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The Life Stories

Eyes Light Up

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Copyright (c) Meera Nair, 2017.

She was, but a small
girl. T’was a rather large dream,
Jetting towards her.

– Meera

Telltale Reality

Walls groan and
Staircases sigh.
The ceiling rat-a-tats
With fictional marbles.
Doors whine,
Reminiscent of the old.
Curtains quarrel
So as to invite stories.
A dilapidated house.
It clings to its inhabitants.
It lives long after they are gone.
It sleeps blanketed by their memories.
And wakes again, ready for more.

 

– Meera

The Circus in Me

The Spring Palette for The Heart are a series of poetry prompts hosted by Parinitha and Parvathi. Click on the link above, for more info on the same.

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Happy Writing, you all! 🙂

– Meera

The Misplaced Indian

Image courtesy - Sangha Mitra
Image courtesy – Sangha Mitra

The Indian spirit is like a motherboard. It cannot be whole without its multiple subparts and as a separate entity, drives forward the existence of every Indian soul. This spirit is for us to wield and imbibe as we see fit. Yet, we somehow manage to demarcate the “true” Indian by turning a blind eye to those whose Indianness is diluted by years of westernization and foreign upbringing. This essay looks at the misplaced Indian – one who wholeheartedly wants to be part of the community, but cannot because he/she is far removed from any physical connection to their motherland.

The misplaced Indian is either overlooked to some extent in discourses of Indianness or ignored completely in discourses of foreign communities. He/she belongs to a no man’s land, caught in between two communities and not really a part of either. Such an Indian is not detached from his native because of his own voluntary actions but because of ancestors who have moved to a foreign land. And so matter of factly, they begin to learn their Indian mannerisms alongside the resident country’s value systems. Regardless of how much they want to belong, they are not accepted as equal Indians. Hence, they get misplaced in the process of migration and their identity becomes a matter of questioning.

Some Indian Literatures emphasize on the perspectives of such misplaced Indians. Kenyan born Indian, M.G Vassanji says in his book, A Place Within, “It would take many lifetimes; it was said to me during my first visit, to see all of India. The desperation must have shown on my face to absorb and digest all I possibly could. I recall an anxiety as I traveled the length and breadth of the country, senses raw to every new experience, that even in the distraction of a blink I might miss something profoundly significant.” Other notable writers who convey the sentiments of the misplaced Indian are V.S Naipaul, Shyam Selvadurai and G.V Desani. Such Indians face the anxiety of belonging, as discussed by Meenakshi Mukherjee in her essay Anxiety of Indianness. They are generations away from understanding the essence of Indianness and spend a lifetime trying to grasp what they can of the Indian spirit.

– Meera

Protect You.

Copyright (c) Mohan Nair, 2016
Copyright (c) Mohan Nair, 2016

Maybe even the
Blanketing darkness strove to
Protect you from you.

Maybe even the
Flames that licked your palm wanted
To open you up.

But then you spited
The darkness with a light and
It rained like fire.

– Meera

Book Review — The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

Image courtesy – Goodreads

The Princess Saves Herself in this One is a collection of moving poetry that, while experimenting with form and structure, conveys the very poetic sentiments of a woman who braves all of life’s experiences and hands it back to the haters. Split into four different chunks, the poems carry an assortment of themes such as acceptance, loneliness, rejection, motivation, resilience, love etc.

The title of the book was enough to draw me in. I haven’t read a lot of poetry, but something about the raw emotions and out of the box structuring in this one, made me read all of it at one go. Some of the poems barely have ten words and yet, they pack a punch. The poetess has played around with shapes, spacing, grammatical syntax and created a language of her own. A language she uses to her best and appeals to the audience. I believe there’s something in the collection for everyone. Her writing style is impactful and lyrical. You find yourself submerged in the world she creates.

The first section is titled “Princess” and features poetry that echoes a young voice, full of hope and affection seeking. It compels you to empathize with the narrator, as she grieves the loss of loved ones. Similar feelings surface in the next section, wherein, the narrator talks about heartbreak and lovers who never really understood her worth. But then she goes all guns blazing in the third section, which is all about empowerment and fighting back. Lastly, the “You” section showcases poetry that highlights others. What impresses me even more is the fact that Amanda Lovelace has taken the form of poetry and owned it. She has spun pure magic through her words, defying the necessity for stanzas or full stops. In a way, she has used the English language to do her bidding. The number of themes employed in this collection is just overwhelming. I would definitely recommend the book to all those who love poetry. It is definitely worth reading again and again.

Ratings – 5 stars on 5

Meera

Mockery

They thrive on it.
It feeds their worth.
It riles them up.
They bleed; no mirth.
Shape, colour,
Accent, birth.
In matters of laughter
There’s no dearth.

Once, a joke,
Thence, a poke.
Amidst the folk,
In shame, you soak.

But shades emerge
From a plain verge.
So make your own,
Slights that are thrown.
Cause powers surge
When thoughts, you purge.

– Meera

 

After You

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Copyright (c) 2017 Meera Nair

After you,
I love the sound of a bell.
After you,
I love the thought of a getaway.
After you,
I awake, inspired.
After you,
I feel more eccentric.
After you,
I cringe less at cliches.
After you,
I’ve learnt what is us.
After you,
Everything is better.

– Meera

Book Review — The Curse of Mohenjodaro by Maha Khan Phillips

Thank you Pan Macmillan India for sending me a copy of this book for review 🙂

Image courtesy – Goodreads

Maha Khan Phillips’ The Curse of Mohenjodaro is a sweeping narrative that shuffles between 3800 BC and the present; chronicling the dire consequences of corrupted leaders and subjugated populace, both, then and now. Nadia Osbourne had just about escaped the clutches of her maniacal father, when her sister, Layla, goes missing in Mohenjodaro, during an archaeological dig. What’s more, her frequent dreams about a girl, Jaya, grow to be more vivid and strangely connected to the Mohenjodaro mystery. There’s more than meets the eye with regard to the disappearance of the archaeologists group and so Nadia must look to historic events to protect thousands of people in the present. Full with magical realism, mobsters and rediscovery of a family’s powerful lineage, this novel is a brilliant addition to the thriller genre.

The cover design is an interplay of strong colours placed in the forefront of sharp structures that represent the Indus Valley civilization. It is alluring enough to draw one’s attention towards the book, from wherein, the story takes over and does its job wonderfully. Even though the format of the book is such that it goes back and forth between two time frames, it isn’t confusing or distracting in the least bit. In fact, the portions set in Jaya’s world are so strong that they transport you to the era. The author’s writing style supports her story very well and creates a captivating atmosphere throughout. It is fast paced and worthy of being finished in one sitting.

The characterization too, is up to the mark, and imbues many of the important characters with all the power they require to carry forward the story. As infuriating as Sohail (Nadia and Layla’s father) is, he plays an integral role in mirroring the greed and corruption of today’s time. Many women characters are made the focal point of the plot, and wield the driving force. I liked Aal the best – she is depicted to be this obedient daughter who becomes feisty because of circumstances. The whole system, in 3800 BC, that of the Goddess-Blessed, High One, Priests and Clans is allegorical of caste systems and social hierarchy as seen now. A disturbing theme at that. Some other themes that are explored in this novel are that of abuse, poverty, rebellion, good conquers bad etc. There isn’t really anything I can fault about the book. And so, everything considered, I loved this novel a great deal. I am very glad that it is my first book of 2017. It is a must read, so do pick it up, for sure!

Ratings – 5 stars on 5

Meera

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