Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: Musings Of A Wanderer, By Shreya Chatterjee

I laid hands on Shreya Chatterjee’s  ‘Musings Of A Wanderer’ when I was very busy with life. Poetry books are not meant to be read when you are busy. We can read books like Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol’ even when making love, but not poetry. I am quite familiar with Shreya’s poetry through her blog, A journey called……. , so out of curiosity I opened the book to see whether it had some of my favorite poems from her blog included in the book. Yes, my favorite poem, ‘A Perfect Elopement’ was there. As I kept reading I found more poems from her blog printed in the book. There is a special pleasure in holding the book in my hand and reading the poetry, which is never found by reading those exact lines online. I flipped through the pages and read a few lines and then went on to read more and more until my daughter walked in from school.

What kept me going through the book for 2 hours were the short and crisp lines of the poems. Most of them were like crispy snacks; you don’t feel fulfilled but feel like eating some more.  I have to say that the author has done a good job with the creation of poems, as the readers are not going to put it down, thinking of picking it up when they have more leisure. Lengthy, complicated and confusing lines which needs a dictionary and reference handy to read, are great put offs when you read a poem; so the author has taken off that hurdle from the paths of readers.

As an ardent reader of poems since my childhood, I cannot lie by saying that, ‘This collection of poems is excellent’, but for the first book from a young poet, it can be rated good. Shreya Chattejee has lot of depth and passion in her words. The verses are her feelings taking form of words, and she feels about most of the things that touches her life. There is rain, love, relationships, the city of joy, friendships, social evils, acquaintances, nature, shocking events, and life in general seeping in through her poems. 

I would like to mention few of the poems that impressed me.
‘The lost roads’ – reminds me of Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ where the author decides to take less travelled path and carves a way for himself.
‘Two cups of coffee’ is again a simple and philosophical kind of poem which speaks volumes. A good read which doesn’t stress your mind
‘Queen Of Our Land’ is the poignant poem depicting the horrifying picture of the girl child. This is my special favorite in this collection. Not very often do poems wring tears from me. The plight of a woman who suffered for bearing three girls, comes vividly in front of our eyes when we read this poem. The ending lines hits out at our prejudiced society very strongly.
‘Breaking’ gives us an insight into the minds of a man and woman who have broken up. Only if they could read each other’s thoughts! Unspoken words are harmful to a relationship.
‘The New Born Nation’ is a short a crisp poem where the poet hits out hard with her words. Good enough to chase away creeping sleep and awaken our consciousness.
The rain poems are all quite nice and cute. At times you can sense the drizzle flowing through the words. With the monsoon breathing down heavily on my neck for past two months it was tough to appreciate Shreya’s love for rains, but I had to.
The poet is wanderer, wondering philosophically over the topics she is exposed to in her unfocused restless venture.
Excluding the introduction, there are all together 84 poems in this 95 pages soft bound book. It is quite easy to find the ones suiting your taste of topic considering the wide array of topics covered through the poetic words.
Off course I am not going to be all sweet to new poetess, as there are some issues she needs to pay attention to. She cannot say In Pursuit Of Happyness. Mistakes, like such are to be avoided and if it is printing errors she needs to talk to the publishers to get them corrected in re-prints. There are mistakes that need her attention.
I had seen the cover earlier and did not feel anything special about it earlier through the pictures; neither did I feel anything special about it when I held the book in my hand. I feel there was place for more color there, considering the myriad of topics covered by the poems.
Some poems were a bit confusing. For example while reading about Infant murdered in mosque, where the crisis is depicted so well, I could not relate it to any event. Actually I do not blame the poetess for this, as there are so many violence related incidents happening around us every day we can easily get confused one with another or maybe I am ignorant to certain incident which may have caught public attention.   
I could wander through the book with satisfaction; I say that because I did not read the poems in order. These poems are not going to revolutionize the society, but they are good enough to entertain one, especially when sipping hot coffee, while watching the rain.
I am looking forward for more deep and poignant poetry from Shreya in future. All the best to you!

More Information
Author: Shreya Chatterjee
Book: Musings Of A Wanderer
Editor: Joyita Chatterjee
ISBN number: 978-93-81205-00-6
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Power Publishers
Language: English
Available from:
Price : ₹100

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Basic Information about the Author in her own words:

About Shreya  "The nicer the man seems to be, the more suspicious you must become."---is it same for a woman!!! wondering

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

I am a writer by profession and a poet at will- (well, this is how I started defining myself from one fine November morning).

I have been writing since my school and college days, and have been a ardent member of, since my college days.

Musings of a Wanderer" is my debut book- a collection of poems I have penned down within a span of a year or more.

I have got two active blogs. a journey called... contains personal poems, articles, serious social articles, reviews, a bit about my hobbies, videos created by me, lyrics of songs I love the most and all such things that serve as perfect definition of a wanderer. It also houses some of my favourite moments with "Coffee". You will also find collaborated posts- the images are provided by several of the fellow bloggers and the poems are written by me. Footprints on... is rather a dormant blog, which contains a growing draft of a novel I have been writing since a couple of years. The thought was within me since my middle school days...
Source of basic information: Facebook, of course!


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