Writers are much known for their styles in writing and the simplicity with which they communicate the complex emotions or thoughts that would otherwise have no words for expression. Janhavi Bhat, in her poetry collection, “Safarnama,” endeavours to convey the complexities that are part and parcel of human nature and explores them to the depths of her artistic capabilities.
Beginning the book from a cover that would invoke nostalgia in readers to an extent, Bhat talks about the circumstances that led to her taking the pen and jotting what had been in her mind for quite some time. Thereafter begins the Safarnama, the roller coaster of humans’ emotional states with the breaks of changing poems. It is interesting to observe how the poet chooses not to title the poems and lets her verse be at the forefront. This technique gives “Safarnama” a continuity that the presence would otherwise break of titles. Simultaneously, it also makes the readers reminisce the themes that would otherwise be discussed in prose format, which here got poetic expression. Readers who read through sequentially would understand the different states of mind a human being has in one lifetime where there are mood changes at routine intervals.
Thomas Hardy once said, “Happiness is but a mere episode in the general drama of pain.” Bhat’s work is a poetic expression of this quote to quite an extent, and at the same time, it also conveys the depths to which human emotions can influence a person’s personality. She shows how life has different episodes and moments of both happiness and pain. Another notable feature is the fusion of languages that the poet uses in her work. She mainly relies on the Hindi language, but the tinge or Urdu gives the work a touch of royalty and grace of a different level. This fusion makes her work all the more elegant and hints at Bhat’s versatility as a poet.
Readers interested in poetry and Hindi poetry can take “Safarnama” and go on the Safar the poet wants to take them to. They would encounter a life where the expression of letters still prevails, away from the world of smart technology and when life was much simpler than it is today.
Reviewed By: Akhila Saroha