The book of poetry by Maitreyee was different when I first saw it, the empty boats on the cover and talking about a place and not any characters. My interest was piqued and as I turned the pages and read through the first few pages I realised that the characters were there, not one or two but a whole lot of them.
This book talks in poetry and in its lyrical language tells the story of all of us.
It is not the story of just a city called Benaras but of its gods and demons, men and women, inhabitants and visitors; even the children. It is the story of all of us. The people who live there and those pass through.
The author strings together words to make such meaningful sentences; easily nudging us in the direction of all that we hold dear. How pretentious it makes us; how we each think that we are the most sincere, the most pious.
These lines will tell you…….
“You haven’t lived,
Till you’ve lost’
He seems to say-‘Most of all Yourself.”
Small children and adults are just swaying in the rhythm and intoxication of Benaras and its deities; you will need to read the book to know how the author merges the god with its human.
I quote a few lines,
“Habit is a beautiful thing,
Playing God is not.”
The lines are so simply written but express the depth of emotion the author feels.
‘Paagal pan abhi baaki hai kya?’
I read the book in one go and it is a short read but when you ponder over the poetry then you lose yourself in the by lanes and ghats of the city.
“God greets you in his stench,
Pure and full of Bacteria.”
The author talks of all phases, places and times of Ganga and her city. It is a treat for the senses and the mind. I felt that I was visiting the city along with Maitreyee.
There are many more poems to mention but I think then I might quote the book or most of it.
Few of the poems I liked were apart from the book 😉
A Woman called Ganga,
A Concert in Benaras.
Pick up the book for an experience in divinity and how tenuous is our connection.
I recommend it for its emotions.