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Book Review: In the light of fireflies

I had slept in another hostel the other night. When I returned to my room today morning, I found a hard-bound book lying on my table (I seldom lock my room) with a note tucked in. As I read the note, I recalled meeting the author’s son in Sharav nite, when I was sitting all alone in a secluded corner in SAC, trying to compose myself and feel better about my life. This second year guy had spotted me and had come sat next to me to ask if I read philosophical books and poems. I guess I had given him a ‘hmm.. sort of’ reply. He took my room number and disappeared in the crowd with a promise of catching up sometime. He wanted me to write a review of a book that his mom had written. I don’t know why, but he had ended up cheering up my mood that day when I was lost in my own flood of emotions.

There it was, the book, lying in front of me. I picked it up and flipped few pages. It was a book full of short poems. I liked the cover page and decided to read it right then. I was done with it in less than an hour. I slept for a while. When I got up, I read it once more.

It’s evening and I guess it’s time I write what I felt about ‘In the light of fireflies‘.

The Review

To be frank, the only book of poems by a single author that I remember having read is one by Tasleema Nasrin. In her book, almost all the poems were on men. ITLOF belongs to a totally different genre.

ITLOF lets you peek deep inside a hurt and a butchered soul. It also lets you observe, how the soul recovers and finds solace in the firm faith in God and the newly acquired belief that life is but a play time. Most of us have questioned the purpose of life at some point of time. The author was forced to do so when she lost her pilot husband in an airplane crash. This book is not a great literary piece but it’s beauty lies in the fact that the author succeeds in capturing her emotions, learnings and insights in minimal words.

You might or might not learn anything extraordinary about life after reading the poems but you will definitely be able to relate to some compositions, almost as if you had narrated them to yourself on that lonely walk you had on a lonely night. I would love to quote something from the book, that personally, I could very easily relate to:

Everyone says:

“Give love, Give, give and give
Until it hurts.
True love is only giving
Without expecting anything in return.
Love is only giving, giving
And giving.”

Is this true love?
In true love, there is no giving or taking.
When you are one with your beloved,
Who cares, who is giving and who is taking?

Do you think you should read this book? Go grab a copy. Or read another review in the Hindu.

Update: (20th April, 2008): Review by Leela

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