Kaleidoscope - A Book Review

Sweta Srivastava Vikram has had another of her poetry collection published recently called Kaleidoscope An Asian Journey of Colours. The Chapbook is made special by the amazing idea behind the poems. Sweta tells the reader the story of color that has the pleasure and pain of growing up, of love and of desire and also of the death of these trancient phases, gradually like a raisin but even in death life has a colour. Sweta's verses lure the readers into the mythical world of Gods and Godesses and the birth of the color in the begining of the book.

'Few suns ago, Latin, the goblet of romantic lexis created
a recipe for color and poured it into verbal-moulds
so the echo could traverse the human orifice, the Ganges' and

Then slowly the poems take a life of their own and although the words are still sweet, the images and metaphors innocent, a sense of forboding looms. 

My marigold heart, a few kisses old,
echoes the thunder and confesses
to the transient spell of beauty, tulips -
“Me knows, he wasn’t a blunder.”

Each color tells a different story within the story of the extraordinary life of an Asian Woman. Red and yellow tells of puberty and wedding, pink of innocent virginity, brown of chocolate of desire, blue when the rocks take her down and
'A smile adorns my visage, an embalmed cadaver rotting
from the inside. Societal worms laying maggots in my soul
and gnawing on them until I relinquish all desire.
I am sixty, not dead; not beige, color me red.'

The most outstanding of all the poems in the boook is 'Reflecting on Iridescence in Mama’s Wardrobe'
It has the gaity of a toddler and frivolousness of innocence, same in youth and same in death. The last para sums it all up quiet aptly when the author says she hid behind mother's black saree and 'I'm ready for the next destination' as in life we come from our mother's womb so in death we go back to where we came from and 'Shades halt narration.'
Sweta has woven such a spell with her word usage and the symbolisms that the most complex becomes the simplest of all, just as all colors when mixed, end up being just black. The end that Sweta narrates is not gloomy but something mysterious where words fail to convey meaning.
Please click on the image above to buy the book from Amazon.

Review by Smita Singh

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