Friday, 17 February 2017

Initial Offerings by Rupali Desai: a review

If I have regular readers then they would know for sure that poems have a special place in my heart. When I met the author of “Initial offerings” while working with her during the Kolkata Literature Festival 2017 and learnt that she is a poet, I couldn’t resist myself from grabbing hold of her book and reading it. The result of which, is this review. The minimalistic cover is what drew me to the book while I turned the pages and went through the blurb.

According to the blurb- Initial offerings is a poignant yet tender collection of poems which offers its readers a pure and a beautiful expression of the author’s emotions and feelings of life as-is. These poems have an uncanny hint of spiritualism in them. It is a combination of multiple themes and elements that give this book its universality, suppleness and infinite appeal. Rupali addresses topics such as love, devotion, the subconscious mind and qualities such as humility, arrogance, indifference, beauty, dream and desire. This book is a paradox of sorts as here you will find a poem about death (Death of my beautiful poem) and another about ‘Life being so precious!’ This book will take you on your own personal spiritual journey and help to rationalize some of your feelings bottled deep inside in the most understated of ways. Be prepared to be surprised!

I know that everybody reading this would second me if I say that I have been surprised with the blurb of the book. Never before had I read any blurb of a poetry book that is so beautiful. Reading this, I was sure that I have to read the book. As I kept on flipping through the pages from one poem to another, I was so engrossed in the writing that I almost forgot the world around me. Yes, I would agree to the fact right in the beginning that the poems are lengthy and might seem stretched at places but as you keep reading through it, you would fall in love with the writing style of the poetess.

Talking about the writing style, I need to say this. As the poetry in the book progresses, you tend to find a tune in the poetess’s words. There is a specific style in which the poetess writes and the style catches on to you. Guess what happened to me? After I finished reading the book, I re-read it and after that whenever I wanted to write something or the other, I ended up writing almost like the poetess. All the more reason to wait for a day or two before framing up and uploading the review. One of the best things that I liked about the book is the fact that it has all flavours and all themes incorporated in it. It doesn’t limit itself to just one theme.

The contradictions in the book and the fact that two contradictory themes can exist in one book tells every reader how polished the writer is. I also loved the fact that there are two acknowledgements in the whole book. One, to begin and the other to end. Aptly justifying the name, these offerings make the book what it is. If I have to list the cons of the book then I would say that the poems are lengthy (and I realised that I have mentioned that earlier) and also the fact that the book is a few poems too short. I would have loved the book had there been more poems. Having said that, I also expected a few poems to be crisper than it already is. Even though I am always in favour of wordy sentences, poems at times demand crisper lines. All said and done, I would give this book 4 out of 5. Looking forward to more writings from the poetess. 

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