Breeze: Straight from the Heart Poems
An in-depth and insightful review of International reuel Prize Winning writer, memoirist and poet Satbir Chadha’s debut poetry collection ‘Breeze’, written by renowned author, academician, poet, TEDX speaker Dr. Santosh Bakaya.
Poet: Satbir Chadha
Publisher: Authors Press, 2018, Delhi
ISBN: 9 78-93-88008-46- 4
Here is one bi- lingual writer, who writes heart – warming prose and beautiful poetry. One look at this sleek and pretty book- the poet’s debut poetry book – and you lose your heart to it. The cover is a waft of fresh breeze which serenades you by its exquisite notes.
I have been fortunate enough to have read her memoirs, For God Loves foolish People, and her medical thriller, Betrayed, and I know, that this wordsmith pens her words with an awe- inspiring élan.
Divided into ten parts, each part is beautifully penned, verses coming straight from the heart. Life in all its hues, throbs in her words, you will find starlit realms of love, nature in full splendor, love, humanity, compassion, divinity and spirituality, and also the corollary damage of war.
The first part Love Stories, is all about love. In the very first poem, Such an Unlikely Pair, she very lovingly talks of her parents, who were poles apart in everything, but deeply in love with each other.
“Dad lovingly rubbed Mom’s back through nights,
As she would cough and her lungs would wheeze,
Untiring, he was by her side as struggling
With her illness, she went away, one sad day,
As her head lay softly on his shoulder.
A quarter century passed by,
One day Dad said to me, ‘it’s time for me to go’.
I said, ‘No Dad, stay alive, we need you’.”
[Such an Unlikely Pair, [p 19]
Then there is the star the poet falls in love with-
“Standing in the balcony
walking up the stairs
to view it from the terrace
above the dark swaying boughs
of tall coconut trees.
To preen at my star
Unfettered and free
as it passed through the night
on its ethereal journey
through uncharted worlds
on a well charted trajectory.”
[My Star, My Love, my Rara Avis, p 28],
The Soft, Green Patch is another sweet poem, throbbing with unadulterated love where one finds the inebriated lovers totally lost in each other.
“Between the brown twigs and dry bushes,
We found a soft green patch, a cushion of grass
Two lovers dropped, and reclined and rested
In the mild shade of puny bushes.”[p 32]
‘And then the War began’, reminded me of the last lines of the famous poem,
‘Home they brought her warrior dead’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
“Like summer tempest came her tears
Sweet my child, I Live for thee.”
“We were drenched in love
we were drowned in love
Became as one in love
became the world in love.
And then the war began.”
“I shut my eyes
To the whole wide world
Till one day my babe cried,
‘Ma, is this my papa?’
I shed more tears and sighed
But who is this who comes
And takes me by the shoulders
And lifts my chin
I felt I should see
Then I lift my eyes
And all is born again.” [P 39]
In a beautiful poem, ‘Where would you like the Wind to take you?’, the poet beseeches the wind :
“Can you take me O wind to that sacred land,
On Baisakhi day, in the tent on the hill,
Where I can see my Guru’s face,
Bow to Him, take the gravel from His feet
And touch it to my forehead?
I shall then be magically blessed!”[p. 57]
The section devoted to Roseate Sonnets, is indeed beautiful. Roseate Sonnet is a form invented by Dr Ampat Koshy, an internationally reputed academic- critic- poet, who has altered the sonnet form, making a hybrid of it, with the last quatrain being an acrostic for Rose. It is indeed heart-warming that Satbir Chadha adheres to particular forms with great panache and still manages to do justice to poetry, which vibrates with myriad emotions. All her poems have something different to offer which enchant and keep us riveted.
The Roseate Sonnets in this collection- nine in number – are beautiful in form, and heart- warming in content. In one of the sonnets in the last quatrain, she writes poignantly, the four lines steeped in positivity.
“Rise then I’m told it’s the only way to be
Often we are hurt and struck by destiny
Still to be alive and be able to smile
Even a child’s soft hands can deep wounds heal.”
The book also has acrostics based on the poet’s name, tankas and a long dialogue poem, [with Alzheimer’s as its theme], which brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.
A book for keeps, simple but powerful.
A must read for all poetry lovers.
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