Sunday, July 12, 2015

Healing Waters, Floating Lamps - A Review

I have not been writing reviews regularly for quite sometime now, but when a request to review a poetry collection came my way, I could just not say no! The fact that poetry is finding its foothold in the literary world was a pleasant fact to acknowledge. It is still sad, however, to note that among the hundreds of books I have received for review till date, Healing Waters, Floating Lamps is only the second poetry collection out of it! Sad, but I hope that changes soon.

At the outset, let me admit, I had to read this entire book thrice over to get closer to the meanings of some exquisite verses penned by Kiriti Sengupta in this wonderful collection. Even then, my comprehension was woefully inadequate to wade to the depth of each poem. Don Martin's Foreword came handy to pull me out of this conundrum. To understand certain works, the voice of an observer other than the poet/author is sometimes necessary - for he is able to think like a reader does, and hence provides certain inroads into the even very esoteric texts. In this case, Don Martin not only familiarised me to Kiriti Sengupta's literary aura, but also threw light on the way the poems held in Healing Waters Floating Lamps contained layers and layers of meaning.

Coming to the poems, they had a serenading beauty. The imagery concocted by the words was capable of transporting one to a Ganga Ghat, or to the sublime regions of one's consciousness. It is the latter where the poet probably was exhorting us to reach, and to do so, he gave us a very circuitous path to tread on. This path led from unravelling the poems, and then placing ourselves in its context to comprehend the message the poet is trying to spread across.

Apart of lyrical beauty, these poems are also imbued with spirituality - but the kind which everyone can adapt for themselves. Very short, but very profound in impact. Deep, very deep within you lies your God, and in the same regions resides the meaning of life. By encouraging an enquiry into nature and meaning of existence, I believe the poet was trying to egg us onto the higher realms of consciousness. I could be completely wrong here, because, as I did state, even after the third reading, many of these poems and their contexts seemed elusive to me.

This book will not make for a casual read, but will ask you to give it time and attention. If you are ready to lavish both of them on poetry, pick this up. I give it 3 stars on 5.