About the author:
Shashiprakash Saini is a poet and a blogger who writes in Hindi. He stays in Kashi, India. This book, a self-published collection of poems, is his debut offering.
To review poetry is a task that I don’t find easy. To put thoughts in verse is difficult. Atleast, it is for me.
Hindi poetry has not been one of my forte, be it writing or reading. It was, however, with much interest that I took this book, with Hindi verses penned by a friend to read. This book has been one that I have easily understood. The best part of this book, for me, was the “Praveshika”, or the preface. Also written in verse, this was an absolute “wow” getter. It was something that I could relate to, the life of a poet, a certain question and its answer, something I’ve always expressed.
There’s a poem titled “What is Life?” that really reminds me of WH Davies’ poem “Leisure” which is my favorite poem. He questions what is life where we are only behind goals and money, that we forget the journey itself is a brilliant experience and there are wonderful things already around us. I also liked the title poem, which talks about Power (or Capability, or the two interchangeably). If you have capability, then you can ask questions, do anything, even become human. This poem was a little deep for me, not sure if I’ve understood it correctly. Another poem I loved was the one where night questions the day. It felt very serene.
The book is an easy to read collection. It starts and ends with poems on Kashi, which I believe is his favorite place, his hometown. It has poems from his childhood, to poems on love (or the absence of love). It explores aspects of India that are mostly untouched. That being said, though easy to read, it leaves a mark on my mind. It takes time to swim in its depths. Each poem has a little part of him in it.
I don’t know if I can look for things to better in this book and come out successful. So I won’t venture to try it. The last poem, a small closing verse after the last big poem, speaks of the poet living on his readers’ applause and fearing the readers’ silence. It’s quite a way to end it, I feel. However, I leave you with my thoughts (almost a translation) on that preface, which still mystifies me.
Why am I a poet? Does it bring me money to buy clothes, food, take care of my family? No it does not. I have a job for that. One that I sit with every day, morning to evening, working almost like an automated machine. Poetry… poetry makes me alive again, feel human again. That’s why I am a poet.
I liked the book, a lot. Poetry, however, is not the same to every person. I leave you to be the final judge on this one.
Author: Shashiprakash Saini
Genre: Hindi Poetry
Publishers: Self Published
(12th Nov, 2013)