Lakshmi Vekatachalam’s poems use simple and colourful words to plumb the depths of felt experiences that range from a deep insight of everyday routine to the realms of desires and dreams. Dr Jameela Begum reviews Of Hope and Faith & Other Poems.
Lakshmi Venkatachalam’s maiden collection of poems titled Of Hope and Faith & Other Poems is a beautiful evocation of thoughts and emotions intricately webbed together in the crucible of life and living, hope and faith. Here is a thought provoking collection of poems that have a wide range of themes and experimentations with form and images.
Lakshmi’s poems use simple and colourful words to plumb the depths of felt experiences that range from a deep insight of everyday routine to the realms of desires and dreams. As a poetess deeply conscious of the tragic in life she finds her relief in hope and faith. These get translated for her in the poems where nature at the window intrudes and soothes her. The nest of eggs at her doorstep is a beacon of hope and joy to come. Lakshmi is both romantic and realistic in her approach to life.
Her poems bring alive memories that tie her to her childhood and her home through her metaphors of the betel nut box and the easy chair. Rooting herself in her past she travels the journey of her ancestral grandmothers to herself and the generations of daughters to follow. Human relationships, like that of the son caught between the mother and wife, portraits in the house that speak to her, are beautifully crafted in simple yet heavily loaded imagery.
One of her best poems is titled ‘Whorls of Words within Me’ where she says “my heart an oven of sizzling thoughts” rightly describe the effusion and crowding of thoughts that come tumbling out in her poems. In the poem ‘Time’s Winged Chariot’, she says “My Time is a circle or ball/ Spinning on its axial pole. The past, present and future lie in our perception…we mortals, dance our steps of life/ To the tunes of love and strife.” Her approach to life is very positive and in many of her poems this idea is projected with sharpness and insight.
This is a collection of poems she can rightly be proud of and I hope that this will be a forerunner for the many more to follow. I wish her all the best.
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