Ratnaprabha Raykar’s book ‘A Tryst With my Thoughts’ is a collection of thirty-three poems on a variety of topics. Each poem is unique; the subjects range from loss and longing to nature’s beauty, from patriotic tributes to contemporary issues, and from motherhood to raising children.
The author mentions in her heartfelt introduction that poetry is catharsis for her, and a personal tragedy triggered her to express her pent-up emotions. Her words are rooted in reality and flow beautifully. There is a simplistic elegance to the author’s writing which touches the heart and makes us yearn for more.
She sets the tone with her opening poem, ‘Thoughts’ in which she compares thoughts to an errant schoolchild. This poem is rich with metaphors and raises questions on the nature of thoughts and their consequences.
Her poems on nature praise the beauty of mundane things in life, like the rain, the beauty of a garden, or a delicate Jasmine creeper.
‘The Jasmine rises like Persephone, nothing stops its nonchalant rise.’
I loved the subtle reference to Greek mythology and the apt comparison of the creeper with Persephone.
There is a dream-like quality to the author’s writing. The poem ‘On a cloud’ is a testament to it. The poem is deep-rooted in reality, where the cloud leaves the author behind, with nothing in her grasp, and she compares it with ever-fleeting success.
My favourite poem in this book is ‘My Princess’. This is the most emotional piece in this collection.
‘I started seeing my Princess in the nightingale
Whenever I heard its melody
I felt as if my Princess was visiting me.’
These lines capture so much wistfulness and sorrow-they had me tearing up. If poetry touches one’s heart and soul, then this is one of the finest poems I have read.
Equally touching was ‘My Dad’. Having undergone loss myself, I could resonate with these lines that tugged at my heart and left an ache behind.
I searched in vain for pictures of my Dad,
I found him painted in the hearts of people.
Yet another poignant poem is ‘A Peshwari Mum’s Cry’, written in the aftermath of the Peshawar massacre. The poem is successful in capturing the utter disbelief and shock of a mother who sends her son to school thinking it is any other normal day. The towel in his bathroom is still wet. Haunting words.
I admire the author’s range – be it when she describes the beauty of a Ravi Varma collection or when she describes Venice or at Madame Tussauds.
The closing poem in this collection is ‘In the aftermath of Corona’ where the author echoes the question on everyone’s lip but in her inimitable poetic style.
When would Corona disappear?
Leaving behind an empty space,
To be refilled with life.
A gem of a book for poetry lovers that appreciate poems written with simplistic elegance and yet high on emotional content. This is a tryst that I enjoyed, that will stay with me for a long time.
Buy the book here: