Book Review – Savoir-Faire by Ashwini Dodani
Poetry is so abstract and relative that it often becomes very difficult to critique them. If the emotions of the poet find resonance with your thoughts after you finish reading a poem, the exercise is successful. Even if the words mean differently to you, the poet has succeeded in initiating a conversation. Ashwini Dodani‘s collection of 40 poems in Savoir Faire (published by Inkhorn Publishing India Private Limited) works because it provokes you to think.
Apparently simple, each of these poems have a deep take on the various mundane happenings in life. What is a lazy Sunday afternoon, or a cuppa of hot coffee on a cold Saturday afternoon without the perfect companion in poetry? I must confess here, I have acted lazy and sat down to pen my thoughts after a full month of the book was sent to me by Ashwini (and apologies are in order).
Poetry is not just about putting together metaphorical words in a rhythmic (or prosaic rhythm, if you may) fashion, words dripping with intellectual show-off, making it difficult for you to connect to the subject. Ashwini’s poems are simple, uncomplicated yet impactful. Simple emotions of life – love, despair, smile, solitude – are expressed so beautifully. Savour this sample on ‘Love’ –
Beyond answer, it raises questions,
While you wander, it takes you through,
A parent in disguise for your heart,
Broken pieces mended not fallen apart…
His words can be motivational too. Ashwini makes you look at life in a new light:
Your confidence is your weapon
Your mid-way breaks define you
Your mistakes will make you laugh
Your imagination will draw your epitaph…
The poem on first kiss reminded me of something similar I had written, when I first fell in love. The emotions behind the words are as honest as they can be and strike a chord. This book can easily be rechristened ‘The Poetic Handbook of Emotions’.
Best part of poetry is it never gets old. For every mood, there are words you can take refuge in. ‘Savoir Faire’ passes with flying colours in that regard. And two lines of wisdom for Ashwini, in his own words:
Let limits not define you,
Let no insufficiency affect you,
You were born to rule,
No one but yourself and in every hue.
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