My thoughts on the book:
Sometimes, I wonder if I should be reviewing poetry books. Being a poet myself, I know it’s not easy to express thoughts in verse, keep the flow and the emotions.
It was only recently that I chanced upon this book, being a freebie on Amazon for a day. I snapped it up immediately, the appeal being the title of the book, “Glimpses of an Indian Soul”.
Looking further into the book on Goodreads, I came across the excerpt as below…
Here in the West, whenever India is mentioned, we tend to associate it with either call centers or yoga. Without a doubt this is a monochromatic view of a very diverse nation with a billion people. ‘Glimpses of an Indian Soul’ is a collection of poems that snapshots different facets of India and Indian society. It boldly speaks out against social evils like untouchability, corruption, terrorism, religious intolerance, poverty and female infanticide. It celebrates the Indian spirit and captures some very humanistic traditions with an Indian flavour. It captures in a very poetic way, mundane everyday scenes in India.
I do hear of that stereotype, but I guess I cannot understand it, since I’m yet to go abroad and hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
The poems in the collection are expressive. Starting from the first, where the poet expresses his sorrow at the various things corrupting our nation, and calls for us to wake up and stop the atrocity, each poem speaks of India from his eyes, an aspect of our nation.
For me, my favorite poem in the collection was Gitanjali. It spoke as I would have spoken too. Expressing respect to the great work of Tagore, wonder if the poet could ever write like that, if what he wrote could be that way or even if he should write more when such great works were there. Then we see humility that like only a candle could lead in darkness, similarly when the greatness of the poet Tagore has set, it is the poet who should keep the light alive.
Another poem is the one of mother and child, which the poet says symbolizes hope and the future.
One of the more heartfelt ones is the plea of a Harijan, to not let caste come in the way of his son’s dreams, in the same way that it came between him and his dreams.
The collection has a few gems, and I’d definitely go back to read it.
Title: Glimpses of an Indian Soul
Author: Betty Paul Thottam
Publishers: Thought Sanctuary via Amazon
Price: INR. 55
(Sept 9th, 2013)