BOOK REVIEW - SHE AND OTHER POEMS BY HUMA MASOOD
The dedication says
it all! To the frontline warriors of the pandemic and the Bravehearts providing
us with essential services! Writer Huma Masood puts it poignantly:
“Although we face the same storm, some boats are rocked by larger waves. Some struggle, some inspiration.”
This book puts forth
a few illuminating thoughts which help to light a candle in these trying times.
Four sections make up
this volume consisting of poems that were mostly written during the
#BlogchatterA2ZChallenge. What strikes the eye are the bright vibrant colours demarcating
the sections and the striking illustrations within.
The first section titled
‘She’ deals with the freedom of a woman within the confines
of her cage. When the mountains invite her, she is set to traverse the endless
skies and the high domains. When she emerges, she looks ahead in anticipation
towards “a universe where equity is favoured”.
Huma Masood’s poems
are short, but hope-filled and resilient. Each poem ends on a particular note
which is taken up in the next one. The progression of her thoughts is
fascinating. She speaks of strong being the new beautiful. The world has evolved,
and girls and women need to be strong and face their challenges bravely.
Yet, how difficult is
it to be free in a patriarchal society? “Still milestones remain to be covered,”
says the poet. There is no doubt that the security of women is the one
milestone that needs to be put in place for a woman to be truly free, and for
her to be empowered.
Section two is titled
‘Dilemma’ and moves into the realm of the dreaded COVID-19
virus, where a grieving nation strives to work together in solidarity to combat
it, as people wear “masks instead of smiles”. Words like ‘quarantine’ and ‘vaccine’
have turned into the keywords of the hour.
It is time to use
words judiciously, in a manner that heals and does not sting. These words are
not hollow but leave an imprint in people’s hearts.
‘Inspired’, the next section, talks of how pressure brings out
the best in many. In times of stress, move out on unexplored paths and travel
to a place beyond your comfort zone where you can grow.
Huma’s Masood’s poems
hold a world within their depths, saying so much in so few words, both
literally and metaphorically.
“Don’t give up.
bring hope. A balance in life is required in all things. Life can be
inspirational, and a dream, “a wildflower (that)/ Blooms where the soul dares
The final section
titled ‘Random Thoughts’ echoes Tennyson’s famous lines.
“The old order
changeth, yielding place to new.”
Life experiences change
attitudes along with changes in the world. Reading also aids one to change, and
poets especially have the power to inspire and change the world. That is exactly
why a volume of poetry like this one creates a spark when it comes along.