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A Dream Peddler Extraordinaire – “Love, Loss & Acceptance” through my eyes :)

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This one has been writing itself a long long long time 🙂 Since about March this year! I hesitate to call it a review; let’s just say it is my perspective of Shail Mohan’s debut publication, an Anthology of her verse, titled “Love, Loss & Acceptance“.

“March??” you say, almost horrified that I attempt such a task all of nearly six months later! Ahem. Errrmmm… yes. I hang my head in utter despondency. You see, I did so want to do it earlier, but well… I got busy with stuff. All kinds of stuff that terrify teachers at the end of School year, and stuff that terrify parents when their offspring is about to get married. You do get the picture don’t you? My excuse is watertight! 😛 😛

Sigh. No, it really isn’t. But we’ll let that be, won’t we Shail? I know you understand, and that is what matters finally!

Disclaimer: This is not a book review :D. I don’t do book reviews, because I really do not know how to! I give them as assignments, and am impressed by the kids who do it so easily 🙂 But me? I’m terrified of them. So please do not take me to task over the mechanics or format of the genre ok? This here is intensely personal 🙂
Alert: This is going to be a LONG post. Be warned 😀

“Love Loss & Acceptance” by Shail Mohan is a collection of her verse. It has three sections, one each for Love, Loss and Acceptance. About 58 poems in all 🙂

The front and back cover, designed by her son 🙂

It has that touch-it-as-tangible-as-it-can-get sense of achivement for anyone, who has dreams to peddle, muses to satisfy, who revels in the myriad expressions of the one emotion that encompasses all – Love; whose acceptance takes one beyond life; whose loss is perhaps the ultimate in agony that borders on an ecstasy.

Right from her little verse to her muse:

Each flower, each leaf
all the prickly thorns
I lay at your feet,
with the same emotion 
and devotion 
of a love celestial…

her offering is so unconditional, so complete, and you know right then, you are in for a treat!

LOVE

Having been an “English” student through B.A., and subsequent courses, and even now as a supposed Teacher (learner more like it 😛 ) I’ve been fascinated by poetry more than prose; the way poets string emotions, intangibles, and thread them, weave them with such dexterity and honesty – to tell a truth, or embellish a lie. No, contrary to the norm that in order to appreciate poetry you need to have an in depth knowledge of the form, from Chaucer, to perhaps Bob Dylan, or even Eminem, one need not be (and I must confess that I am NOT) a “well-read” person, not in that sense! I love what experiences any verse gives. And I say all of this to underscore what Shail’s verse means to me. I love the way she thinks (the way I see how she thinks, ie! ), how she transforms her thoughts into the tangible quality of her verse – and makes it as delicious and palatable, allowing us to gorge on it, as “Melted Chocolate” ! 😀 (Page 20). That one has to rate as of my favourites in the book! You do actually melt into a puddle of sheer mush and chocolate! Loverrrly!

On a different tangent, there is the déjà vu I sense, most times in her verse: this on “From Afar”

Who are you stranger?
Have we met before?
Why does it seem
I have known you since long?

And when I read “The knot“, I am overcome by a chill. Still, that too is Love!

And the poignant note continues, this time staccato as well, in “You“. Love hurts, and heals.

Sand in my shoes” is a perfect fairytale – one that plays out each day, I know, for a lot of peope! I so so so love this poem!  You must absolutely read that one, if you haven’t, yet! (Psssst… go and get the book, asap, if you haven’t, from here:

Flipkart

Infibeam

Indiaplaza

It’s worth it! )

And there is more: “Dreams“. Sigh.
Stolen Moments” Sigh. Again. (a few new lines/into an old story,/already published...)
The last poem in this section “Ultimate Freedom” (Love), is perhaps the most touching of all, for me. Love is there, limitless, yet bound and finite – what more can suffocate? It is a bitter sweet reminder that love is passionate, it is warm, but is also possessive, and seeks to bind.

LOSS:

Where there is love, you can be sure loss or heartbreak enters the picture sooner than later, writes Shail. There are twenty different ways in which she portrays the utter loss of, sometimes, a feeling, a person, a negation of all that has been, of love, in what ever form it had chosen to be…

The coldness of loss sets in right from the strange sadness that envelops one with the first of the poems here, “The Search“, searching for the reason, and not finding it! Loss, isn’t that how it is?
And then the pain pours out through “Echoes“, showing its tenacity in the next poem, “Frail Spontaniety“.  “Captive Love” is yet another, where utter loss just does not let you be!

Aren’t we always promised so much by Love? And while many do get most of it, somewhere down the line, the hand that held yours, suddenly slips slips away! You walk the way, alone. “I have been there before“, that is what it speaks to me of.
The Wilted bloom“, along with the theme of Love goes on to consistent form in verse: a noun+verb combination in each line. And that too, without seeming unnatural! No mean feat that!
When pain gets very intense, it becomes deadweight and frozen. “Frozen Tears“, quite starkly brings one this experience.

When a person writes in the first person “I”, a reader tends to make assumptions 🙂 and then is intrigued by possibilities! So also with “Don’t Come Closer” – I know I connect so very much with this poem! 🙂

ACCEPTANCE

Acceptance most times is indeterminate in its honesty. Sometimes you do accept because you have no choice. Sometimes, because you understand. Sometimes because you want to, and move on. The many overtones of that one ability is what Shail brings to us here. There is poignancy, there is despair too, but there is an honesty in all of the verse here that touches deep. The pleasure that love has been, and though now not there, still there exists an optimism in meeting with Love again. “Broken Bits” speaks that way, to me.

My love, please tread softly
Don’t step on them harshly
The broken fragments carry
Dreams I held closely.

And “Baubles” , precious notions strung together! In “Time to go” I find again, the pain and the acceptance of the loss:

though I still love you so
and it breaks my heart
it is now time to go
my sweetheart

There is gentleness too; the quiet hush that cloaks a steely pain- how easy it is to leave another bereft. And how endless is the pain even in its acceptance! “Beneath the tree (acceptance)“:

Beneath the tree
by the gently flowing river
Where you left me to move on
I stand my love…

As with any kind of savouring, I have left the best for last. My absolute favourite in the entire collection has to be this one: THE DREAM PEDDLER. And that is why I have appropriated its title into the title of this post too. This poem literally, figuratively comes alive all shimmer and gossamer texture, sweet and sad, in its brilliant concept itself!

As always, Shail is stickler for a good proof read copy, and this book is that, right through. Her sense of rhyme is impeccable, and natural. Choice of words, perfect again! I know she can take any set of three random words, and in an instant weave a verse for you to enjoy. Metaphors and similes, not to mention vivid imagery, these are her fine tuning tools! Such is her talent. Such is she 🙂

For me, Shail is a dream peddler 🙂 I have said so, in the introduction to the book I was asked to write. I am deeply honoured by that Shail, and I do want you to know that, yet again 🙂 . Thank you too, for a personally autographed copy! That is one to treasure always! The first book I have, personally autographed by its writer 🙂 It’s already 1400 words long, but then, WT heck, I’ve got a disclaimer in place; and I had a wonderful time writing it out too… a lot of it scribbles with pencil and paper, on writing pad, and her book itself, and some that came pouring out of the keystrokes 🙂

Thank you Shail! And now I am looking forward to your book of short stories! That promises to be just as, if not more wondrous!

14 September 2012

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Author: Usha Pisharody

A rambler, pretends to be a teacher, loves to dream, and go on Quixotic Quests in the Realm of Romance With Life...

36 thoughts on “A Dream Peddler Extraordinaire – “Love, Loss & Acceptance” through my eyes :)

  1. Sounds like a wonderful collection, hope I can get my hands on a copy someday.

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    • Thank you for writing in Deenu 🙂 I remember your beautiful verse too, from college! I hope you too are in touch with the poet within 🙂 And I do hope you will share 🙂 I’ve got a couple of yours’ in my collection of precious stuff, and with your permission, am going to share them here 🙂 🙂 Or on FB 🙂
      But yes, you should get a copy of Shail’s collection. It strums chords inside, it really does! Thanks again, Deenu!

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  2. Pingback: A Dream Peddler Extraordinaire – “Love, Loss & Acceptance” through my eyes :) | Shail's Nest

  3. Ush, I was about to go to sleep when my cell phone said I had a notification on FB. I couldn’t resist taking a peek. There it was, Usha had tagged me in a post, it said. When I saw the title of the post, I simply had to read it! So ’twas ‘goodbye sleep’ for some time after that, when I tweeted your post and tried to reblog it (and did to the wrong page in my half asleep state! 😦 I should have waited for today morning. Anyway, I used the WordPress feature of ‘press this’!
    Since last night, I have actually been floating around. I swear my bed looks unslept, the sheet all neat and unwrinkled. (Somebody please bring me back to Earth! One red brick flung my way would do) 🙂 Now I HAVE to write those short stories. You have motivated me! 🙂
    Your analysis of each poem leaves me amazed. Not very surprisingly perhaps, the way you see how I think is indeed the way I thought while penning them. 🙂
    Thank you Usha for…. everything, ….being you, most of all. Hugs and love. 🙂

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    • It took me this long to be free of my chores and hop over to your blog!

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    • Shail 🙂 Awww… thank you, first of all, for sharing and taking that initiative to go ahead and publish! You don’t know how inspiring that is! And for the beauty of your verse… 🙂 And letting me be an infinitesimal part of it happening!

      Most of all, thank you for accepting this, as is (I know I could have done a better job, but with my present condition… 🙂 🙂 well…! ) and for being you. Love and hugs to you too!

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  4. This is a beautiful non-review 🙂

    //Beneath the tree
    by the gently flowing river
    Where you left me to move on
    I stand my love…//
    Moved me… and look forward to reading her collection of fiction. Publish it Shail!!

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  5. Lovely review. Now I have to read the poems. Sorry Shail, I have the book, just not finding the time to read ….

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  6. I will be picking this up for sure. I did not, so far, because I doubt my ability to understand poetry, although here are pieces I’ve loved, but I suspect that is because of the wonderful teachers who interpreted it for me:)

    But after reading this, I have to pick up Shail’s book.

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    • Smitha, thank you for being here. Many people I know find it difficult to get beyond the thought of reading poetry for fear of not being able to appreciate it. But the real story is quite different 🙂 Even with stuff you might find weird, let your heart take over… the senses, and your own experiences with life… anything! That, it always works!
      I really have not read much (just enough to get past the dreaded pass mark in exams 😛 ), and even later found it difficult to go back to some exasperating pieces, because of a mental block. Well, it all comes around, sometimes, when you find THAT very piece, the one you need to “teach” in a class of 50 almost teenagers, who are quite quite bored. You THEN begin to learn. And appreciation sure as hell follows :D!
      But then, the saving grace is that I love poetry. So, it works ok most of the time!
      Thanks again Smitha. Sorry for going on and on like that 😀

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      • I love reading your comments/posts:) You say so much that makes sense. When I was in school, we had a book of poems, Panorama, if I remember correctly, and I used to really like some of the poems. Not all were in our syllabus, but I used to enjoy some that were not as well. But still have a mental block, I have no idea why. But, I will pick this up for sure.

        Btw, I always read your posts, just seem to be out of time these days to comment- despite doing nothing productive:)

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        • Smitha, as one who writes verse, I myself have a mental block about reading poetry. So I truly empathize with you 😉 🙂

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        • Thank you Smitha 🙂 Panorama? I studied that too (ICSE? you too?) , and still have a dog-eared copy of it with me 🙂 With loads of scribbles in the margin, and favourite poems bookmarked! Loved English back then too, because of a wonderful teacher we had.
          I know about that mental block very well too 🙂 We had to study T S Eliot, that Maestro of verse. Contemporary and abstract as hell. Even today, I find it difficult to digest a lot of it, though I know if I were to scratch the surface and really dig in, I would. Mental block! 😀

          Shail 🙂 et tu? But then how? You write some the most beautifully simple yet profound and tangible poetry I have read 🙂 Well, I guess it is like that sometimes!

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        • I too read panorama , I am sure Smitha we have had this conversation earlier too 🙂

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        • and USHA mam you have a COPY OF IT .. woooo hooooooooooo .. I WANT IT 🙂 I have lost y copy 😦 .. good old school days ..

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  7. I need to get hold of this book and then gate crash Shail mam’s house to get it signed 🙂

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    • Jaldi karo Bikram. I will introduce you to Luci 😀

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    • Bikram, do get hold of it, and go on and meet up with Luci too! You are going to lose your heart to her, for sure 🙂
      Panorama, yes, I still have it, tattered, and much thumbed and warmly wrinkled on the edges, just as a much loved book should be 🙂 Sorry to hear you lost your copy! It is one precious Anthology!
      Thank you for being here!

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  8. A very thoughtful appreciation. Glad it was long..some of the best drinks are tall..and I too would love to have the book.

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  9. That the review was a perfect fit
    to the reviewer and the reviewee I give credit
    that it enthralled me. a self certified dimwit
    and that is the LONG and SHORT( I am not referring to you at all Shail) of it.

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    • Govind, it indeed a delight to read your wit
      No matter that you consider yourself a dimwit
      That you are not in the least, I must admit
      And thank you for the verse, the long and short of it 😀

      As always, admiring your quatrain, I sit 🙂

      Thank you so much, Govind!
      (And of course, you were not referring to Shail at all 😀 )

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