Friday, 21 June 2013

Yable : Petals From My Heart

Attended yet another book launch event -- that of Sandhya Amirichetty named “Petals From My Heart” at The Oxford Book Store, Park Hotel on 19-May-2013.

I first noticed a small item about it in The Indian Express. The I searched online but did not find many hits. There was but one post on raedleaf’s facebook page. So my immediate impression was that this must be a resourceful (read rich) person who really doesn’t need to use cost-effective social media-types marketing mechanisms.

There was a certain poshness about the event - from the store to the crowd, so it kinda reinforced my impression. Folks from public relations firm Perfect Relations were there and so were members of the media. The book itself was very well made, hard cover will all glossy pages and a plethora of fine art spread across.

The author was brief in her speech. But it was Tanikella Bharani garu who livened up the proceedings. Rendering from Amuktha Malyada (I think) he explained to the audience about the power of poetry as expressed by Sri Krishna Deva Raya. The audience applause indicated the effect of his words.

Reflecting on the whole event I was trying to understand any special objective of this self-publishing and book launching exercise. A few days after the event, I spoke to Sandhya and she said that she is a passionate writer and just wanted to establish herself.

Coming back to the book and putting on the critic’s hat -- in the first reading, the poems will not touch you in a soft, enchanting manner. In fact, even for free verse, the poems seem a bit off-beat. But after reading them a couple of times, one gets to feel, and I could be wrong, that the poetess thinks in Telugu and expresses in English. I actually tried to mentally translate the poem lines into Telugu and as I saw them in my mind’s eye, the poems began to get a better form and become kind of cute.

Outside of the poems -- in the non-poem sections of the book like preface, acknowledgements etc -- there are mistakes and the author could have taken the help of a professional editor. Sandhya’s next book will be a collection of short stories and would be a good next step in her growth as a writer.

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