Book Review by Namrata
Title: The Speaking Stone, A Collection of Poems
Author: Pravat Kumar Padhy
Publisher: Authorspress, 2020
Poetry is the language of the soul. As the world battles with a global pandemic which has no end in sight, poetry is perhaps the only respite we have to help us stay sane and survive during these trying times.
The Speaking Stone by Pravat Kumar Padhy is a poetry collection that makes you ponder and reanalyse everything around us including all that we have taken for granted till now – the environment, nature, our planet Earth and most importantly our lives. Spread across forty-two poems, Padhy manages to string together various emotions and brings forth the magic of the enigma called life, beautifully.
Pravat Kumar Padhy is an award-winning poet whose work has been showcased across the world. With seven collections of verses to his credit, he also holds a place of honour in World’s Who’s Who.
Flipping through these poems, you realise the deep value Padhy has for art and literature. His writings reflect the strong urge to redefine life and its magnanimity. The title The Speaking Stone seems to have taken inspiration from the old adage — “What if the stones/ rocks could speak?” Taking this saying further, Padhy has penned down the plethora of answers possible, if the stones could speak. What would they tell us and why — is the gist of the whole collection.
The poems featured in this collection range widely from human life to nature, from love to survival instinct, from greed to necessity and from merely existing to living. Some of his poems recount how one should cease to exist within the narrow boundaries of the society and explore life beyond those predefined boundaries. Others question the very existence of a man.
“In the string of evolution
We all are living particles of vibration
Musing the time to an infinite point
As time has neither a beginning nor an end.”
After reading some of the works of Padhy, one cannot help but wonder at the materialistic hunger which consumes a human being to an extent that it threatens to lead to self-destruction and yet refuses to die. What is that pushes a man to keep chasing goals? How much is enough? Is money the ultimate power which makes a man truly invincible or is it power? Are some of the questions that haunt you long after the book is over.
Life has different meaning for different individuals and still, at the core it remains an enigma for all of us. Moving beyond the parameters of religion and philosophy, Padhy tries to indulge in a genuine conversation with the reader which is both, stimulating and evocative.
“The sun never differentiates
Whether it is north or south
East or west.
It blazes itself to enlighten the world.”
Amidst all of this, he doesn’t fail to remind us, how in the eyes of the Almighty creator we are one. Beyond the barriers of caste, creed, religion and colour, lies one thing that binds us all – a heart full of love and hope.
“The sense of belonging
Is rusted under his skull
In the crowd of diversities,
We are busy nailing
Nameplates of rich and poor,
Of the entire human being.”
At a time, when we stand divided into fragments by our own thoughts, this collection is an imperative read. It urges us to look deeper within ourselves and explore the larger definition of life. Padhy motivates us to move beyond the ordinary and look for that extra, which can make our lives extra-ordinary. His powerful verses remind us the biggest religion above all is that of humanity. And his words denote the power of kindness and empathy, the much-needed elements for survival in today’s scenario. To conclude, it is a read that shakes you, moves you and leaves you convinced that love alone, shall triumph at the end of it all.
Namrata is a lost wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. She lives amidst sepia toned walls, fuchsia curtains, fairy lights and shelves full of books. When not buried between the pages of a book, she loves blowing soap bubbles. A published author she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words and is always in pursuit of a new country and a new story. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.