Book title – Under the apple boughs (a volume of poetry)
Publisher – Authors Press Pages – 234 Language – English
Author – Dr Santosh Bakaya
Price – ₹ 495/- for the paperback
Available on – Amazon
‘Under the apple boughs’ is exactly what it promises to be – a volume of poetry that you wish you could read sitting under an apple bough in the scenic land of Kashmir. Prefaced by Bob Dylan’s iconic song – blowing in the wind – this book is a compilation of poems, nay, it is a compilation of emotions that blow in the wind like dandelion seeds, seeking and searching for the elusive land that calls to their heart.
The book is subdivided into four sections – memory shards, crippled rhyme, nature sings a symphony and O’ Africa.
Memory shards – This section contains poems that speak of childhood, childhood homes, escapades, interests and also the people who made childhood so wonderful. This section is a bubbling brook that sings a rhapsodic melody which stabs, yes, stabs, at the heart for so poignant is the effect that it has on one. It douses one in memorable remembrances.
//There is dust on the embossed spleen of the book of memories, I rub it clean! Sighs escape my lips, as I flip over the pages; locked scents escape as though from cages//.
Crippled rhyme – This section contains poems that make one delve deep into the nature of the human race. As one reads, one is forced to grapple with the half-truths that humans surround themselves in, in order to escape the full-frontal attack of the truth. This section sings odes to underprivileged children, labourers, old people, poverty, hope, peace and a plethora of other things that should be noticed and is yet so conveniently brushed aside.
//Peace is a mockingbird singing from a tree but alas, goes into hiding when the Goliaths come riding, riding, striding on their high horses of megalomania vain//.
Nature sings a symphony – ah, the glorious sounds of nature that one can hear and feel but, if only one takes a pause, stops and revels in the offerings. For how else can you hope to admire the flap of wings, the blue of the water, the look of dawn, the sound of silence, the fireflies, the muteness of the loquacious owl, and a multitude of other things? This section of the book is like immersing oneself in nature. It is not about reading but about closing your eyes and feeling the wonderful imagery that the poet paints.
//There is a grasshopper in my window sill perched with an air of expectancy so still//.
O’Africa – the poems in this section were written during the poet’s sojourn in Accra, Ghana. They are as raw and as parched as the land of the country. They flow with angst and yet sing an ode to the marvellous fortitude of the women of the country. They extol their strength to overcome harsh realities and yet find dream-like happiness. These few poems are like a kaleidoscopic view of the country, its people and the emotion that the poet feels for the place.
//Your glowing skin speaks the language of love, of hope of diligence immense. Your untiring hands wield the ladle, your child snug in a cloth tied to your back, serving as a cradle//.
All in all, this is a beautiful book of poetry that dips you in variegated emotions.