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Book review: 'Drizzle Little Drops of Poetry' by Shalini Samuel
Drizzle Little Drops of Poetry, is a collection of poems on traditional as well as non-conventional themes like God, prayer, angels, King's princess, Krishna, Rock Heart, Cinematic Wish, Recycling, Tagging, Fake Friendships, etc.

This is Shalini Samuel's third book after Singing Soul and The Painted Life…Verses that Breathe. Unlike 'The Painted Life' in which the poet registers her civilized protest against everyday forms of injustice, violence, cruelty, hatred, torture, there is a little shift in her thought processes which seem to have only matured or become part of life's existential reality. Those feelings, however, keep her engrossed and connected to the past while the new ones crop up with every passing day.

Drizzle: Little Drops of Poetry

Shalini Samuel, Raindrops Company Publications, Bangalore, 2017

ISBN 9788193365120, 72+ Pages, Rs 200

Reviewed by Manzar Imam

Some of Shalini Samuel's earlier poems like Trail, Dowry, Candy Crush, Forest Conservation, Disaster Relief and specially Old Barter from her previous book The Painted Life (2016) still ring in my ears as I read yet another excellent collection. It is difficult to gauge the depth of feelings any human being has, still more difficult is to fathom the feelings of a poet.

The life each one of us lives is different and therefore, realizing the true sense of musings of a poet becomes hard. Yet, the objective of a poet is not necessarily to understand the exact background of his/her work but to relate it to one's own circumstances. In that meaning, Shalini's poetry can touch millions of lives and it can be related to myriads of issues that each one of us confronts at the crossroads of life.

Shalini acknowledges that in her own poetic style: Without readers, for whom would I write, Without Nature and its play, what would I muse upon, Without you, how would I become a poet.

As Pramila Khadun writes in her Foreword while terming her as 'versatile' that Shalini adds a rich dimension to poetry with many hard-hitting truths. These truths get reflected more prominently in a number of poems in this collection which I consider an advanced version of her previous book.

Re-visiting the past is not easy because it evokes memories as William Wordsworth once remarked: The things which I have seen, I now can see no more. With technological advancements, the pace of change has taken an unprecedented speed, the example of which cannot be found in the past centuries. Also, with almost same speed, new issues generate with new sets of challenges. This mood can be observed in Shalini's poetry as well. Rock Heart, Recycling, The tag and Fake Friends can be cited as best examples.

The USP of her poetry lies in seeing the changes of modern day life and correlating them to human experiences to raise issues that concern the larger society. In Cinematic Wish, she precisely does the same:

He wraps her in a transparent cloth

Leaving little, hidden above skin

His lustful camera reveals her curves

Publicly auctioning her beautiful skin

Lyrics and dialogue digs and spreads filth

The viewer's hormones, his gold mine

Let we respect or admire her beautiful face

Instead,

A mere showpiece she becomes.

Shalini's themes cover a range of issues that are discussed in social gatherings, soirées and public fora. In Differently Blessed the poet's anger is as high as the sky while in Wage her spirit is as gloomy as a dark dull night. I have a personal liking for Why do I write? but Cacophony is my favourite. Here are the last lines:

Look beyond

I will show you beauty

Nature at her best

Tranquil and sublime is she

Acquaint with her

And then life will be a symphony

Not a cacophony.

The Drizzle with beautiful 72 drops of poetry, to borrow the phrase from the book's sub-caption, makes for an interesting reading and adds yet another beautiful feather to the growing oeuvre of Shalini's poetry, a reservoir of knowledge, inspiration, love and wisdom.

Manzar Imam is a Ph.D. scholar at the Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia and is also doing an online research-oriented programme of the University of Notre Dame. He divides his time between writing and research and follows his heart to celebrate India's rich diversity.

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