Book Review - Because: Someone Had to Say It By Namratha Varadharajan
Simple language, deep meanings. This brilliant collection of poems by Namratha Varadharajan is simply a treat to read. Each poem is associated with a cause which is dear to the poet's heart. All the poems invoke passion in the reader's mind. There are both free verses as well as poems with constraints on the verses.
The poet has a certain way with words that tend to show her mastery over language and her ability to express her commitment to her cause very effectively. There are some poems that are short and concise and there are others that stretch over three or four stanzas. But all of them communicate their meaning very effectively.
The poems with constraints like Acrostics (a poem where the first letters of each line, put together, form a word), FIB's (a poem in which the number of words in successive lines follow the Fibonacci sequence), speaks volumes about the poet's exemplary skill in weaving words into magical poetry. Some of the poems that really struck a chord in me are
Audacity, (An Acrostic)
Dame of Mighty Mountain (the poet laments the lack of role models like wonder woman while growing up, stressing on the fact that presence of this kind of motivation will help a girl child grow into a strong and self-reliant woman and that girl children have to depend on themselves for motivation)
Just a child,
The Everlasting (the one with the Fibonacci number constraint)
Press for progress (Another Acrostic)
Handmade (A take on handmade toys which are slowly becoming obsolete)
Period-ic Trouble (A poem on the prejudice against the menstrual cycle in India)
For You (Short but charming poem on the girl child)
My home, mine (A take on a woman's body being her own and no one else has a right to it)
I reproduce a few of the lines from the poems below.
From Period-ic Trouble:
My period-ic trouble is Sailor Red
Red is his name, not Blue.
He is usually on time
for his monthly visit
but bids adieu soon
An artisan’s joy,
created by thine own hands,
a wooden thingamajig,
‘then’ the pride of our lands,
From The Everlasting:
I lie here,
forever. I am in excellent
Is there anything negative I can say? I scratched my head quite a bit and all I can say is, taken by itself it is one of the best poetry books I have read. But then my deep interest in poetry started just a couple of years back. And I have not read too many poetry books. But yes, I have read some books by poets like Vijay Nambisan and other such which were simply brilliant.
Perhaps some of the experienced literary poets might frown a bit on sentence construction or perhaps the simple language. But I for one prefer simple and easy to understand language for I am not the high-brow intellectual type. But then again there are poetic legends like Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Lord Byron. I am fully aware that it is extremely unfair to compare Namratha with Tennyson and Wordsworth.
It is only in deference to all these geniuses, I am giving the following rating for Namratha Varadarajan's 'Because: Someone Had to Say It'
Final Rating: 4/5
All in all, a marvelous book of poetry. Great going Namratha! Kudos to you! You have a fan!