Celebrating Love And Longing
Kasturika Mishra
LOVE WITHOUT A STORY by Arundhathi Subramaniam Context, 2019, 107 pp., 499
September 2019, volume 43, No 9

The voices so near and yet so far consume a poet’s mind and oeuvre. Sometimes you are a dreamer and sometimes you look to depict reality. The characters and images run in and out of Arundhathi Subramaniam’s poems as you soak in oneness with the plots and sub plots within the lines. For instance, in the poem ‘In short’, she says, ‘and one day you realize you’re pane too, freckled by your own rigmaroles of vapours’. A short precise piece of revelation of human beings as intransient faces slapped on windowpanes, it reminds one of the effervescent essences of life.

The one poem describing the bus journey on the way to Ajmer Sharif is a telly-tale on also the kind of people and their faith on these spiritual seers! To each his own. The last line: ‘The poet and I exchange addresses.’ That’s a new age modernistic turn to the new age spiritual journeys where people meet for an above human experience yet keep mundane worldly aims in mind.

In another poem titled ‘When Landscape Becomes Woman’, a teenager peeping through the keyhole watches her own mother acting her social role as a perfect host, yet she understands her mother’s role as a pure woman’s attitude and not ‘geography’. The landscape that Arundhathi  transforms you to is autobiographical and concoction of her childhood and grown up people/images/fun-slides, yet completely relatable as you and me travel through life and its perils!

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