Shades of Love and Life: By N.M.Leepsa
Leepsa, N.M. (2012). Shades of Love and Life, Cyberwit.net, pages 117, Rs 200 (US$15), ISBN 978-81-8253-338-7
This anthology of eighty poems is the maiden venture by a young lass for whom writing the book was like long journey stretched over a period of five years. These are all love poems. But though written in the first person they are not autobiographical for the poet is not in love with anyone; she is love with love. So she had tried to capture the bliss and sorrow, hope and despair, thrill and pain of being in love. The poems are addressed to loved one but the object is not a man in all poems, Nor God, the eternal beloved of mystic poets. In many poems like “My Love You Never Knew My Love”, “I Don’t Like When She...”, “I Like When She”, “I Am Sorry”, “I Apologise”, “Never Got Again”, “She Pretends”, “Waiting Eyes”, “Do Not Hide Yourself”, “Oh Lady In Forest Green”, “Sleeping Beauty”, etc man is the lover and woman is the beloved. What a person in love feels, undergoes, expects and experiences and the changing moods of mind in that state are the shades of love and also of life for love and life are inseparable. As the poet states in the preface the poem attempts to express the emotions, feelings and thoughts of all those persons who have spent some part of their life in the world of love. I shall briefly comment upon this attempt, as made out in many of the poems.
In the “The Moment You Looked At Me” an attempt is made to capture a life span in a moment. “Tree of Love “ is a pensive poem in which shattered hopes nourished over years and the resulting frustration , are personified as a tree destroyed by storm. “I Wrote Your Name In My Heart” describes what it feels to be in love and the fond and foolish things one does in that state of mind. Similar is the poem “She Hides From You”. “In The Tranquil Hours of Night” depicts the pangs of separation and desertion. In “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not...”, and also in “I Wish You Would Be Mine” the poet describes the doubt, anxiety and agony of being in love with fickle lover, who many finally betray. The mother instinct surfaces occasionally in the mind of a woman in love and this brought out in “Hearing the Silence” and in “I Would Like to Confess”, the love pours out the despair of loving knowing that love cannot culminate in belonging and yet revels in being in love. “May You Smile Forever” is a poem with a difference depicting love as friendship and goodwill for and from all, bringing abiding happiness. Similarly “Strange Colours of Emotions” is more about friendship than love. “I Am Sorry” is a poem about the guilt and regret of a betrayer. The next two poems “Forgive Me, My Babe” and “I Apologise” are also written in the same vein, regretful of the hurt caused but holding out a promise to mend and amends. “No More I Love You” is refreshingly different in which the one who loves in vain shows self respect and courage to break away. Unlike other poems “Pray For Me” is not addressed to the loved one but an appeal to a friend to pray for making love fruitful. “The Grave Of My Love” is replete with despair and disillusionment. “The Lost Sun” stands apart from rest. In this the characters are not human beings. But the sun and the earth are symbolised as eternal lovers. “Heartless May” is the only poem in the collection that can be called a nature poem. (There is factual error in this poem “taking a long ride after the rainy season she came to the ground this year” (p. 91). Actually the rainy season comes after May. “Before the rainy reason” would have been correct and appropriate”).
The poems are written mostly in rhymed verse. But strict adherence to rhyme has hampered free and telling expression in some places.
The author had appropriately dedicated the book to all those who have loved someone or are in love with someone or wish to be loved by someone in future. She has become the mouth piece of such people and each poem is an expression of feelings of such person. This is what puts the anthology in a special category.
On the whole this a successful maiden attempt by a young poet and makes enjoyable reading.
*Reviewer: Mrs Chandramoni Narayanaswamy, IAS (Rtd.)
Flat No B-006, Snehalata Apartments,
Vivekananda Marg, Bubaneswar-751002, Odisha (India)
*Author of Book: N.M.Leepsa (PhD, VGSoM, IIT Kharagpur)
At-AE-96 VSS Nagar, Bhubaneswar-751007, Odisha (India)
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