Book Reviews

Maaya Dev's Shimmering Chimes

It was Edgar Allan Poe who said, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words”.

As I read the poems in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ by Poet Maaya Dev, I was also reminded of another quote by Plutarch who said “Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks”. With each poem, Poet Maaya Dev has sketched such a beautiful word picture that all that an artist has to do, is to fill in the colours and create a painting. Sample this:

There, I see a lucid reflection
smiling at me from inner mirror.
There I see You ! I see me!
Ah! I see me in You!
Hare Krishna!!
(‘Hare Krishna’ - Page 25)

As I read the above lines, an ethereal image of Lord Krishna with His many-splendoured “Maaya” formed in my mind effortlessly. It was not difficult to fathom what the Poet Maaya Dev is trying to communicate!

And ‘Hare Krishna’ is the very first poem in this collection! Every poem in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ amply demonstrates that Poet Maaya Dev had a clear image in her mind of the word pictures she intended to create and imprint them in the readers’ mind. Not an easy task. But the poet has done this with much aplomb and remarkable felicity. Yet, these word pictures are not simple …

The entire book is a reflection of Poet Maaya Dev’s inner quest, as she looks deep within herself to search for answers to an elusive spiritual bliss, illusory tranquility and the ultimate peace or Nirvana! For this, she has used various themes as tools in her poems – divinity, love, yearning, romance, nature and so on…yet somewhere in each poem, her deep spirituality is invariably reflected, embedded in some sensitively penned lines here and intelligent wordplay there ..

Picture this in the poem ‘Awakening’ (Page 29)

Beyond space and time
through the celestial veil
an enigmatic sojourn unfolds
a path paving towards salvation.
Galore of awareness explode
Capturing moments of rhapsody
Herald of golden bliss sparkles
as soul rejoices to the awakening.

As I read this poem, I felt something stir within me, as if I too am with the poet on a quest for “salvation”… And this is the beauty of Maaya Dev’s poetry! While each poem in the book is a soulful narration of her own quest, the reader too is involuntarily drawn into her quest, as the poem progresses… The poet has this amazing ability to make the reader own each of her poems and identify something of one’s own inner being in them!

‘Shimmering Chimes’ clearly shows that it is not Poet Maaya Dev who found words for her poems; it is the words that found their way into her poems and permeated them with their beauty and fragrance… and this is so well expressed in these lines:

With an inborn quest, I devoured for an indulgence
to chase for precise words to embellish my emotions.
In the musing I compose you to gift a mystic guise.
But loquacious silence conveyed irony with a smirk.

… and I with a dalliance of my dreams
of the‘Unwritten Poetry’ is yet to be born …

(‘Unwritten Poetry – Page 81-82)

At one level, it would seem easy to club the poems in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ into categories eg.:

‘Hare Krishna’ (Page 25), ‘Uncertainty!’ (Page 55), ‘Krishna, My Lord …!!’(Page 60), ‘Cosmic Play’ (Page 61), ‘Sat Chit Ananda – Bliss’(Page 62), ‘Oh Master ! Accept my Last Salute’ (Page 64), ‘Divine Transformation’ (Page 65), ‘Luncheon with God …!’ (Page 83) – Page 25 as poet’s engagement and conversations with her God

Certain is thy uncertainty!
Uncertainty though speak
Certainty of Heisenberg

(‘Uncertainty!’- Page 55 – the poet’s intelligent reference in this poem to the well-known Haisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics is truly commendable!)

‘Beacon of Enlightenment‘(Page 26), Awakening’ (Page 29), ‘Desert Rose’, (Page 31), ‘A Walk to Remember …!’ (Page 44), ‘Unrealistic Glimpses’ (Page 45), ‘Life’s Quest’ (Page 56), ‘Holy Bath’ (Page 58), ‘Wake Up Call’ (Page 63), ‘Aurora and Avalanche’ (Page 84), ‘Beyond’ (Page 88), ‘How Far Will I Go?’ (Page 89) and quite a few other poems as poet’s quest for spirituality

A tireless struggle
looks for an answer
to analyze all strives
everywhere, every second.

('Life's Quest' - Page 56)

‘Birth of a Poem’ (Page 28), ‘Divine Silhouette’(Page 32), ‘Scattered Verses’ (Page 47), ‘World of Words’ (Page 77-78), ‘Twinkle Twinkle my Little Poems’ (Page 79-80) and a few others as the Poet’s life-long affair with poetry at different levels.

Yet, few more rejections
He dares to face as strives
on every submission
which assures to surpass until
he embraces his due acceptance
as a writer’s resurrection.

(‘Few More Rejections – Page 35)

And so on…

However, at another level, Poet Maaya Dev’s poems are so multi-layered that each reading would throw up myriad interpretations. The poems in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ resonate with multiple meanings – testing and challenging the reader’s comprehension. Such is Poet Maaya Dev’s thought process that it functions at different levels to use poetic devices and tools to come up with poetry that is at once spiritual, metaphysical, philosophical, romantic, mystical and at times seemingly obvious …

My personal favorites are these three because in one I found the kind of rhyming scheme I follow in my own poetry, another appealed to my ever-present sense of humour (though the poem, as usual, goes beyond this genre) and the third because I could identify with it totally.

Riddle of a vague maze
On the pathway of haze
An ironic style of gaze.

(‘Transient…!-Page 87)

Silly, such a silly word!
Yes, it sounds silly too
I write silly, often I feel

(‘How Silly!-Page 51)

As phoenix risen from hopeless life
They sail through invisible wings with a will
to win infinite impossibilities of life

(‘Ability beyond Disability-Page 33)

Poem after poem in this slim collection of 60 poems, leads you deeper and deeper into Poet Maaya Dev’s world – her world of spirituality as she sees it and tries to achieve it… It is said that there are many paths to heaven and each one charters one’s own course to attain it…some of us falter, some of us stumble, and some of us have a clear vision of how they have to reach it!

Poet Maaya Dev’s poetry impacts us at two levels – as human beings having a spiritual experience and as spiritual beings having a human experience. Get what I mean?

As I began reading ‘Shimmering Chimes’, it seemed as if I was hearing some chimes from a great distance – shimmering and beckoning me! With each poem I seemed to move closer to those chimes …!

My recommendation to all lovers of poetry would be to not miss the multi-layered poetry experience called ‘Shimmering Chimes’ by the highly talented and expressive wordsmith Poet Maaya Dev.

I would like to conclude this review with a quote of the great Paulo Coelho:

The spiritual path can only be travelled through the daily experience of love

And ‘Shimmering Chimes’ is a fine demonstration of this

Shimmering Chimes by Maaya Dev
Author Press
Pages93 ISBN978-93-5207-110-4 PriceRs. 195/- USD 10/-


More by :  Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

Top | Book Reviews

Views: 3325      Comments: 2

Comment Dear Maaya Dev. It has been a total pleasure and an enlightening journey, reading your poems in 'Shimmering Chimes' and then writing this review. Thank you for trusting me and giving me this opportunity.

Padmaja Iyengar
22-Oct-2015 09:00 AM

Comment Dear Padmaja Iyengar ( Paddy) ,

it was an absolutely amazing, mesmerizing and an excellent review. Am speechless and overwhelmed to the core. I really don’t know what to say. It’s so heartening to get such an awesome review from you. Deeply humbled and my gratitude from the deep core of my heart. While reading the review I was immersed wholly and once again had commuted through the journey of my each creation. So integrated was the dissection of all the poems that I was deeply moved and literally. There is no modicum of doubt that this is one of the best reviews that I have got on my humble attempt of my debut anthology ‘SHIMMERING CHIMES’. The warmth and solace of the Review clearly reflects the ingenuity and the piousness of the soul. Thank you will be an understatement to such a highly praiseworthy execution. I shall remain indebted and grateful from my heart that you took out your precious time from the hectic schedule along with without any compromising with dedication. Loved the way you have explored the spiritual quest, meta-physical realms and all other substantiate elements which are shelling up my poems. Simply superb once again thank you so much for this engaging and encouraging review.


Maaya Dev
20-Oct-2015 06:12 AM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.