Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review and Spotlight on Where Even Present is Ancient: Benaras


The Blurb
Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras is a book that seeks to tell the little stories that make us who we are. The author believes that Benaras resides in all of us Indians, in some beautiful often-unknown way. The author is the Sutradhar, in that she attempts to connect an India that many do not realize exists, in that it is everybody’s story. Radha, Krishna, Ganga, Benaras and Me are all characters in this deluge of poems. This attempt at telling the story of the ancient, of love and of faith is to instil the confidence that poetry exists in all of us, everywhere, all that is needed is to smell its fragrance. To those outside India, the book does not seek to be a representation of what India is or was, but a whiff of what it also can be. It is an attempt to ask people to see the little stories that govern all of our lives, stories that we often don’t see, but those that are important. The audience for this book might be strewn across the globe, for faith is not religion-centric, it is people- centric and often without dimensions. In poetry there is no beginning, no middle, nor no end. Like faith it is everywhere, it is omnipresent. The book affords no answers, nor no questions, but if you listen and read carefully you will see new things, a new beauty perhaps, one that has been silent so long.


My Review

The poetess, Maitreyee discovers Banaras in all forms, which transcends the reader into bliss while importing thoughts from various streams where life touches all living souls. 

Her book encircles around, Discovering Baneras, which has been photographed and talked about. It narrates the journey of every soul that goes to visit this city thus, taking the reader on a roller coaster ride from the good times where praises and eulogies to deities are sung, and such moments are appreciated, cherished and conserved as a child. 

She can say so much in such few words in A Hurriedly Etched Divinity where emotions of all kinds are sketched beautifully that stretches from the silent crying out loud to the power to see faith in spite.

Ganga is introduced to the reader in such an exquisite way by the poetess. 
Meeting Ganga where the holy river conveys all her emotions from being complex, terrifying to melancholic at times and revealing its myths and history in a poignant way that is the truth. 

The Beads of Rudraksha is a touching tribute to those beads that are used every day in prayer and the cries of Hare Ram that a person agonizes over with hope. 

Life is practical, and Maitreyee is clear to explain her thoughts even though it is ancient cause it is still the present for many. The lull amidst the pragmatic words tries to create a balance as she gives the reader a moment to peep inside what they have experienced so far from this city, and thus help channel it accordingly.

Wishing the poetess, Maitreyee many more wonderful moments of rhythm and beauty ahead.

About the Author


Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a web columnist and creative writer. She is author of Reflections on My India, a book of Indian traditions and spirituality in parts. Maitreyee is also author of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen- Bengali Cinema’s First Couple and Ichhe Holo Tai, a bilingual muti media presentation of poetry. Maitreyee is featured amongst other Indian writers such as Gulzar, Shashi Tharoor and Deepti Naval in an anthology of Indian writers Celebrating India.

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