Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Thank you Abha for copy editing and proof reading my book even before the dead line.
You have done a wonderful job and it was a pleasure working with you.
I greatly appreciate the work you have done for me, and for your valuable time and patience.
Thanks to you my book is ready for publishing.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Book Review: Yearnings by Abha Iyengar
I'm not a great reader of poems, but as a lover of literary expression in any form, I was drawn in by Abha Iyengar's sample poems from her book Yearnings. Drawn in enough to immediately order a copy of her book.
As the title makes clear, this collection is about longing, love, loss, passion and related emotions and situations. What I admire about Abha's poetry is its impressionist style of communication--it paints a quick, terse picture whose aim is to capture the moment and the emotion, and it does that effectively. In art, too, I have a deeper admiration of Impressionism than Realism. Realism merely portrays what the eye sees, albeit in careful, loving detail but Impressionism carries the heart of the artist as well--it is his choice to capture the subject in that particular moment, angle and light, and this choice and his quick strokes show intense focus and urgency to record and love that person, place or action at that moment.
Yearnings is a collection of 67 short poems that are a pleasure to read and re-read. In these poems, there's none of the embellishment that a lot of poetry falls prey to: the frills and lace that really point to nothing. Instead there's solid content, honesty and truth. For example, here's Travel:
If you give me a look
vistas open up
If you blow me a kiss
winds gather up a storm
If you hold my hand
my fingers touch smooth pillars
In unseen corridors
I travel blind
Another one I like is Aroma:
Sometimes it takes just the aroma
Of freshly ground coffee beans
To make me fall into your brown arms.
I am vacuuming
Wiping the sweat off my
And the whiff comes from across the hall
Of somebody casting the magic spell
With the help of a potent witches' brew.
I switch off the vacuum and
Remove my shirt.
Some of the other poems I enjoyed in this collection are Ice cream, Strange Lands, A Table, Two Poems, Echo, Grief, Shadows, Everything Natural and I Conserve.
at 3:59 pm
The poems are lovely. Abha caputres so aptly the many delicate nuances of romance. A must-read for die-hard romantic dreamers and everyone else too
Friday, February 9, 2018
Book Review: Many Fish to Fry, by Abha Iyengar (Pure Slush) Posted: 26 Apr 2015 01:00 AM PDT by Andreé Robinson-Neal
If it were possible to have your eyes closed as you read, it might also be possible to feel, smell, and hear the story. You might be saying to yourself, “I can hear the story if I buy an audio book,” but that is not what is meant here.
Anjali’s fingers were hard despite the softness of the cream she was kneeding into Reena’s face. They were a worker’s hands, the hands of a woman who washed clothes, did the dishes and cooked the meals for the family along with her work as a beautician.
Abha Iyengar’s Many Fish to Fry is filled with touchable, smellable, hearable moments on each page. She takes us to Paharganj, a neighborhood in Delhi, to meet a variety of memorable characters, including Reena Vardharajan (which was shortened to “Rajan” because “Vardharajan” is so long, isn’t it?) and her family; Parvati, Reena’s part-time maid (who is a barely tolerable and weak replacement for Murali, the former full-time servant); Anirban Dasgupta and his wife Proteeksha, the Punjab/Bengali couple who live next door in Flat No. 69; jewelry maker Sanjay Singh and Neeru his wife; and the ever-effervescent private detective Harinmoy Banerjee. There is also the matter of fish, interwoven intricately throughout.
Thanks to her beautician, Reena’s love for jewelry making has been rekindled. She meets Sanjay as she embarks on her new career as a part-time business woman. Making jewelry provides her an outlet, something her traditional mother, traveling businessman husband, and busy children struggle to understand. She takes over the dining room table to craft her designs and spends afternoons visiting Sanjay and other merchants in the roadside shops to the dismay of her husband.
When [Reena's] seriousness with her work began to interfere with her attention to the little details around [her husband Anand], thing she had taken care of earlier because she had nothing else on her mind, he expressed his disapproval.
“You are getting too involved. Why do you need to do all this running around at your age? … I miss the hot rotis you make for me. you have no time to talk to me … and the dhobi just can’t iron shirts like you do … did.” …
She had expected him to be highly supportive.
But when a Hilsa fish shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep, followed closely by an unexpected meeting with Harinmoy Banerjee, a colorful private investigator and self-labeled Super Sleuth who rings Reena’s door looking for Proteeksha, the next door neighbor from Flat No. 69, Reena embarks on an adventure filled with intrigue, laughter, tears, and gossip. And of course, fish.
Iyengar skillfully mixes language and cultures into a delicious stew that will suit any taste. She intermingles traditional Hindi and Bengali words and phrases (there is a glossary of terms in the back for the less initiated) with Western terms familiar to any English speaker of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Her words come off the page to tickle the palate. The sound of the traditional words and phrases, when read aloud, are lyrical to the ear: phrases such as Na rehega bans, na bajegi bansuri (“If there is no bamboo, there will be no flute,” meaning “If the source of the trouble is removed, then the trouble won’t occur,” according to the glossary) and Daane daane pe likha hai khane wale ka naam (“On each morsel is written the name of the person destined to eat it”) are just two examples.
As Chris Galvin Nguyen, the writer of the book’s forward indicates, Many Fish to Fry examines Indian social issues and suggests what it is like to move beyond tradition through the use of “real-life trends of language and culture in India.” For weeks after reading it, you will be challenged not to end every sentence with Harinmoy’s classic Is it not, dear?
This is not Iyengar’s first book, but it is her first with Pure Slush. She has a number of other published works worth checking out and can be found at www.abhaiyengar.com and www.abhaencounter.blogspot.in.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
You were referred to me by a common friend of ours who gave very good review about your style of working and editing. So I decided to avail your services and true to the review I got about you I too had a wonderful experience working under your guidance. Your schedule for editing was very time bound. The clarification asked for was duly addressed and the editing of the novel was good. Moreover I got to learn quite a few things about presentation, Grammar, structuring of sentences and paragraphs. Thank you ma'am for all your patient help and guidance and all the insight into editing. It was a wonderful learning experience for me. I admire your professional and friendly approach to work. I hope I get an opportunity to work under your guidance in near future again.
Thank you, Piyush!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Trainstorm-An Anthology of Alternative Train Poetry
Ed. Dr. Amitabh Mitra
The Poets Printery, East London, South Africa
Date of publication: October 2016
Price: Rs. 475/-
ISBN 13: 978-0620718301
Available here: http://www.amazon.in/Trainstorm-Edited-Amitabh-Mitra/dp/0620718307
‘Trainstorm-An Anthology of Alternative Train Poetry’ is called ‘alternative’ because it is about the journeys that we take through our minds and our lives, linked somehow with the train journeys.
With 50 poets and 80 poems, this anthology titled ‘Trainstorm’, edited by Dr. Amitabh Mitra, chugs through our lives, bringing back memories of train travel, recent and past, forging a link between the poems and our own experiences.
Alberto Russo’s poem ‘Choo-Choo Boy’ aptly connects the older man he is talking about to his childhood.
Usha Kishore talks of a ‘platform of long ago/crowded with thoughts’ in her poem ‘Pettah’, in ‘Railgadi’ she is ‘Flying across time like an arrow,/ across plains and hills, across singing/rivers poured into the silk of memory.
Nibedita Sen’s ‘Delhi’ is along poem, divided into different sections, very much like a train. She defines The Delhi Metro. ‘On a super-fast serpentine track it wheels/Towards an enigmatic destination…’
Lynda G. Bullerwell has a beautiful poem titled ‘Ghost Train’ where she asks us to ‘Take the slow train to reality because there is no colder place/where you cannot dream letters into sand and share words/with strangers…’
In ‘Train Ride’, R.K. Biswas’ poem, we come across how being ‘wedged between sweaty knees/rustling buttocks in synthetic saris’ on a train can lead to desperate measures.
With diverse poets writing of their train journeys, through different lands, stopping at different places, at different points of their lives, this anthology also preserves a form of travel which is still popular but may soon disappear in the years that come. Horse carriages are things of the past and trains may follow. But till this happens, the joy of a train ride is an experience to remember. The poets in this anthology help us believe this.
The anthology is brought to life with the black and white photographs taken by Dr. Amitabh Mitra of trains and platforms and railway tracks and the fleeting countryside. This coffee table book has a beautiful painting done by Dr. Amitabh Mitra as its cover of a train coming at us, riding through a storm.