Varsha Singh’s “Parbati: The Traitor and Other Poems” (Authorspress) | A Pre-launch Review by Ginnie Singh

Varsha Singh’s Parbati: The Traitor reflects ‘courage’, one of the highest kind of virtues ever a mortal can acquire. The work is a shore for the sailors without destination, enriched with the poetess’ determination and phenomenal reflection of ‘emotions recollected in tranquility’. Her reminiscence of past life blew the favorable wind of awareness of one’s own being out beyond the constant strike for emulation and of comparison. Apart from its ornamented language, Parbati: The Traitor talks about the thoughts which create things, hereditary patterns which stood nowhere in front of the power within, and a will to magnetize abundance with gratitude and forgiveness.

Her anthology of poems is braided strongly with emotional resonance and artistic direction. Her verses drop reader in a field of combats from where he comes out defeating, and not defeated. The book counting fifty verses recite no artificiality of life. In fact, her words resurrect and revive the souls trapped in dark. “Dead Land”, “Another Sojourn”, “Accursed Note”, and “All is Born Again”, are journey into the land of forbearance. In these she opens up about long suppressed desires, adoration, stubbornness, and groans that sputtered fertile tears.Anyone who has tasted lashes, witnessed uneasy dialects and informal phrases will conceal not the understanding of the intentions of versifier and indeed the preaching is about self – fulfillment.

Her eyes spoke of every shade they encountered. In “Meeting Parbati”, and, “Parbati- The Traitor” (Part I) and (Part II), overall three aspects of women’s life were brought to the edge – the passiveness and sacrifices; the protests and stigma attached; and again the confessions of Parbati which ultimately faded her out! These revelations not only exposed the hotspots of society but also counted the sins for being indifferent. The work is a calm reply of a complicated mind that stood up against pasted ideals of humanity.

‘All great truths begin as blasphemies’ as they hold the capacity to promote awareness and improvements, silently opposing the restrained mind sets. But the initial step taken for any kind of alteration is always painful, especially for women who know they have to run over the extra gigantic hurdles to catch up their dreams. “Self-Love” and “Flock of Buyershas bracketed those obstacles in their way. Often a time, either society or ‘ the imposed conscience’ becomes the reason to tolerate subjugation but in “Last Wish” the disposition of Ms Varsha is a threat to the hypocrites blind towards their own defects.

‘Upon my death,

no, do not burn me,

for nothing is left unburnt,

as you smoked me,

selfishly, all my life.’

The poetess even dared to set her foot on the other side of the zone making us experience again the pangs of partitions, invigorating fear in veins. In “Venom of Partitions”, “The Patriots”, and “C- Section”, linger the smell of despise and condemnation. These poems give the account of past struggle which we often take for granted. “Erasures” and “Dehistoricize” speak about the sad and unfortunate demolishment of our heritage.

The versatility of the poetess saw no bars. She has an amusing skill to explode humor in between the serious note and sometimes sparklingly handles the anguish behind the innocent laugh of a spinster. There are pains in her rhymes and sentiments in her songs. “She Lost her Scarf in Mirzapur” flashes the same dropped scarf that packs the mystical aroma for reviving the long lost sensibility. Similarly in “The Epistle to Gurudev”, she questions and counter- questions her master to show her the process of sowing the seed of positiveness and authenticity.  ‘The lady of her rhyme’ has no specific name or identity but when she was bound, people called her Parbati, and when she claimed she was declared the traitor!

“they take the body

she lays

they snatch the pride

she could not cry

they play the ‘ victim’

she dies.’

Parbati: The Traitor is an ode to the experience of womanhood. The collection doesn’t follow up the monotonous way. There are vivid puns and references and the work adopts the style of haiku; quite devoted to its packaging the anthology misses not to explicit strong emotions of a visionary who gave each a commanding position of their own.



Ginnie Singh (Columnist, Reviews) is a scholar from Dhanbad, Jharkhand with her major in English Language and Literature.

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