayer and finishes with thank you to ‘Him’ with no full stop in between them.
It is a matter of pride for me to be reviewing the work of this poetess whose poems have gained much appreciation and applause in several competitions. Her poetry submissions are sought after by Indian and International Journals for their sheer poetic quality.
Gargi uses words creatively to reach beneath the layer to highlight thoughts aesthetically, who is a fine poet with a fine rhyme sense too. True to Maureen Moss words of, “Mystery, like faith, defies human logic”, Gargi has employed thoughts in such a manner as to voice her deepest faith on him, accepting all the mysteries created by him as it is and thereby defying all logics.
Letters to Him has thanks with gratification, questions to get enlightenment, request for inner transformation and prayers for different miserable occasions and forgiveness for humanly mistakes, boldness to accept punishment and seeks inspiration from ‘Him’. Between first and this book, Gargi has made immense transformation in spirituality. While her first book focused on her opinions, small matters in life, materialistic matters and events happened outside – all personal, in her new venture, she has gone deep inside her to bring out words for her prayers, questions, requests and apologies to him. She has also expressed her strong desire to him for everyone’s happiness.
In the first poem 'Noble Prayer,' Gargi offers prayer to God. I quote here few lines from the poem.
May everyone be happy and gay
May everyone have this day (Noble Prayer)
The poem ‘Away from Illusions’ is a finely crafted poem that depicts an earnest request of the poet to wrap her with eternal joy so that can serve  him to bring the world to purity . I quote the first few lines of the poem to reveal its essence.
Wrap me into that invisible muslin
Of everlasting love, mercy, care
That would be genuinely true
That would save me from all evils
Make me an instrument of Thy voice
To spread Thy mission within folks (Away From Illusions)
My favorites from the prolific list of 212 poems are all; Just to list a few those that are really touching are Paradoxical Situation, Ablution of Self, Endless Prayer, An Unborn's Request, Shape It!, Realization, Ignorant Self, Stasis,  Seeking Truth, Ever Free, Unity of Bring, Gratitude, Growing ‘Self’, Whose Love Greater, Noblest Prayer and Thank You.
I quote paras from my favorite poems,
Melt all (my) crave, wrath, envy, ego, vanity, self-respect wholly
And bless me to a ‘nothing’
Thus to emerge with Thee wholly
The nothing -------- but everything thing (Ablution Of Self)
Please protect me eternally
Total involvement but not really dissolving
Don’t steal me out of myself
Let me be as I am (Growing ‘Self’)
Why, love mortal menace?
God’s eyes there’s pacification in your ecstasy (Whose Love Greater)
Thank you God for everything (Thank You)
Since most of the poems in this collection are fuelled by insightful thoughts, poetic feelings, idealistic vision and worldly wisdom of the poet, the poems find resonance with the readers.
“A poet's work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.” said Salman Rushdie. Gargi’s poems hold true to Salman's words. Gargi succeeds in doing so in her second book too.
When will the day come to an end?
When will the night?
When will the process of revolution come to a halt?
None left back more to observe the change
Of hours, years, centenaries
Of the decay or progress
They remain the same
civilizations turned into dust (STASIS)
Strangers who loot
And distribute the surplus among the poor
Is it a crime?
Why and how?
They give some happiness to the unknown
By fulfilling their dreams, desires, aspiration
Who is the real criminal?
Who the true sage? (Seeking Truth)
The preface fulfills its duty in bringing out the best and salient features of the
book and like a beacon light it guides the readers' mind unto the poetic path. To quote few lines from the Preface, "It's a book of feelings and realizations which might not be scientifically tested or proved. It is one single long poem, divided into various parts and so one full stop at the end of the book. The entire book is written in small letters as a form of humility towards 'Him'.” As Gargi has mentioned, the works of Gargi makes the reader to come back to the present and to live moment by moment by with it to breathe the wonderful scenes outside and the feelings inside.
“Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.” said Don Marquis. This quote holds true of the sensational verse flow by poetess Gargi. She has created a unique place in literature through this creation.
Letters to Him on your bookshelf will rewrite the story of your life. By the content and quality of the poet's thought and expression, the sacred reader will be deeply soul-stirring by the compositions of an emotional poetess.
Gargi through her verses invites her readers to make both an outer and inner journeys with her.

waters of spring
father backstrokes
into healthiness

The verses in the book are like the waters of spring; brings healthiness to the body, mind and soul of a reader. Enjoy your divinely swim in the waters of spring!

The book will be a worthwhile companion however you are: so long as you are receptive to spirituality, self-ablution, prayers and divinely questions voiced softly in verse.


More by :  Ramesh Anand

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