Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Woundikins

Author: Tanuja Mullick

Format: Paperback

Language: English


 Rs. 200


ISBN Number: 978-8182532663

About the book:

Before I start off with the review I would like to explain the meaning of “Woundikins” refers to an expression of pain or a mild profanity, from the early 19th century.
The “Woundikins” I have in my hands right now is rather a collection of poems written by Tanuja Mallick. The best part about reading a book of poems – you can flip through- start reading from any page you feel like, without having Guilty poking at your heart. Yes, this can be done- unless the poems are chained up together- like a novel in verse. 

So true and wise are the words- yet we hear prose and poetry quarrelling behind our innocent backs. Herein I am referring to the poem:
Sad a writer to the poet,
“To make the love story short,
It takes a lot.”
If the pen is tucked inside the deft fingers of a female writer- you can expect her to reveal all that lies buried behind the veil of the mute rebel.  The following lines from the poem- “for better or verse” will catch you unaware- make you stop at your briskly thriving monotony and make you bewildered. The words are heavy- though wrapped into the usual package of casual thoughts:
“Patrimony or matrimony,
Dowry or alimony,
If the colour pales
Or the institution fails,
Try again and again:
Partnerships regain.”
I could have stopped here but for the twist at the end- which left its long lasting impression on me-
“A deluge of loneliness
Washes away
Sounds and experience.
Sunset to sunrise,
Blessing or curse,
Some move from bed to verse.”
It is interestingly difficult to deal with the two major constants- time and space. They don’t usually give in much to your bound imagination- yet all attempts to capture them in a single frame need applauding. Mallick draws a unique parallel in her poem “Time and Space”-
“We stood by
What was once a shoreline
Tracing patterns
From beyond
That converged into a
Kaliedoscope, more complex.”
The magic of verse or emotive words gets realised the moment the reader is capable of taking up the unfinished story penned down so far and sitting down to imagine new episodes from thereafter. The poem “testimony” is one such creation that would apparently make you accept the finality- but for your imagination running wild- hoping to add a few more half moulded lines- broken here and there-
“The power of language,
In all forms and arts,
Is greater than the sum of its parts.”
It is apt to include here in- “Woundikins” comes with an interesting cover- which to would leave you baffled with meandering thoughts- much before- you have started with your paying attention to your “flipping through” habit.

About the Author:

Tanuja Mullick is from the Deep South. She is married to a Bengali who is a Novelist in English and a Civil Servant in the Indian Administrative Service. They have a daughter. Tanuja hopes that some day in the distant future, their grandchild/grandchildren will point out to books in the shelves and proudly announce, “These were written by grandpa and those by grandma.” Hence, she is working on another book project.

Further Information:

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