Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love Chameleon - Book Review

Love Chameleon
By Nidhi Saxena
Review By Ila Garg

Love Chameleon, a beautiful anthology of some magnificent poems by the debutant Nidhi Saxena is published by Partridge India – A Penguin Random House Company. Both the poetess and the book, Love Chameleon, seem to be promising!

The blurb reads as “Love Chameleon is an anthology of contrarian poems penned over 20 years wherein the poet uses the metaphor of the "Chameleon" to elucidate the complex themes of love, lust, loss, longing, sexuality and outdated social mores. The book is paradoxical in that it blends several contradictory elements to make a powerful whole - it is at once intrepidly bold and sensual, movingly sensitive and absurdly hilarious. The poems are further multi-layered in that they exist at the level of words but also convey higher meaning at another, more metaphysical level. In the end, the book truly captivates by its sheer candidness matched in equal measure with a witty and vibrant play of words.”

The title Love Chameleon indicates the book must be about the changing colors of love, and indeed the poetess left me in awe with around 80+ poems centered on one metaphor of Chameleon. It explored the various facets of love from desires to longing.

I was amazed while reading these poems as Nidhi Saxena has managed to pen down the depth of emotions with such a seamless effort. She did a wonderful job with emotions in her book, Love Chameleon.

The book starts with a short and sweet prologue that gives this anthology the necessary kick start. The poems are then divided in 5 parts – Love Chameleon, The Irreconcilability of Parting, Longing Sutras, A Heady Concoction with a Queer Mix, and Et Al.

All the poems are so well written that it gets difficult to pin point my favorite ones. Yet, I want to quote few lines from the poem titled ‘Love Chameleon’:

“Love, the Chameleon,
        Changes color,
        Every Now and then,
        To suit the terrain.
         It can elude or delude,
        Agitate or pacify,
        Yearn or satisfy,
        Make or destroy.
        The mellow yellow of togetherness,
        A burst of violet when impassioned,
        Turning green with ravenous chameleon envy,
        And with betrayal, a full-blooded vermilion,
        The bright orange of frivolity,
        The beautiful romantic crimson,
        The deep blue of longing,
        The ashen grey of separation.”
The 150 page book makes you feel connected. You can’t help but visualise the words that you devour while reading. I finished this book in one go, though I kept picking it again and again and re-reading few poems. It’s one of the best poetry collection I have read in recent times.

Nidhi has created a masterpiece. After all, it took her 20 years to give it this form. And believe me, it was worth it. I must say the vocab and choice of words added to the plus points of the book, making it stand out. It also gave it the necessary flavour. I'm enchanted by the poetry in Love Chameleon. Every poem is penned down gracefully. Many congrats to the author for coming up with such a delightful read.

Nidhi Saxena managed to keep the reader’s interest maintained throughout! The pace of the each poem is smooth. The language is easy to comprehend despite the enriched vocabulary. The readers won’t find it difficult to read through the poems and comprehend them. The USP of this book is not only the beautiful cover and the sketches inside, but also the captivating emotions imbibed in the poems.

For a debut writer, Nidhi Saxena has given a good start to her career. I recommend this book to all the poetry lovers. Also, I would like to applaud the courage of this author to come up with a poetry anthology in such times where poetry is almost losing its essence.  

Ratings: 4.25/5

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