Monday, April 24, 2006

Kamini Banga

I have just finished a large chunk of some work that I had set myself to do and I am feeling glad about it. So after a week, I am feeling psychologically free to make a new post.

Well, in the meantime, I also finished reading a book which is a collection of poems and I so much want to write about it and more so of my feelings about the person who has composed the poems. All the poems in the collection have been written by Kamini Banga. I quote the last poem in the collection on page 97 –

You promised to love me
And look after me.

Promises broken
Bodies punished.

You could have given me
Another chance.

Was this invasion
My second chance?

Thank you,
I promise
To be a good girl, God.

The collection is entitled, “I Promise To Be A Good Girl, God.”

Kamini Banga is someone who has fought and won a battle with cancer which carried on for 10 years. Her immensely moving fight is reflected in these poems which she had been writing during the course of those years. Kamini feels that writing helped her to grieve as well as to heal. It put things in perspective thereby helping her to "realize what must stay" and what she could "leave behind".

What I like about her poems is her simple and very direct style – with each line so well crafted. At any juncture in her therapy, the import of her thoughts and feelings – be it that of defiance or jubilation or distress or despair or surrender or reflection or fear or fight or healing or protest or hope and many a times interspersed with humor – has been brought forth remarkably well in a way that touches the heart.

The other thing that I find wonderful is that the writings, in projecting a vast canvas of emotions suggest a movement as one turns each page and goes to the next. It almost feels like a story – that of a victor. In that, the collection transcends beyond it just being a collection of poetry by a person having survived cancer. I am left with a sense of calm and peace after the reading. It just makes me feel more comfortable with the inevitability of “death” and how useless it is to put any energy that will not add anything positive to the Universe.

I wish Kamini Banga would write more often as she has indicated that she would, in this collection. She looks beautiful with her lovely expressive eyes.

I leave with some notes…

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