Collection of poems and essays in English
Putting together a book looks extremely simple and easy when you start. Along the way you realise how demanding it can get. Especially when you have to sort through hundreds of handwritten pages, some with smeared ink, some worn out, some dog eared, some almost a blank white sheet where the words have faded with time. This has been Mummy’s collection of Poems and Essays that she has been penning day in and day out for over 60 years. She began writing as a hobby and then got great recognition as her writings got
featured in the Sunday Standard, The Eve’s weekly, Femina, Women’s Era and many other publications.
I had the great pleasure of being subjected to Mum making me sit by her side in the verandah of our
cottage in Allahabad, and reading aloud her poems and essays. Her sense of poetry and prose, her
sensitivity to people, cultures, and moments made me realise that that there is so much to explore within
She has been a teacher of English for decades, and I must confess my passion for writing and expression
was fuelled and stoked by Mum. At times if I found a word out of place or some grammatical inaccuracies
I would nod my head in disagreement and tell her ” Mum, this doesn’t sound too right.” We loved to, and
still love to, argue about the language, but at many a times she would happily become the student for
a change! The photograph on the cover was one I took of her while she stood at the Cottage gate in Allahabad, and prayed each morning, as the sun rose from behind the huge Neem tree. The rays bursting through the branches and the leaves, creating a beautiful rim of light around her and the gate has remained as one of my favourite photographs over the years. It was her “surya-namaskar” a ritual she never forgot or gave up till her last days in Allahabad. I could not trace the negative but found an old faded print which we all felt truly captured her mood. The photograph on the back cover was taken during a function at the Delhi Agiary and I loved the way her eyes sparkled like a small child while she laughed out aloud.
This collection has been possible due to the efforts of a bunch of people who helped me in making
Mummy’s dream book possible. Darius who safely brought them from Allahabad and stored them carefully for many years. Nilufer who helped us to sort the special ones from the huge heap. Anahita, Arush, Kanupriya, Abhimanyu and Pranav who helped to proof check the content. Umesh for typing so many handwritten sheets and making the initial draft. Kurush for the layout, choice of font, design and creative elements of the book. And finally Zorba Books for being so patient and helping us get this ready to celebrate Mummy’s 90th. Hope you all enjoy the read as much as we all enjoyed putting it together!