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Love as a Search for Life

Pankhuri Aggarwal's Petals of Reminiscence takes us on a voyage of love

Love as a Search for Life

Sentinel Digital Desk

BOOK REVIEW


"Like footprints in the sand / atomized with the waves/ you came and receded/ away with the current/ in no time." –these are the opening lines of the poetic volume The Petals of Reminiscence : A Step Back in Time with which the young female poet of Jammu made her poetic debut. She is a brilliant Ph.D Research scholar of Jammu University, who did her Masters in English literature. But poetry
is in her vein. In her acknowledgment she sounds humble when she feels that metamorphosis of a variety of thought experienced in real life and to give them a concrete shape of a book of poem following formality is a tough task.

Deep in the heart the experience is both demanding and gratifying. Her inspiration is spontaneous, the call of her own heart as Sidney suggested in one of his sonnets. "Look into thy own heart and write." She had a supporting family which loves poetry and quite naturally she was born with poetic instinct that helped her pen these golden lines and the poetic harvest is the outcome.

Basically a romantic poet with a capacity for bold expressions, the poems create a magic web for the readers especially in the love poems blazing with amorous glitter: "Meeting you was an astral influence / Becoming your flame my array/ Plunging, Raving, hankering/ for your sugary snogs and embraces / was beyond my control" The beloved in the poem feels that the lover is more responsive and reciprocal in emotional vibes : "Your love knew no peripheries, no canons;/ Your tenderness was truly unconditional," and in these suggestions, a reader goes back to the mythological Radha –Krishna love, The note of love has a poignant undercurrent of sadness as the beloved always muses on the parting of the lover which comes as a refrain in each poem, "Although you are gone". One- sided love is tragic and the female voice is here resigned to him. "I will never give up on you / and your love".

Romantic poetry is characterized by nostalgia and we get plenty of it in this book. In one poem she focuses on nostalgic rumination "The gloomiest thing in the world is when you are nostalgic about / the person who used to love you…". The poems all in one constitute an epic flow and are not separated by distinct title. The poems flow silently like a river in spite of the little misunderstanding "I always speak the truth / but you misunderstood/ I never questioned". Here the poet brings in the waiting theme as waiting is romantic. "I envision you sitting /in the vault of heaven" Pure emotional ecstasy prevails, be it the imagination about the future or be it the nostalgic past. Pankhuri is never oblivious of divinity and the providential intervention is portrayed in many a poem in the volume Petals of Reminiscence, justifying the titular significance. The poet herself will recall the trip with her lover down memory lane and even after the parting she imagines God allowed her lover to muse about her "I reckon God permits you ample amount of time/ to muse about me."

The volume has one hundred one poems and all through the poetic sojourn the poet continues her passionate engagement reminding us of the shades of Tagore's Gitanjali .The concluding poem maintains the same tenor: "I would rather share a lifespan with you than spend all the ages of this globe on my own." All that the beloved craves for is "one warm hold'.

When one is in love one cannot fall asleep, the reason is that reality is better than the dreams. Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to the one's own. F.Scott Fitzgerald once described the depth of love "You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest and most beautiful person I have ever known and even that is an understatement". This deep love makes Pankhuri's poems magical. Togetherness is good but even in parting the two souls come closer in their moments of absence. This wonderful feeling is laid bare and our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts. Pankhuri's language has a deceptive simplicity of diction but the images are culled from nature and daily life. When a beloved feels love to be a fairy tale all magical feelings prevail. Expressions matter in lyric poems and Pankhuri writes such lines in abundance "I blow my kisses to paradise / I send them enfolded" . Any reader will feel the power of words. Images of flora and fauna are intertwined with the theme of each poem. When the female voice yearns for choosing a butterfly to embody their love, poetic thought reaches a zenith of passionate dreams. Love makes ordinary humans extraordinary." I was ordinary, but you made me extraordinary" These passionate feelings enable the volume to win a reader's heart. Love gets a new voice, a new tone, a fresh tenor and a deeper nuance. The cognitive and the illogical are mingled into one and the poems in a crescendo reach a great height. The poems are decorated with floral graphics in each page and that added a new dimension to the poems by deepening the lyrical import. BlueRose Publishers had done a good job by promoting a poet like Pankhuri.

It is hoped this debut will take Pankhuri to a wider poetic panorama. Pankhuri was a brilliant student of Delhi Public School at Jammu and alumnus of 2009 batch. Her parents Rakhi and Rajesh Aggarwal arranged her book to be enlisted for Vidhaan Sabha Library at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She is a gold medalist in English literature and completed her M.Phil with outstanding grades. The book has also been shortlisted to be placed in London Book Fair and in the Oxford Library, New Delhi. While delving deep into the mysteries of love, the poems take the reader to the candid sessions on life and its true purpose when the big question looms large in the book "Why do we need connections"?

Like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Pankhuri too counted diverse ways to love the same person and in the process she gains insight , experience and wisdom of life.


Book :The Petals of Reminiscence: A Step Back in Time

Author : Pankhuri Aggarwal

Publisher : BlueRose Publishers

Price : Rs. 185/-

Cover Designer : Ankur

Dr Bookaholic from the City of Joy


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