Review of “The Faint Trickle of Sand Grains” penned by Sanam Sharma
“This poetry book is full of poet’s nostalgia, reminiscences, some complaints and loads of life’s most mundane experiences shared through verses.”
The book begins with an intriguing and profound foreword where the poet has depicted that time never clogs for anyone, neither it has ever felt a bruise upon its tick, but has witnessed much yet it flows like a rivulet whose ripples go far and across in the peacefulness of minds and life creating stirs that are to be carried by the beings of flesh and bone for ages till his existence and the poet finds himself to be a petite part of this time’s vicious cycle. In his words
Time has never known a bruise
It has learnt from the carefree rivers
Whip it, and it breaks into countless ripples.
Just a mere shiver, before water becomes water again.
Scars are a hallmark of flesh.
The book then takes you to a soulful journey where the poet has made myriad revelations of a very mundane life where he exists and from his poem it could be understood he remains a mere spectator who is observing it all and as much those feelings sink deeper into him, he still feels he is not part of it, any of it. His soul somehow still remains in those lanes where a better part of his childhood was spent. He sees himself as a wanderer whose race is not against time but beside it. Time remains a friend to him somewhere, a foe somewhere, a lover’s emotions, a father’s heart and amid this all he feels that it’s still transitory and one day only the dust of his existence will be left behind as marks on the sand but that too will be gone as he believes that he is made of it, not to stay at one place for long. Stardust he has preferred to call this very existence of his and those around him.
Many of his poems lucidly expresses the longing, a hidden yearning to his native land and how much he misses that all as he travels through cities and varied places. Much like a bird who perches on a tree, and suddenly the tree is cut, it will have to move away, make another new nest but how much its heart would still long to go to that first nest which he recognised as its true home. The same feeling can be sensed through poet’s many of such poems. One such poem that I really enjoyed reading is “We Carry Cities”, which significantly reflects the feeling of missing his true home which time played a huge role to make him far from, but merely in physical sense, his heart still dwells there as much his poems are dipped in those nostalgic memory lanes, those antiquated letters that he had helped to stack with his grandfather in a sac, where the air was moist smelling and that smell of letters and paper he miss, and also his grandmother’s elderly essence and her naive talks. The poet’s feelings of nostalgia mixed with reminiscences can be felt most deeply while reading these poems as he had painted the most vivid verses that have greater depth of meaning and sense of that bygone time which now can only be read or felt through words and stories. And it can be said that the poet has done a commendable job to paint the canvas of those past days, which still lies in each and every one of us, through his effortless poems.
On the other hand among the hum-drum of a mundane life the poet finds sense in everything that is happening as a pattern of time. The arrival of the dawn, the silent dusk and the hushed raven nights which might not make sense to many, as they would tend to see it merely as a nature’s normal pattern, but to the poet’s heart they have the most deepest whispering messages and he has used them to his liberty by weaving them into great metaphorical strings of verse. The nights, the days, the mornings and even the seasons the poet has used them profoundly, creating abundant of love notes for his beloved and also for the world to know that time really has a deeper impact on many and particularly to the poet’s heart as he is a great meek observer and everything happening around him sinks into the ocean of his heart. Capturing the most mundane of the things that are necessary for our existence, the poet has carved out a rather deeper meaning from those by turning the most ordinary into something surreal. I have really enjoyed reading few such poems like “Paperweights”, “Rooms”, “Postcards and few others in such narrative style.
However the most soul stirring part of this poetry book remains the confession of the poet’s witnessed most dreadful episodes that perhaps drifted him away from his homeland. The refuge no matter how safe still couldn’t refuge his bruised heart and soul and this is visible in his poems like ‘When the War Ended”, “That Night in 1984”, “Freedom” and my particular favourite “Those Mourning Grandmas”. In poet’s words
granny leapt too, into that high pitched, synchronized,
sob-fest. Shrouded in veils, the platoon of
grannies mourned the departed relentlessly.
Rehearsed histrionics-thumping chests-rhythmic boohoos-all
Plethora’s Verdict: The faint of trickle of Sand Grains, this collection of poetry book I must admit is very intriguing, the topics are placed haphazardly but yet it has increased the beauty of the book by appetising the readability factor and curiosity of the mind and heart both as to which will be another poem when one turns to another page. This book I would say is much of candid and autobiographical collection of the poet, and has been complied with soulful efforts and flawless precision. I must say I have read such lucid narration, great imagery and metaphorical dictum in a very long time. This book for me surely would remain a great poetical treat this year and I would like to give it a five star rating with a high recommendation that not all poetry but fiction lovers too must read this book by Sanam Sharma.
Born and brought up in Amritsar (India), Sanam migrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1999. It is this dichotomy of being a migrant, where the writer emerges in Sanam, as he grapples with a sense of his identity across two cultures. Growing up, writing and poetry, started as a fanciful hobby for Sanam. He would often sneak into his dad’s library and stealthily feast on the works of many famous poets and writers. Published in 2016 “Tamed Words” (AuthorsPress, India), is Sanam’s first book where he takes the leap from being a writer who kept losing poetry written on stray pieces of paper, to a published poet. A regular blogger with SBS Radio Australia (https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/person/sanam-sharma ), and HuffPost India (https://www.huffingtonpost.in/author/sanam-sharma/), Sanam passionately shares his opinions about politics, sports, and everything in between. In July 2018, Sanam’s poetic journey was featured by AMES Australia as one of the seven migrant stories to celebrate 70 years of migration in Australia (https://www.ames.net.au/australianmade/migrantstory-sanam-sharma-90s).