Last evening, I read Pooja Priyamvada’s eBook ‘Papa & I’. Registered under Blogchatter’s eBook Carnival, the book offers perspectives on losing a loved one to death. A combination of few prose pieces, twenty-eight poems and certain random notes, it is dedicated to the author’s late father, who she fondly remembers in the book.It is hard to review a book such as this. For it is a sentiment, one that is relatable and feels closer home. Death is an inevitability that cannot be denied. And no matter how prepared we may consider ourselves; we fail to accept the only eventuality when it happens.
Pooja begins with an open letter to her father. She tells the reader how her father had somewhere prepared her for the inevitable. But as I continued to read the book, I learnt that all preparation is only a myth. We are never ever prepared.Knowing about her father is enlightening and one must read the book to know what equal parenting means. While I was filled with reverence for her late father, it was the poetry that left a lump in my throat. Several times the palpable loss stood right before me, that’s how vividly the writer speaks about death. From the “cold, hard deathbed in a hospital” to “I ran my fingers through his hair one last time”, words stare painfully at you.Having seen close friends lose parents at an early stage in their lives and after my long conversations with them, I can say that I have heard the poet through so many other people or so many others through her poems. The pain of losing a parent is universal and Pooja puts in words a bereavement hard to express otherwise. If you’ve struggled to speak about your emotions at some point, you might hear yourself in her book. No, she doesn’t give you coping skills or points to overcome the grief. She knows it’s a deeply personal experience. And yet you find comfort and a reflection of your own journey in her words.She tells you that life goes on. There are “rituals, visitors, cheque books, bills, lawyers…” and in between all of these, she closes her eyes to meet her father. There are snapshots from her childhood and the bond of a grandparent and grandchild; as she speaks of the idiosyncrasies of her father, you immediately think of those several peculiarities of your own parents. That’s how you relate to the book.The truth is that those we love never leave us. As Pooja says, “we are never separated”.Is there a right time to bid goodbye to loved ones? I think not. And yet, we’ve all lost someone to death. Coping with this emotion is hard. And when you find yourself unable to express the grief, someone else’s words may just be the solace you need. I think that is where ‘Papa & I’ steps in.To download your free copy click on the link below.
My book UNLOCKED- Historical Tales in Verse may also be downloaded for FREE all of June by clicking on the link below