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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shades of Shadows by Pushpam Singh


I have registered on the GoodReads giveaway of this book. Later, when the winners of the giveaway were declared, Pushpam Singh, the author, have contacted me to review his book. Well, the cover design was too tempting to reject. So I voluntarily accepted to review the book.

It was just another love story until I started reading the book. Even the description/plot of the book hints the same. The tagline - A poetic journey of Kavi and Kavya - was hinting nothing more, too. Only if I had given more thought to the tagline, I would have discovered that the book is not just any love story.

However, at the end, I was more than satisfied. It was fresh...

Plot (from the jacket):
"Every soul has a shadow. Every shadow has a shade. Every shade has a spirit."

It is the beginning of life on earth. Life sprouts in the navel of Kausar, a land blessed with beautiful contours and landscapes.

As life opens its eyes in the backdrop of silence and darkness, beauty wrapped in mysterious silk sings for it.

On such a changing canvas of Nature, Kavi meets Kavya.

Love finds a new flavour in their romance and Kausar finds a new array in their presence.

But with change in the mood of time,the melody of shades undergo a change.

Will these melodies sustain the test of time..?
Join Kavi and Kavya on this poetic and intriguing journey to find out more...

About the author (from between the covers):
Pushpam Singh is an engineer by profession but a poet at heart. His love for poetry found its right blend in this book. He completed his Mechanical Engineering from NIT, Durgapur, in 2007.

He lives in Bangalore with his family.

He is an adventurer at heart and loves travelling to new places and meeting new people. He also has a passion for photography. His biggest dream is to photograph the whole of India.

My take on the book:
Cover design:
It is the first book with a good cover design, I've have come across after the establishment of Frog Books. Actually the cover picture holds a great association to the landscape of the fictitious place, Kausar, which is most beautifully and poetically described in the story. I would rate the cover design of the book a 4 out of 5!

I discovered another pattern among the books from Frog Books. All three sides of the cover of the book feature three different colours.

Frogs Books. They are an imprint of Leadstart Corp. Needless to say, I have been receiving quite a few books from these publications lately. (Others being - A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life by Ravindra Shukla and Seven Days Without You by Anmol Rana) Although, the former books didn't have a good impression with me, this book had restored some faith from these Publishers. However, I hope there are more good books on their way to limelight from these publishers...

Title and the tagline:
The aptness of the title to the story can't be determined. This is no love story or a story oriented novel. Of course, the book has a story, but it has little importance considering the entire context of the book. Poems surpass every detail of the story.

Well, when description/plot or the title of the book did little to hint a poem outburst enclosed in the confines of the book, the tagline literally shouts, 'the poetic journey of Kavi and Kavya'. The tagline couldn't be apter.

Story and other aspects:
The very first impression before I started reading this book is that this is another love story and was mentally prepared to face it. Well, there are so many love stories floating around and love story with 'I love you' in every page and scenes like losing in each other's gaze was for me way too much. I had enough of my doze, yet. So I had to mentally prepare for it and, on the other hand, was on the look out for the interesting aspects of the book.

I started reading the book.

For the first 20 pages or so, I don't know what was happening. I read and re-read paragraphs after paragraph. There is someone who is narrating the story, but I knew not who. There were events taking place, which by the description are impossible to interpret. The only thing I was sure of was that the protagonist was not into the scene yet. Though, there is not much meaning that I could yield out of the story, there is some strange attraction about the narration. Of the entire 20 pages of prose, I only understood bits and pieces. Those bits and pieces only held so much attractive force.

There were words like 'Red glory celebration' and 'white glory celebration'. Maybe, it was on the third or the fourth encounter of that word when the actual meaning of those words dawned on me. They literally meant, Morning and Night in the narrator's point of view. Actually, before the introduction of Kavi and Kavya, someone else was narrating the story, whom I did care to find out. Well, I am not sure of it. It could be a tree or a plant. There was no means to be sure because there was no literal mention of the narrator.

All this confusion only because I was very slow to realize the poetic language in which the prose was narrated. So I warn you now, and also later in the review, readers, this book is best understood and enjoyed by people with a poetic mind. If you don't have one, well, tune your mind up.

I had little encounter with poems or poetry before now. Of course, I studied few poems in my alma mater days, but a book of poems was new to me. When I ruffled through the pages of this book, before started reading it, I noticed a lot poems evenly arranged throughout the book. I was in for experimenting. I wanted my vision to stretch to poems and poetry, too. Then, I was not even sure whether I would like it. Despite the fact that a poetry will be able to judge this book better due to his continuous exposure to the like, I will try my best to judge it appropriately.

The narration of Pushpam is so awesome that the reader literally transported a new world - Kausar. The first 20 to 30 pages of the book get along with the description of the place named, Kausar and the chores that take place every dawn and dusk over there and the injection of the protagonist into the story. Then on, the story carries on with the third-person narration of Kavi and Kavya journey. The entire book is divided into four chapter in total named: White, Red, Grey and Red, chronologically. The story starts with the poetic prose. Every prose is followed by a set poems. And every set of poems are followed by a section of prose. This goes on till the end of the book.

To compare, the book felt more like Paulo Coelho's Manuscript Found in Accra. The prose in between the sets of poems were used to mediate and create a link between two different sets of poems.

The lines of a good poem doesn't need to rhyme. That is broadly proved by Pushpam Singh.

During the read, I checked out the author's profile on GoodReads and was astounded to see the list of books he read. Most of them were top class books. I know now how Pushpam Singh had got a great command with his words. Lately, I find authors who read very little. There is one, I won't mention his/her name, who seldom reads book, but came up with a novel of his own. Of course, his novel was a all-time flop. I think, for an author, it is important to read as much as it is important for him to write.

Final verdict:
I definitely warn those who take up in expectation of a regular romance/love story. There is more than that to it. Non-poetic lovers are least suggested to read this book.

To all those poems and poetic narrative lovers. This is a poetic-delight from an Indian poet, Pushpam Singh.


Title: Shades of Shadows

Author: Pushpam Singh

Tagline: A poetic journey of Kavi and Kavya

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789381836620

Genre: Poetry


Read between: 11-08-2013 to 12-08-2013

Publishers: Frog Books

Pages: 248

MRP: ₹ 195

For best deal of this book, click here: 

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