I love hoarding books. And if a book has been signed by the author himself, it becomes part of my cherished items, a treasure for life; something I will mention in my will, to be handed over to my husband and future children when I leave the world for my heavenly abode. Am sure every book lover will identify with my emotions related to books and my love for amassing them. I felt and experienced all these emotions once again when the courier boy handed over a specially signed copy to me. Well, this time the feeling was a little extra special because the book made sure that I did something that I had not done for decades. I hadn’t read a book in Hindi after school days (thank god they didn’t make us study languages in college), and I rarely read the Hindi newspapers that did the rounds between my parents, back at home. My last reminiscence of reading Hindi articles was whenever my nanaji (maternal grandfather) asked me to read something aloud to him!Chitakte Kaanchghar: The wonderful work of Amit Agarwal #Hindi #Poetry @amitaag Click To Tweet
So, when I opened the packet and held the crisp and fresh smelling book in my hand (all book lovers would understand the ‘smell’ part of it), I was overwhelmed. Amitji was going to force me to read Hindi and pleasantly so because through his blogging site, he had already made me a big fan of his Hindi poems, especially the Haikus. Given the fact that I love writing Haikus myself, the same genre in Hindi, that too of such intense nature was a sheer delight to the eyes and the heart!
I met Amitji through Indiblogger – and we became good friends. Mutual admiration for fellow writers is a common thing, especially between those who share great regard and love for the written word and it wasn’t surprising that Amitji became a household name for us. So when I heard that his book of poems was going to be published I felt so proud, almost as if my own book (which is still floating somewhere in the Universe) was going to see the light of day! A most gratifying moment indeed, that Amitji even held me worthy of sending a signed copy for me!
Am sure you must be wondering why I took three months to write about something that pleased me so much. Well, the answer is simple – it was in Hindi and I wanted to take my time to read each line and understand and relish it. To be honest it wasn’t simple because it also involved Urdu and there were many a time when I had to ask mom and my husband for the meaning of those words; to ensure that I could fully appreciate every syllable. There is so much depth in each poem – be it a two-liner, four-liner or a longer poem; that I felt the need to enjoy it in entirety piece by piece (just like I would savour every bite of my favourite paneer dish), rather than rush and spoil the joy.
Amitji’s inspiration comes from his mother who is an incredible poetess and pioneered Hindi Haiku in the early eighties. It is no wonder that poetry flows in Amitji’s blood and is so much a part of his DNA. Also, both his parents were college professors and that helped keep the love for literature alive and burning. The one thing that completely fascinates me about his poems – in the book as well those on his blog is that each one of them is a reflection of him and his persona. He loves experimenting and is a seeker who doesn’t follow any rituals or norms. Amitji is also a nature lover who is drawn towards the mystique, abstract and enigmatic; and his poetry is full of enigma too. He is an ardent lover of nature which is echoed in the numerous verses written by him. That depth of his art reveals his personality if you listen carefully to what he is saying. The lines are hard-hitting and one senses loneliness despite being surrounded by people. The little that I have known of him, he does come across as someone who is an introvert, lonely and sad at heart and his work discloses that side of him, if you can appreciate the profundity of his words.
The book is divided into three distinct parts – Life, Grief and Gratitude. The poems in each section are very charming and separation as a subject is more prominent than togetherness. Of particular interest to me are the love poems written by him, where the focus is on ‘you’ and not ‘me’. That to me is a beautiful thought, because more often than not, a lonely sad heart talks about himself and not the other person. But Amitji has taken it to another dimension and every line has a deep meaning attached to it. The poems are enchanting, enigmatic and tastefully done, providing just the right flavour. To some they may seem like chocolate-dipped sweet strawberries while some may feel that it was the bitterest flavour of dark chocolate. Whatever your preference, the book promises to appeal to the senses of all those who possess a poetic bent of mind and are hungry and open to savouring new aroma and new taste.
What fascinates me most about Amitji himself, is that his zest for writing did not die down despite a twenty five year long career stint in the corporate world. One knows how draining a path it is and only a serious passion for something can ensure an unstinting dedication towards it. That Amitji continued his writing journey through his blog and then very recently in his published work – ‘Chitakte Kaanchghar’ is an admirable feat. His commitment and perseverance are unmatched and I am honoured to be associated with such a talented poet. Currently, apart from writing he is also involved in the field of education through his own company. We wish Amitji all the success that he deserves and is worthy of; for doing the good deed of writing a literary magnum opus in Hindi.
You could buy the book using the following links: