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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Poetry Review : ‘Satire, Free Thoughts & Other Felonies’ by Balram Cheruparambil

First things first. I am not a poetry aficionado, though of course, I read and admired a few poems when I was at school and college. Therefore, I was in two minds when I first received this book. I did not know how to review a poetry book and therefore I was left to reading up a little on the hows and the whys of reviewing a poetry book. So, here goes nothing...

The book, I was asked to review by the poet, Balram Cheruparambil was called, ‘Satire, Free Thoughts & Other Felonies’. This is the second anthology of this poet who is an Engineering graduate and a Management post graduate. He now heads recruitment for one of the leading companies in the Middle East. His earlier book was titled ‘Reflections’. Now, he writes close to three poems per day, and is trying to highlight on the three Rs; rhyme, rhythm and reason in poetry.

His poems have been divided into three main sections, namely Satire, Free Thoughts and Picture Poetry. The ‘Satire’ segment includes poems such as ‘Self-Improvement’ in which he talks about the various books on improving oneself, and the attraction towards wealth, love and fame, which an individual has. He feels that there is not much to get from all these, but it would give the writers, some money for sure.

Most of the poems have a ‘simplicity’ to them. Few of them such as ‘The Humble Lungi’, ‘The Glorious Air India Express’ ‘Smart and Smarter’ ‘When Mommy’s Away’  and ‘Imp’ are funny too. He does have a sense of humour too, which he lets loose on the reader in these poems.

‘Free Thoughts’ is precisely that. These poems have no particular points, but are pretty much the emotions that a reader might have felt at various points in his life, which are expressed here. It could be in ‘Poetry’, or ‘Unleashed’, ‘Hartal’, ‘Silence’ or even ‘Tolerance’. ‘I Burn’ is a poem, I particularly liked. It spoke of what a dead person could see sand what he felt lying on his pyre. Emotions and confusion are part of the entire experience, in this sombre poem.
Finally, we have Picture Poetry, in which he talks of ‘Opium Dreams’ and ‘Merry Christmas’. I am not a fan on either one, but he does have a thing for colour, ‘pink’ in particular. He expresses himself a lot in pink.

The poetry collection is one I would pick up, especially in days such as these. Every day, we read enough nonsense in the papers, but this book has something else to offer in terms of taking everything with a sense of humour and generous edge of kindness and sympathy.

Poet: Balram Cheruparambil
Publisher: Virgin Leaf Book, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing
ISBN: 9789383562176
Price: India- Rs 95/- 

Elsewhere: US- $4

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