Book review | Solitude And Other Obsessions by Uma, Binod, Trupti, Shruti and Saurin

Authors: Uma Sudhindra, Binod Kumar Panda, Trupti Kalamdani, Dr. Shruti Arabatti and Saurin Desai

Genre: Poetry 

No. of pages: 118

Published by: Notion Press 

Published on: 23rd August 2017

Format: Paperback 

My rating: ★★★★☆

We are a species fueled by obsessions. Every human achievement, and every infamy, is the result of an obsession that tormented, possessed and consumed. This is a selection of poetry about solitude and other obsessions that have distracted, driven, destroyed and / or defined us. Spanning genres, styles, emotions, time & place, these works by a collective of 5 poets are a glimpse into the obsessions that have become us.

What is it about poetry that makes you contemplate about life? I have always thought that poetry is something mysterious. It always comes with hidden clues and codes that you have to crack in order to understand it. Once you crack it... Voila! The deepest secrets of the universe are out in front of your eyes.

Solitude and Other Obsessions is a compilation of 73 poems by 5 poets. One will have to decode the poems of these 5 poets and when you do it you'll know that life has more meaning than you ever could think of.

The poets are Uma Sudhindra, Binod Kumar Panda, Trupti Kalamdani, Dr. Shruti Arabatti and Saurin Desai. Each of the poets have their very own unique style of portraying their feelings and views. Also, they have very distinctive things to talk about. So in an all, the poets cover all the necessary sentiments one can think of. Like Uma Sudhindra talks vividly about an army man's life and tales of the picturesque Ladakh; Binod Kumar Panda muses about the various segments of life; Trupti Kalamdani (her poems are my favourite) talks about prejudice and various social issues through a very unique storytelling style; Dr. Shruti Arabatti speaks of dreams, ambitions and death; and Saurin Desai projects his feelings about unrequited love, solitude and he also spares his views on freedom of the media (through his touching poem about the infamous incident in Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris).

My personal favourites from the book are Life In A Metro, Snap, The Fraternal Bond,Truly Yours, Wedding Bells, B4 The After, The End, Moonshine and Alcohol On Prescription.

Uma Sudhindra grew up in an army environment. After a decade-and-half of corporate life, she became an entrepreneur and has remained one. She loves books, music, travel & the Armed Forces. Her entrepreneurial venture Go Magic Trails reflects her passion for travel and experiencing the new & unique.

She's co-founded I'm Every Woman, an NGO for women empowerment. Their flagship initiative, DURGA India, has worked tirelessly with communities, corporates & government to create safer spaces for women & children.

Binod Kumar Panda is the classic mix of left-brain, right-brain. Gregarious and charming, he's an engineer and MBA with a hugely successful corporate, entrepreneurial and consulting career.

His school and college years though were spent in the company of solitude and like-minded friends that resulted in thought provoking poetry.

Trupti Kalamdani is a mechanical engineer by profession who investigates stresses developed on an aircraft body at work; while at home, releases her stress by penning down a few lines.

Her tryst with poetry started during her school days, when she expressed her undying love for cricket in the form of a poem. Over the years, her limericks have grown into full bodied verses. A closet poet for years, she is finally out and exploring different platforms to share her work.

Her poems have been published in literary journals like efiction India, Taj Mahal Review and Coffee Shop Poems. She is also a regular performer at ""Let Poetry Be"" events at Atta Galatta.

Dr. Shruti Arabatti comes with a mature head over drooping arms and a mind ticking faster than an exploding bomb. Like her namesake, she is an orchestrated person living in a discordant cadence. She manages to hit all the right notes amidst all the gobbledygook yelping by her adorable preschooler.

Saurin Desai's first love led to a roaring affair that's ongoing now since nearly 30 years. At the innocent age of 8 he met a comic book that whacked him on the head (pun intended) and he fell heels-over-head, literally (pun not intended).

But being commitment-phobic, he had a couple of dalliances: with engineering, jobs & businesses, before succumbing to the seduction of the writer's life and giving up everything to become lazier than he ever was.

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I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 


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