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Walking with Stillness
|by Gopal Lahiri|
Purabi Bhattacharya, in her riveting, debut poetry collection ‘Call Me’, has deftly interrogated the inner workings of self, conflict and growing nostalgia for home and the world. Sometimes, the thoughts have crammed the pages with whatever happened to wing through her mind at that time. Her poems come more from the heart and end with an amalgamation of the content, rhythm and form.
Her home, the hills of Shillong, keeps coming back, connecting her past in all its pureness and a sense of alienation from the birthplace, But the power of the homeland inspires a feeling of wonder, delight while recurring a natural sense of awe, piling up like leaves in a remote corner of her soul. The place has its own magic and the presence of nostalgic moments is all pervasive in this collection.
Purabi’s delicate and unforced poems respond in an almost colloquial and certainly informal manner to her elevated yearning:
In the above four lines the intensity comes from the re-focusing the issue on the next page
The poet admits the initial struggle ‘the gestation period has been long, and not smooth always. The route meanders through its own idiosyncrasies. It adds colours, wipes a few’.
In her foreward Tamsula A.O has rightly pointed out ‘The striking in these poems is the note of sincerity and firmness with which the sentiments and feelings are expressed’. She also added ‘in some of the poems there is a blurring of images which indicates a coalescence of the past with the present, which adds to the tension’.
Stirred by the uneasy feeling, the poet feels in a way, the occasional overloaded metaphor disable our sensitivities yet we are swept along in a rich and assured narratives.
The poet also candid in her observations ‘Having to live between the pieces of past and present, the arid, earthy touch of the place of livelihood offers what I would have missed otherwise. History and politics add sparkle to all that a sensitive eye sees. I am not spared’.
The writing too, is laced with painterly description, giving the readers the impression that we are looking at this world through a sensitive mindscape.
The economy of words is evinced in the poem ‘Woven’, capturing the rhythms of life bit by bit. Somewhere along the way, the overreaching impulse behind the tender soul also seems to have taken a different course. It includes lines that are barely lines – phrases on the edge of silence.
Reading the collection, one feels like soaking in the beauty of a beautiful landscape yet takes on the radical dimension of the human entanglements with ease and flair. This collection is an essential and delightful read and one must grab this book at the earliest. The cover design is excellent.
Call Me by Purabi Bhattacharya
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U Atreya Sarma
12/14/2015 21:05 PM
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