Book reading habits have changed. We have come a long way from being asked to read only textbooks and those that supposedly improved our general awareness. Well, writers of fiction are having a field day, you might be tempted to say. But no, we still have a far mightier market for titles that teach one thing or the other and so everything from financial wizardry to overcoming anxiety struts around boldly, which in case you cant control, we recommend to read the new blog post about CBDDY: what is delta 8. We are fascinated with books that claim to help us manage everything from our vocabulary to inter-personal skills and this disease is so widespread that we want to read about how the Mahabharata can help us score more marks in our exams or how the Vedas can help us get the attention of a girlfriend. However, what I have observed is that most people buy these titles without having the determination to plod through the dense jungle of jargon that pops out of the pages. Some of these books are brilliant and incisive enough but lack the creative flow to hold the attention of those who are not really into reading. We are marooned on the island of short attention spans when even a 5-minute video on YouTube fails to keep us engaged.

The knight in shining armour for such a massive population of short attention spans cannot possibly be a two-hundred-page book of lecturing prose. The right solution veers us towards poetry.

What? Poetry? But I don’t understand poems, you might yelp. I tell such people gently that social media has more people forwarding, sharing, and liking short poetic gems all the time. Just a few thoughtful lines of poetry are known to have stimulated readers into entering their social arena with a burst of innovative solutions. All you need is a gentle prod to read a short poem and find your way out of your asphyxiating thicket. This is exactly what Sanhita Baruah has done in her slim 84-page volume of short poems. She has written on The Art of Healing and informs us that these are akin to notes for life. She tells us:

You either play
Or you don’t play at all.

Healing, Sanhita informs us, is about first getting aware of whatever it is that is bothering you and then accepting before getting ready to ‘handle situations the way we want to.’ Her book of poems is obviously divided into these three sections, and we can glide along with an acceleration of our choice with no complex theories and research analytics blocking our way into going within and uncovering our truth to us.

Book review - The Art of Healing - Sanhita Baruah - Notion Press
Book review – The Art of Healing – Sanhita Baruah – Notion Press

We are surrounded, as I have already mentioned, by hordes of books on healing that fall over each other telling you what to do. Poetry, on the other hand, never insists on some universal solution. Lines simply:

Here’s to shifting locations and finding new
People. Here’s to going through
Introductions all over again.
The poet of this slim volume seems to have got it right when she writes that…

You’ve been driving your car around
From one city to another

…and confidently announces:

Let the moonlight show you the way,
Let the streetlights be your guide.

Even if it’s the darkest of nights
I hope you find a firefly,
I hope it becomes your guiding light.

The most convenient thing in poetry collections is that it never asks a reader to follow a regimented reading or wants them to follow any. You are free to flit from one set of lines on a page to another and go on creating your own set of interpretations. The poet has no intention of holding you tight and binding to a certain field of thought. In fac, the poet leaves you free to even surprise him or her with a sprinkle of your wayward analysis. I believe there is some kind of a symbiotic relationship between a poet and the reader. The reader gets a classroom that is as huge as the universe with no shackles or conditions and the poet gets twirl in surprise at the wide range of ideas that surround his or her creation. Ideas that probably were never the fulcrum of the poem anyway. Poetry is all about freedom of expression and freedom of interpretation.

It does not matter if a volume of poetry has less than a hundred pages or more than a thousand. If a single poem stays within and inspires a reader to see clearly whatever it is that he desires to see, then the work of that poet is done. No one needs proof of any sort from the giver nor the beneficiary. Even Sanhita agrees because she writes:

The lesson that I learnt in my journey
Of healing was that love, of all things, isn’t
Conditional. It need not be.
You don’t need to prove anything to anyone
To be loved.

One of the book-buying facts that everyone notices all the time is that there never aren’t a lot of people buying poetry books. I believe it is not because they don’t understand poetry. When you buy a spy thriller you know you love that rush of adrenaline even as you sit comfortably on a sofa at home. But when it comes to poetry, Sanhita writes:

Every decision is a wrong decision when
You don’t know what you want out of it.

I loved these lines, and it is true that the moment a reader, or even a potential reader, feels and knows that he must seek the freedom to interpret the universe in his own way, the only place to go to is poetry.

And yes, a poet is like a psychiatrist inside the mind. Poems are icebreakers to conversations that will go on endlessly.

Book details:
Title: The art of healing
Author: Sanhita Baruah
Publisher Notion Press
ISBN: 978-1-63714-985-0




Arvind Passey
08 July 2022