Powerful Poetry : A Review of ‘Roads’

I have a separate page for the books I review but once in a while when some book touches me deeply, I post the review at the main page. As I clicked on the last page of Roads, I thought if a debut book is so good, sky is not the limit for these two budding poets!

51YIQzZ-XTL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_
Amazon link

‘Roads: A Journey With Verses’ by Vandana Bhasin and Smitha Vishwanath is a brilliant collection of poems that talk about life, love and the paths that mold us, values that mentor us, and pay a tribute to the persons who hold our hand through turbulent times to make our journey smoother.

In perfect sync with each other, Smitha’s tenderness is complemented by the exquisite style of Vandana who lashes out at societal norms that fetter us to the threshold, trying to slash our wings to compress us into compartments. Bold and chilling, her poems question the dogma, the exploitation and injustice that have been meekly accepted in the name of parochial diktats. Raising voice against subjugation, she calls upon shedding “the mask” and “darn the rules.”

One of my favorites, ‘Writer vs. Woman’ validates the power that lies dormant within the so-called fragile woman who proudly declares: “Do I need a better armor when words are my defense?” Realism percolates through their words as they capture a thousand emotions with élan. ‘Miss You When You’re Gone’ touches the most precious memories of letting go and breaking free from the stifling love that lingers despite the pride of watching our children soar toward the horizon of their choice. All mothers could relate to the pangs embedded within the words of Smitha.

For a person like me who values emotions and relationships, these poems are heart-warming. Along with tender moments of nurturing love and trust, self-belief, determination and courage stand out to reassure that there is no need to be swayed by the age-old traditions of embracing the defined roles. These poems would tug at your heart; stirring a thousand moments that stand and smile at you, reiterating that roads of life may be arduous yet shimmer with hope and happiness.
© Balroop Singh

This review has also been posted at Amazon.com and Goodreads.

You can click here for more poetry.

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

Thank you for your support. If  you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Gathering Bliss

still-life-715117__340

Those days that are special
Days we cherish
Days that take us back
Into the limber labyrinth of life

Myriad moments come alive
Reviving everlasting memories
Each day reinforces relationships
And bonding that is eternal

I basked in their glory
Revisiting those moments
Savoring smiles of loved ones
Love that has stood the test of time

Garbed in childhood bliss
Reminiscing only the delight
I gathered gossamer grains
Of time, twinkling just for a while.
© Balroop Singh

You can click here for more poetry.

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

Thank you for your support. If  you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Fall and Haiku

Fall haiku

 Fall evokes emotions
It speaks myriad messages of
Beauty, life and re-birth.

I didn’t know what is “Fall” till I saw and discovered its real meaning. I didn’t know Autumn is “delicious” or “ the year’s last, loveliest smile” till I tasted it.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Eliot 

Autumn was just another season for me, a relief from scorching heat. Beauties of Mother Nature were revealed to me when I visited this part of the globe to meet my girls who chose to study in U.S universities. The charm of Bryn Mawr campus captivated me, evoking emotions that melted into words:

Fall haiku

Ochre and crimson
Robes of Mother Nature remind
Decay can be exquisite.

Autumn haiku

Autumn is peeping
Through the sidewalks it smiles
Evoking eloquence.

Fall haiku

Beauty changes connotation
Decay doesn’t decimate it
Gather treasures for posterity.

Year after year, as I watch this beauty now and consider myself blessed to see how mother earth gathers treasures for posterity.

Thank you for your support dear readers. I am travelling this month. See you in December.

More about Fall.

You can click here for more poetry.

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

If  you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Understanding Loneliness and Solitude

pokemon-1553977__340

Loneliness is fast becoming a social phenomenon in modern fast-paced times, with a smart phone in our hands, our elite companion 24/7! We are well-connected but it is cosmetic. Texting has given way to talking. Even couples, who bury their heads into their devices after a day’s work and also have to catch up with their favorite programs, have to plan a vacation to connect with each other.

Loneliness has a direct effect on emotions. It is more stressful than work related problems. You feel isolated and anxious, there is a feeling of disconnect despite people around you; you yearn for companionship, which may be there but you fail to recognize and reach out.

Whether it is self inflicted or caused by other factors, loneliness consumes your emotions slowly, affecting your mental and physical health. You start losing touch with your own family and friends.

When there is a conflict inside, which refuses to subside, you feel your friends are indifferent, you feel forsaken even by your own instincts and intuition, you start feeling lonely. When it starts haunting, when it grows on you, when the abyss keeps gaping at you, you enter a self-carved tunnel, which continues to get cramped if you don’t open up.

If you don’t feel like communicating your feelings, the roots of your loneliness could be deeper:
• Lack of love during childhoodLoneliness 2
• Bullying
• Loneliness experienced during adolescence
• Lack of good friends
• Cold attitude of peers
• Embarrassment
• Failure to communicate
• Lack of trust
• High expectations/ego
• Cynicism

Chasing away loneliness through joy, which is transitory, attending parties, which are mind numbing and drowning yourself in the sea of humanity, which knows nothing about your state of mind, is meaningless.

First and foremost, you must understand that nobody wants you to be lonely. It is your own choice. If you stop trusting your friends, if you don’t want to forgive others, if you fail to overlook little faults of people around you and immerse yourself in the sea of your own thoughts, it will surely drown you.

If you suffer from lowered self-esteem, lack of concentration and anxiety, they are the early signs, which might degenerate into insomnia, dejection and suicidal tendencies.
You must wake up to loneliness before it becomes clinical depression:

1. Shatter that glass ceiling under which you found refuge.
2. Start trusting people around you, all are not alike.
3. Share your feelings and thoughts.
4. Respect your emotions, they need attention.
5. Step out of self-pity. Don’t seek sympathy.
6. Read good books, they never betray.
7. Cultivate a hobby.

Let’s not forget another aspect of loneliness. There comes a time when loneliness spearheads detachment – to begin the inward journey to spirituality and for that we have to traverse the path alone.

However, loneliness should not be confused with solitude, which can be cherished by spending splendid time in the lap of nature, analyzing your own self, starting a journey toward self-healing.

Solitude is the privilege of the few: those who choose to halt, to deflect their attention to savor little moments and try to live within them. They are the ones who have tasted success and realized its futility. They love to spend time with their own self.
“Language … has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”—Paul Tillich

Do you live in the glory of solitude? I am sure everyone experiences those moments of loneliness and solitude. You can share them.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Welcome to Part 2 of “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub #RRBC

the-merest-loss-by-steven-neil

Please welcome Steven Neil, the author of The Merest Loss, a story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Book Blurb:

‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’

Genres:

Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance

THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Meet the author:steven-neil

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Using newspaper articles:

 “I like the idea of using different points of view to provide variety for the reader. The most obvious way to do this is by switching the narrator from, say, an omniscient third person narrator to a character narrator, in the first person. It is also possible to change the tense from past to present and back again. The challenge for the writer is to generate interest and variety rather than confusion. Sometimes it works well, but care needs to be taken. Another way to vary point of view is to use a device like a newspaper article, a review or an exchange of letters or notes to provide additional perspective. In chapter five of The Merest Loss, I used a newspaper review of Harriet Howard’s acting performance, borrowing text from a real London Weekly Chronicle theatre review of the time, thus capturing the style and language of the age and giving the reader a break from the main narrator.” © Steven Neil

Have a look at it:

Chapter Five
Perfect Match
London and Liverpool, England
 1839

 London Weekly Chronicle Saturday 23rdFebruary 1839

 JULIET ENTRANCES
 

This week we were fortunate enough to see the arrival of a startling new talent on the London stage, in MrMacready’s new production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, which commandedan exceedingly large audience.

     Miss Harriet Howard shone as Juliet and we forecast an illustrious future ahead of her. Seldom have we seen such a combination of vivacity and grace. She is young and charming and altogether presents a most elegant appearance. She was entirely believable as the innocent, star-struck lover of Romeo, but it was the poise and style of the performance that so captivated the audience. The play was throughout well performed and we must pick out for special mention, MrSamuel Phelps, for his sympathetic and finely executed portrayal of Romeo and MrRobert Walden, for a flamboyant interpretation of Mercutio. In addition,we should say that we were much pleased with the simple and judicious acting of Miss Kitty Hopkins, as Nurse. Similarly,MrJames Roper, as Tybalt certainly gained a laurel, to which we hope he will have many additions.

     The theatre has recently undergone an extensive renovation and this new production of the play was beautifully mounted, having had the advantage, accordingly, of new scenery and decoration.

     At the end of the play,the crowd made their affection known and the whole cast was warmly applauded by a house, equally overflowing in enthusiasm and numbers. Miss Howard herself excited extraordinary adulation and it was five curtain calls before her admirers would let her go. Even then the cheers rang on into the night. If you can find the means to obtain a ticket, we urge you to go and see this wonderful play, performed with much effect, for yourself. It is indubitably destined to be a decided, indeed a remarkable, success.
© Steven Neil

IAN author page:

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

Email: stevenneil1@aol.com

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Thank you for your support. Please share this post.