I did not have the opportunity of speaking with anyone who used to live in Calcutta when the capital of today’s largest democracy in the world was shifted from the same city to New Delhi in 1911. Therefore, I can only guess that the residents of Calcutta must have felt sad being deprived of the privilege of living in the Capital of the country. The British chose the name of the new city that would be the new capital of India and would later leave people like me to wonder why they hadn’t kept the word – Dilli, because that is how we used to pronounce and we still do. All these thoughts jumbled up in my mind the moment I heard the name of the book under review. The book, simply by way of its name, struck a very soft chord here – in me, and there – among many other people.
The city – Dilli (officially known, as per the British naming, as Delhi) continues to express the history in its womb – modern history rewinding backward many centuries. And in the same breath, the same city has embraced the modernity of an international standard. It was interesting that the publisher chose to restrict age limit of the poets to less than thirty, but there was an agreeable silence why the poets were chosen from one gender only – the female. Hope to see a sequel to this book covering expressions of other genders as well.
“A lot like rain, you soak me, drench me and wash over me unannounced….”. Not just this line, there are many other lines, phrases, nuances and the poems that stop just in the front of your face – you travel deep inside your thoughts through the letters and words and above all, the expressions of the poets of generation Z. It connects you because you know what is being spoken; it is the girl next door you know so well and admire with all the pimples in her beauty and promise.
An attractive cover with Dr Amitabh Mitra’s paintings adds further value to this collection of poems. Anyone will be happy to keep a copy on her/his shelf to keep rummaging through this poem or that to whenever nostalgia strikes.And, that nostalgia does not have to be about the city of Dilli only; there are lines that can get you back in touch with your own adolescence and youth.