28 Jan 2016

Author's Lounge - In conversation with Paddy - Maaya Dev

Dear RML Members, Wish you all a Wonderfully Creative, Productive, Positive, Prosperous and Peaceful 2016!
In my Dec’15 Authors’ Lounge Interaction with our redoubtable Elpi Ma’am, I had said that I wanted to save the best for the last. Likewise, I had also long back decided on my Jan’16 Authors’ Lounge Interaction - that this and only this one should be the first of the year 2016 because I could think of no other way of commencing the New Year’s AL Interactions! You will know and understand the full import of this statement as you read on!
Maaya Dev a.k.a. Maayadev here, is a sublime poet inside out, as she breathes and lives poetry! I sensed this when I had the good fortune of reviewing her maiden poetry collection ‘Shimmering Chimes’ that resonates with not only her sublime Krishna Bhakti that she says pervades her but some sensitively expressed poetry (http://www.ratemyliterature.com/magazine/read/shimmering-chimes-by-maaya--dev--a-review_7794.html).
She has already contributed quite a few of her poems here.
Another reason why I wanted to commence my 2016 Authors’ Lounge Interaction with Maayadev is because I wanted to start the year by presenting to you all a Profile in Courage, Conviction and Commitment! Yes, that’s what and much more is what Maaya represents…How many of us can overcome a major accident and reinvent ourselves? This is what Maaya did!
A major accident and debilitating injury early in life, had completely confined her indoors due to severely restricted mobility! Through years of perseverance, patience, determination and making poetry her companion while lovingly cared for by her close family like her husband and parents, Maaya succeeded in creating a new identity for herself, that of a sensitive poet and writer. ‘Shimmering Chimes’ is the culmination of that effort, struggle and never-say-die spirit of our dear Maaya!
Dear friends, without further ado, gear up for an interesting and absorbing interaction with this truly inspiring and admirable poet and  yes a living Profile in Courage, Conviction & Commitment - Maaya Dev a.k.a. Maayadev! 
1.Hi Maaya! Greetings from RML for a Great New Year and a warm welcome to the Authors’ Lounge! Many thanks for so readily agreeing to grace the first of the 2016 edition of Authors’ lounge for a tête–à–tête. So let’s begin at the beginning Maaya. Please tell us something of your early years. 
Hi Paddy, thank you so much for inviting me to grace the prestigious space ‘Authors’ Lounge’. I feel delighted and honoured. Before I get into the grip of conversation let me wish RML family a very blissful, prosperous and creative New Year. 
Somewhere read 'Happiness is revisiting childhood memories'. And today, while responding to your questions here, I am floating in the whirlpool of emotions and memories. For most of us, the childhood memories are precious and the same holds true for me too, except that in my case, it has much more depth than others. 
I was born and bought up in a small town in Kerala. In childhood, happiness meant simple pleasures of life like playing on paddy fields, running barefoot on grass, plucking flowers, eating kanni-manga (tender mangoes), celebrating festivals like Onam and Vishu with cousins, uncles and aunts. Since Dad was working in Dubai, we (me, mom, & sister) lived with my grandparents. I still remember when I was 7 years old; I flew down to Dubai to spend my summer vacation with dad and travelled back alone leaving my mom and sister there. I was very close to my grandparents especially my Muthasha (grandpa), I grew watching him living a simple and disciplined life. I have learnt a lot and instilled values and ethics of life from him. My schooling was in a convent school. I actively participated in dancing, singing, painting competitions and was always known to be a happy-go-lucky girl. Those were perhaps, the best days of my life. 
I graduated in Economics Honors from Calicut University and soon after, we relocated to Mumbai, leaving behind all cherished memories in a closet and got busy with the fresh demands and dreams of life.
2. Ah, for most of us, childhood, school and college days are the most cherished always and I can see that it’s the same with you too! I am aware that it would be painful for you to revisit the subsequent years after your debilitating accident. Yet, if ok, please share some of your experiences from that unfortunate phase of your life that you converted to your advantage to give yourself a new identity and add a new meaning in your life. I believe this question is necessary for all of us here and those who get to read this interaction to learn from you.  However, if you choose not to answer this question, I’d completely respect your wish and move to the next question.
Dear Paddy, nothing to hide really, if my life and experiences can inspire even if one person for a moment, I would be glad to share it anytime. 
As I said, I entered my youth with lots of dreams and aspirations. I got a job in a reputed shipping Company. Life was promising and I was thrilled the way life was treating me. But unfortunately, it didn’t last for too long and within a blink all my dreams crumbled; my world churned into bits. It took some time to register into my senses that a failure of spinal surgery confined me to bed forever. A medical negligence tossed my life. What I could see was an indefinite uncertainty!! 
However, this tragedy could not paralyze my spirits. Eventually I regained inner strength and bounced back. I learnt to accept the harsh reality and refused to surrender to my fate. All my efforts and focus were put exclusively to get my life back to track. Days, weeks, months, years passed, by seeking various treatments and hospitalization while witnessing the ups and downs of life. 
As life moved on, I became more adaptable towards life and situations. My entire perception to look at life has changed over a period of time. I started appreciating simple joys of life and acknowledge the blessings I am bestowed with.  I remained happy in my small world by keeping everything beautiful around me, be it surroundings, people, emotions or memories. Since nothing is eternal, I love to live and re-live every bit of this life. I am happy to have never lost the power to smile at life and blessed to be a ‘Pollyannaish’ throughout. 
3.“However, this tragedy could not paralyze my spirits” – this one line speaks volumes of your courage, determination and never-say-die spirit, dear Maaya, something all of us need to realize and learn to count our blessings. Notwithstanding the fact that you went through a truly difficult and de-motivating period in your life, what inspired you to turn to poetry? Was poetry always a part of your life or did your own early life’s experiences make you turn to poetry as an outlet for your suppressed emotions? 
I don't know if writing poetry was ordained but I was unaware of my writing abilities until a decade ago. It was my sister who spotted the latent flair of writing in me and appreciated, encouraged and motivated me to her best. Initially, I was more into hazy scribbling and was not much into serious writing. At that time, my writing mainly was revolving around my personal experiences and emotions. But since last couple of years, I have been able to give more time for fruitful writing and have earned some amount of creative satisfaction and joy. I found writing highly cathartic, refreshing and simply enriching and encoring my experiences. Life’s harsh experiences refine the sensitivity a poet requires and perhaps that’s how I ventured into the writing arena. The journey so far has made me realize how my unproductive days were turned creative and camouflaged the unwanted into a thrilling experience. 
4.Thank you Maaya, for that interesting and inspiring response. Not camouflage as you say, but converting an adversity into an opportunity! What thoughts cross your mind as you write a poem? 
Many may agree with me when I say that writing poetry is a charming labour. In my case, it is more impulsive and unintentional. It is a beautiful, spontaneous outburst of emotions and imagery, catalyzing in a momentum like some magic unfolding in the form of a poem. It is astonishing to notice how; a theme, an image, an experience, an emotion, a thought or even a word do inspire me to write a poem. Above all, delivering the best to my ability is a challenge until I can come up with something which satisfies me fully.  
5.As I said in my intro, Krishna and Krishna Bhakti seem like an integral part of your life and living…Please share some of your life’s experiences and anecdotes that made Krishna pervade the very core of your existence. 
Well Paddy, I grew up worshipping, listening and reading mythological stories of Lord Krishna. Unknowingly I got fascinated by His personality. But it was during my testing period that I developed a deeper faith and spiritual bond with HIM. I was properly guided with right intuitions and I believe it is HE who acts as a ‘Guide’ in my life. The beautiful thing I experience is I can feel HIS presence when I need HIM the most and I could derive required strength to recuperate whenever I hit the bottom. I truly don’t know what words can actually define my faith, love, adoration, and devotion for HIM but there is a ‘Divine Intimacy’ that I share with HIM undoubtedly. It is a matter of joy that my birthday fortunately falls on ‘Krishnashttami’ that further reinforces my belief that I am blessed and loved by HIM immensely.
6.Very interesting! How did this beautiful poetry collection of yours ‘Shimmering Chimes’ happen?
In my book’s blurb, I have mentioned how this happened. I will share here once more for all of you. As every journey has some origin, this pious journey too started with a call from an unrecognised, unaddressed dream which my instinct embraced whole heartedly to fructify as rhapsody. I am glad it got fulfilled in the most gorgeous way one can ever dream of and thank you so much Paddy for reviewing it brilliantly that added ‘Shimmering Chimes’ worth all the more. 
7.Thank you Maaya. Given the divine and sublime quality of ‘Shimmering Chimes’, my review of it wrote itself! I am aware that you have been extensively decorated with awards for your poetry. Please share some details about them for the benefit and knowledge of our readers. 
Hahaha, I really do doubt that it’s extensively decorated with awards.  But yes, I am fortunate and blessed enough to see that poetry lovers and fellow poets are well appreciating, getting engaged and enjoying my poems. Well, I was able to find my poems in various national, international anthologies and national, international journals like Episteme, Criterion, Langlit, and so on. Glad to win Delhi Poetry Challenge 2015 a National Hunt Contest by Kaafiya Poetry Festival in collaboration with Readomania, bagged the title ICOP CRITIC OF THE YEAR 2015 at Destiny Poets UK along with two more placement in other major categories as (Highly Commended) Poet of the Year, Faith Centred Poet of the Year 2015 of  ICOP AWARDS. Also received other recognitions like Best Poem, Editors Pick, Featured Poet at Writers Digest, Muse India, Poetry Soup etc.
8.Wow! Heartiest Congratulations on all those truly commendable and well deserved recognitions to your poetry! Besides writing, how do you engage yourself?  
In my leisure, I keep surfing and reading. I developed interest in psychology, philosophy and spirituality and found a lovely connection between all three. I observed an invisible transition, a seamless merge one after one (psychology > philosophy > spirituality). It is amazing how these subjects matured my thinking and contoured into the person I am today. Sketching and crafting are my other pastimes I love to immerse in. I usually unwind listening to music. Ghazals and instrumental music are so soothing and meditating to the core! 
9.What are your views on the modern trends in poetry?  Do you enjoy reading the present day poets? Any favourites? 
Poetry since its very inception has undergone sea changes, depending on socio-cultural practices and many other inevitable factors. Unlike Victorian Era, modern poetry is contemporary and poets are highly experimental, innovative, daring and adventure forth into serious subjects like terrorism, war, abortion, abuse, death etc., by dropping conventional poetic diction. Poetry is now a multi-dimensional discipline and the trajectory is more specific and yet unbounded. It is expanding, evolving and is having its own eccentric trending attitude. In short, modern day poetry is the recasting and remolding of traditional poetry with the blend and flavour of realism and radicalism.
Yes, I do read the present day poets too. I enjoy the works of Maya Angelou because of her sensitive approach and emotional depth that she effortlessly and beautifully showcased in her poems. Rainer Maria’s style is unique and I love his haunting, powerful, brilliant oeuvres. Some of my favourite poets are Y B Yeats, E M Forster, T S Eliot, Rumi, Tagore, Sarojini Naidu and thus, the list goes on…
10.If there is one lesson that all of us could draw from your highly positive attitude to life dear Maaya, what would it be?
Life is beautiful in all its unpredictability and mystery. So live life to the fullest and re-invent yourself, your joy and peace in the run. Always remember, life has a way of balancing itself out – when something precious is lost, it gets replaced with a better one.
11.Well said and thank you Maaya, for that most enlightening and illuminating response! According to you, what really constitutes poetry? Do you have a message for the young and upcoming poets out there?
Poetry is ‘Poet’s Painting’ of words and imagination on the canvas of heart. It is the music of a sensitive soul. The tranquil expressions and thoughts flow from the inner world to the outer world to touch and ignite many hearts while uplifting the very cord of life. Poetry is a classy literature form which is aesthetic in beauty, gentle yet powerful, penetrating and entertaining.
Well, reading good literature truly helps. One should enjoy the process and it gets better over a period of time so keep writing. One writes confidently when it comes from the heart. Never ever plagiarise. Slowly adapt a style of your own and stand unique.
Thanks to all those who are reading this interview and once again thank you so much Paddy, for this beautiful opportunity! And before I conclude, let me say that RML is a ‘Literary Wagon’ and my best wishes for more and more success!


New Year Welcomed me with another Sheer Joy of Being the first ICOP CRITIC of the YEAR : 2015 at Destiny Poets UK. Also, worth noticing I managed or was fortunate enough to find the place in all the three major categories sharing space with erudite writers. Feeling so thrilled and a Big thanks to the Editor, Louis Kasatkin for his tireless and praiseworthy job, Congrats to all the WINNERS and of course my heartiest thanks to all the fellow Brilliant Poet Friends, Wishing all a fantastic creative new year ahead. Love & Regards...........Maaya

12 Dec 2015

Destiny PoetsUK - ICOP Roll of Honour Oct & Nov 2015

Glad to get into the Critic Award catogery in the ICOP Roll Oct & Nov at Destiny Poets UK :-)

Destiny Poets’ International Community of Poets ( ICOP ) are pleased to announce that for October 2015 , the following works have been chosen in the categories of Poem of the Month and Highly Commended . Poem of the Month ..*** The blow,the glow – Mangeni W.Obwoya ***…..In the Category of Highly Commended ( tabulated alphabetically ) are the following…** A Reflection of a Home Truth – Kumaara Sukeja **….** Blessings Rain – Tapeshwar Prasad **….** Chess – Vijay Nair **….** For Just This Once – Sana Rose **….** Frederick and Geraldine – Marieta Maglas **….** I Wish – Elizabeth Hexberg **….** In The Terrain of Draining Hopes – Geetha Ravindran **….** Peace Always – Vineetha Mekkoth **….** School Friends – Elizabeth Kuriakose **….** Set Things Straight – Jan Phillips **….** Truth is Colourless – Sunita Prasad **….** You Don’t Spell Love – Santosh Bakaya **……….. And the Award for ICOP CRITIC for the month goes to….Vijay Nair AND Maaya Dev .

Destiny Poets’ International Community of Poets ( ICOP ) are pleased to announce that for November 2015 , the following works have been chosen in the categories of Poem of the Month and Highly Commended . Poem of the Month ..*** Stone Eyes – Elizabeth Kuriakose ***…..In the Category of Highly Commended ( tabulated alphabetically ) are the following….** A Road Near Cookham – John A.Fingleton **….** An Elixir For Survival – Geetha Ravindran **….** Bhagalppur:1989 – Vijay Nair **….** Explore The Life – Fatima Afshan **….** Kintsugi Soul – Keith Wallis **….** Musical Muse – Maaya Dev **….** Night Beyond – Gopal Lahiri **….** Of Solitude – Moksedul Milon **….** Sundrops – Sunila Kamal **….** Taken By The Flow – Sarala Ramkamal **….** Where Were We – Jan Christian Sorensen **….** You Are – Pramila Khadun **…….And the Award for ICOP CRITIC for the month goes to.. Shamsher Singh AND Maaya Dev AND Vijay Nair..

17 Nov 2015

Unveiling of myopic Maya by Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar

Dear All......Unveiling of Myopic Maya is one of the greatest Diwali gift by Bhaskar Jhaji and I present it to you all very humbly, Enjoy the bliss and a very Happy Diwali to one and all ...smile emoticon
Fires and crackers
Perfumes and roses
It's raining
The lamp of sea
Sees the light
When ones toil
When ones endeavour
Blessed is thy soul
Shimmering is thy all soul
In some spirit
I gale
I pay
I salute
My humble gratitude
To leap beyond the shore
Oh what a mirror
You have mirrored
Let me unfold, unwrap
" Unveiling of Myopic Maya "
Unveiling of myopic Maya is a great , loyal and a stupendous review by Bhaskaranand jha Bhaskar. The more I speak about him, lesser it will be. A trilingual poet ( Maithili, Hindi and English) and a well known reviewer . He is MA in English literature with specializations in linguistics. And phonetics. He is widely published nationally, internationally and his articles finds the charm at leading newspapers of India. Deeply humbled and grateful for this amazing review Sir, I can't thank you enough Sir , completly floored and stumbled, feeling elated and blessed..
Maaya Dev's debut anthology Shimmering Chimes is a wonderful collection of seventy poems that chime in with varied poetic moods of the poet. With two insightful forewords by the eminent literary personalities -- Ravi Subramanian and Dr. Santosh bakaya-- who have truly unveiled the poetic talent inherent in her, the book contains seventy poems, reflective musings over myriads of issues ranging from the devotion to God, nature, love, patriotism, spirituality, mysticism metaphysics and the innermost quest to explore the intricacies of life. Al the poems, soothing and symbolic, deserve to be enjoyed and , of course, highlighted with proper, finer and perceptive analysis. The poet herself reveals in the beginning that ‘Shimmering Chimes is a true reflection, an expression of experiencing various shades of life and emotions’, with ‘the sparkle of mood and feeling in the mystic fire of muse and struggle to bring forth a new emotive impulse or revelation.’ Devotion, mysticism and spirituality, nature and metaphysics are the recurring themes of her poems.
Maaya’s poems are soaked in devotional ocean of Krishna consciousness. The very first poem “ Hare Krishna” is dedicated to her inspiring force Krishna whom she meditates upon. Realising the transient nature of life and its beauty, she creates a mesmerising symphony of devotional hymns echoing out straight from her impeccable heart. She reverberates the same feel here –
Every time I meditate upon you
I feel a divine magical wand
resurface from nowhere.
There, I see a lucid reflection
smiling at me from inner mirror.
There I see You! I see me!
Ah! I see me in You!
In the vast ocean of life, Krishna is to her a sheet anchor and this is the reason why she sings His glory. She knows ‘Life is cacophony’ and wishes it to be a symphony of love, bliss and peace. She prays to Him to ‘Be my guide, help me glow’ as His ‘melodious flute/ emits endless delight’ through ‘Transcendental Devotion’. She is another Meera yearning for eternal communion with Krishna as for Him only , her ‘sacred craving weeps and swells / in the deepest core’ of her devotion. The poem “Sat Chit Ananda- Bliss" contains the essence of her devotion, the profound love for Krishna-
Like a prism, the spectrum around me sparkles
and darkness doomed with celestial spark.
Your holy touch resurrected and lifted my soul.
Upon merging with You, I escaped world of maya
I see my flesh dispersed into thin air as fume.
I submerged in Sat- Chit- Ananda- Bliss!
Nature is another major theme that finds a fantastic treatment in her poems. Her love for nature is reflective of her thoughts spilled out from the minute observation of nature and life alike in its cajoling lap. She seems to be under the direct influence of Wordsworth and Robert Frost. This can be witnessed in her poetry when she gives a vivid account of beauty of nature that soothes our sense and draws closer to the internal force of divinity. Nature inspires her and that’s why she states-
I stopped by the woods
Sat alongside the river
Whole serenity in muse
Tranquil sky in sync, channelizing breeze
Nature’s symphony, rainbows rehearsing
Koel’s cajoling, peacock dancing
moment juxtaposing moment
to beget life. (Beacon of Enlightenment)
Her poetry presents a majestic aspect of nature mystically radiant with celestial gleam. She depicts, in some of her poems, a beautiful glimpse of nature’s beauty with its heavenly splendor. The following lines are fantastic examples of stream of her consciousness-
I could feel invisible wings
taking me to higher levels
on the wings of aurora.
The tranquility led me
to fireworks of blissful moments.
I wish to remain there forever
While making it as my abode…! (Aurora and Avalanche!)
Like Wordsworth, she perceives a divine spirit pervading the objects of nature. She holds mystical view of pantheism. Nature is to her a mystical force that enlightens and ennobles her mind and soul.Inner transformation in her poetic self can be felt in her poems dealing with nature. Seeking inner and eternal tranquility, joy and comfort she often turns to nature that entails inner divinity. Spiritual aspect of nature always fascinates her with ‘timeless tale of eternity.’ She regards the natural world as ‘a masterpiece of God’s creation ' which enables us to undergo metamorphosis of heart and vision-
A sudden vision mirrored of a living being
Pristine truth surfaced! I am a human being.
I am on a verge of flight, with gusto I fly
and flutter like a butterfly, my dream, I comply (The Metamorphosis)
She successfully records her emotional response to the natural world.‘Rendezvous with Nature’, ‘Oh! Majestic Ocean’, ‘Humdrum of that Green Valley’, ‘Desert Rose’ etc deserve our attention for the embodiment of her poetic vision, elements of divinity and immense beauty of thoughts reflected through objects of nature.
Love and Romance, Longing and Yearning
Love and romance prominently find wonderful expression in her poetry. Hers are poems of love, dreams, joy and sorrow, and nostalgic past. She doesn’t subscribe to physical passion of love; rather she is concerned with the profundity of feelings and intensity of sensibility with romantic exuberance. She reveals her yearning and longing in her poems. She compares love to ‘ a creeper’ that grows deeper in sealed silence of winter dreams. Pigment of her love, unexplored emotions lay in the dell unexplored. She feels 'an urge to taste the pungent is absent in the surge' and
Blazing pain fizzling heart
In the rare addiction
Of sweet indulgence. (Blazing Pain of Love)
Love provides a safety valve to the suppressed desires and pent-up feelings and emotions. She compares love to a canopy that gives out some comfort and refreshing moments to beat the heat of the painful world. She holds that love has a relieving power. She describes the healing power of love in these lines-
In the valley as I glide
I crave for the canopy
of your undisturbed vista
to cease my crazy anguish. (Love of My Love)
As a poet of love, she is very smart enough to give it sometimes some spiritual hues. She expresses her intense desire as ‘fossiled love”-
My real self camouflaged
in my strangeness
kissing off residual desires. (Escaping Ebony)
There is a melancholic strain and sadness of heart quite apparent in her poems. In times of sorrow and loneliness it is the feeling of love that brings smile on her face, solace to her grief-stricken heart. She lays bare her heart-
I am sad and alone
Feather of love came to rescue me
Suddenly a smile visited me. (Scattered Verses)
Feminism: Feminine Power
As a woman poet, she describes feminism better. She has portrayed woman on the larger canvass of her poetry. In her poem “A Living Enigma”, she speaks at length about the eternal and perennial power, glory and significance of woman whose enigma often baffles those who try to understand her through physical aspect of her personality. She tries her level best to delineate woman’s divine silhouette. She unwraps divinity in her- ‘an epitome, a living enigma of eternity’, with ‘pristine glow of moonlight, a perpetual fantasy’, ‘a poetry of a poet’. For the poet, woman is in fact an extended metaphor with multiple layers of meanings. The poet in her perceives in woman ‘an elixir of life’ –
“Woman, ‘A Living Enigma’
Lives in the evanescence of horizon
Who swims in unclaimed light
and shines as an elixir of life…!!”
Her sense of beauty finds an appealing manifestation in her poetry. She lays emphasis on the protection of woman’s dignity and beauty. She compares woman to a beautiful lily flower and with ‘an angel with golden wings’. She very minutely describes the evolution of her beauty, outer and inner-
A subtle journey from cells to embryo
where XY chromosomes merge divinely
embossing a girl’s gender magically. ( Womb’s Doomsday)
Woman is a metaphor and personification of love, romance and beauty and every poet’s dream. However, the poet is saddened to see the roving, preying and predatory, greedy eyes of sex vultures with sharp beaks, who are out ‘to brutally tear the flesh brimming with modesty.’ She brings to our notice her sad plight-
Her dawn bleeds to dusk and turned to a scary midnight
the darkness too failed to conceal her bareness.
Night suddenly possessed with nightmares
Her sleep is hanging on its noose as pangs. ( Womb’s Doomsday)
There is no end to her turmoil and suffering, exploitation unless the male dominated society comes to realize the primordial glory of woman. She questions-
How long the perverts rampage her femininity as if their rights?
What if she was ever their daughter, sister, wife or mother?
(Womb’s Doomsday)
She also underlines the dual aspect of woman.If she is delicate, humane, compassionate and loving one time, when need be , she can turn into destructive force and sacrificing her divine power she can also cause doomsday of the world.
Poem, Poetry & Poet
Creation of poetic output through the silent process of ‘myriad thoughts’ that stimulate her senses has been demystified in her ‘refraining, refreshing, reforming’ poems. She feels ecstatic sense of joy and celebration after the birth of a poem with romantic imagination at its best-
“My heart sang, my soul danced
when my fingers merged the flow
of unsaid words to the obvious.
I remained ecstatic for a while!!” (Birth of a Poem)
Like Keats, she also believes in deriving pleasure in hearing the sweet melody of unsung verses fused with strings of symphony because “Unwritten words are breathing life!” She declares-
I dived deep into the serene hidden river.
It flows from its pure terrain with elegance.
I laid still with amusement and smiles
When passion of droplets splashing all over
whilst browsing virgin imagery in its waves. (Unwritten Poetry)
Her ideas about poetry are a celebration of sadness, solitude and nostalgia. She has catalytically turned them into ‘universal bliss’. Her passion for being a poet finds an amazing mention in the symbolical poem "Twinkle Twinkle My Little Poems"-
But for me you are my unborn poems
twinkling on the sky of my solitude.
Some day it shall blink as glitter stars.
My voice whispers to me in silence.
Her ‘World of Words’ is also a symbolic poem that has an allusion to the primordial sound –Brahma naad- of Creation that has ushered in the pictorial form of lore and learning, knowledge and realization. She reminds us of the dictum that ‘Word was with God and Word was God’. She repeatedly chants His hymns-
Oh Words! You were omnipresent, omniscient
Wisdom coated pearl beads on the golden thread
You glow as scriptures and the enlightenment
Blind the inkling of allusion laden vista. (World of Words)
She is exactly right when she says that a poet or a writer lives ‘alone listening to the chimes of ‘his/ her own ode and ‘swirling like Rumi in euphoric ecstasy’ despite saddening rejections. However, with due course of time, he/she has a resurrection as a poet or a writer.As a matter of fact, emotional exuberance finally leads to creation of a poetic destiny-
Heavy emotional downpour rewrites
the destiny of – An Unwritten tale. ( Blank Diary)
Writing is a process of inner evolution and progression, and manifestation of the conversation with self and this creative expression puts forth immense joy and aesthetic maturity and self-satisfaction. With the philosophy of Swantah Sukhaay, she expresses the sole objective of her writings -
Yes, I write because I love to
Not for anyone but for me
Not even to prove writing prowess
But to be with those moments
that converse with me naively. (How Silly!)
Metaphysics, Mysticism & Spirituality
There is an underlying note of mysticism and spirituality in her poetry. She uses concrete, visual images to exhibit her thoughts of subtlety and abstraction. She takes recourse in nature that provides her raw materials which she refines. It is mostly through them that she presents her views about the mysterious ways of life ‘beyond time and space.’ She underlines the way to unlock soul to have an awakening light of divinity with inner explosion of realization and transcendental experience-
Today I am somebody with name
Tomorrow I am nobody with flesh
While embracing the only truth left
I bid farewell to embark a fresh journey!! (The Last Call)
The poet is baffled at ‘the mysteries / and complexities of life’ tormented with pain, storm, hopelessness. However, despite all oddities of human predicament, she doesn’t lose hope and sanguinity of her strong self as she has unflinching faith in living each moment of life ‘unaffected’-
Life goes on… it flows…
without any guilt… (Life’s Quest)
Mysterious strains are quite palpable in most of her poems. A modern woman of high sentiments and sensitivity, with lots of love in her bosom, she always tries to demystify the mysteries of the world. She is concerned more with exploration of subjective world in the cosmic velvet of divinity. She rightly remarks:
It may reveal its destiny as testimony
through mysterious mist as saga. (Blank Diary)
Steeped in spirituality her poetry embodies her sense of inner illumination and enlightenment. Her Sense of awakening is reflected in these lines:
I am now a free soul
Reborn in the spiritual swirl… (Holy Bath)
In terms of depth of cardinal thoughts , her poetry is a kind of poetic extension of Shankaracharya’s Adwait Philosophy (Dualism). Like him she also underlines the fact that the outer manifestation of the world is a projection of illusion- maaya with its multi-layered garbs after unwrapping which appears the divine soul. She reveals the uncertainty theory of life as well-
Certain is thy uncertainty…!
Backyard of life, mystery disguised
You stand vulnerable as a clandestine haze
Masked beneath veil of life. (Uncertainty)
Realism, Escapism & Symbolism
With intensive study of her poems it is quite evident that she also falls prey to escapism.and fatalism. Fatalistic view point of the poet is apparent in the following lines that express her futuristic apprehension-
As all emotions are frost in the compressed past
where chamber is sealed by the present
and key is lost in the depth of future. ( Blank Diary)
Fed up with stern reality of life, she sometimes wishes to turn away from the world of pain and pangs to the world of dreams for joy.
Let me live
in the space of
sweetest dream.
I am surrendering
my reality for a lie
I am in love with. (Unrealistic Glimpses)
Philosophy of Life
Her poetry is a fine articulation of philosophy of life. Life is lived in contrastive binaries of opposites. One aspect complements the other and hence life is supplemented with mixed experiences. Realization of this big reality is supreme with the poet. She reiterates the transient nature of life -
Oh fragile life!
You are the remnants
etched in the illusion
squeezing frail reality
from misty ruckus
in the mysterious shade. (Fireflies of Time)
Nevertheless, she believes in celebration of sorrow to experience soaring joy in life. She paints melancholy with joyous hues:
It reflects on cheeks as rainbow hues
masking the melancholy in its splendor ( Blank Diary)
She holds that life is beautiful and has to be lived with happiness in spite of all the temporal opposites as “A beautiful contradiction conceals all” (Scattered Verses). She compares life and love to a beautiful rose and this analogue is beautifully depicted here-
With sacredness heart promise its essence
that helps in germinate a unique ‘Desert Rose’
that blooms and never withers while withstanding
all kinds of insane desert storms… ( Desert Rose)
Dignity of mankind, human ability to rise again from debris of destruction like phoenix, singing of glory of man and the optimistic vision are other features of her poetry. Let us see for example-
As a phoenix risen from hopeless life
They sail through invisible wings with a will
to win infinite impossibilities of life
and head towards the trajectory of renaissance. (Ability beyond Disability)
Life is a bubble, a cosmic game played by God. The following lines remind us of Shakespeare’s remarkable lines- “Life is a tale/ told by an idiot/ full of sound and fury/ signifying nothing”:
Bubbles of birth
blow and burst
and wrestles with
falsehood riddles (The Cosmic Play)

There is also an element of patriotism in her poetry. The present plight of India disheartens her. The country is faced with multitudes of problems from terrorism, corruption, violence, rapes to mention a few. Humanity, love, peace and ideals and values of life are at receiving ends. Through her poem she pleads for protecting the pride and glory of mother India. Her utopian vision is quite remarkable in the poem ‘Plight of Mother India’ that presents a heart-wrenching and realistic picture of nation. She proclaims and exhorts us-
Let ‘Utopianism’ be our gift of love
for our mother India.
Everything said and done with the poems analyzed thematically, it is pertinent to mention here with a corrective approach that the anthology was required to undergo some serious proof-reading because even a small black spot mars the beauty. Some of her poems have stains of grammatical errors, though slight. They are- ‘heart promise its essence’ (page 31), ‘Wherever the shadow /of unfair rejection ensue’ (35),’Onlookers goes’ (85), ‘When endeavor boom’ (87), ‘ before the ocean waves gulps me’ (89), ‘before fire ashen me’, before the pyre flame my sins’(89), ‘But often fails to bring’ (90), ‘The silence produce sweet melodious notes’, that pulsates’….(93), ‘ The ebb and flow of your gentle breeze/ comfort my fatigue and returns my novelty’ (93). Hope in next edition, these errors must be rectified.
Maaya Dev's Shimmering Chimes is wonderful from all the perspectives Truly, in her style of writing there is some flirting between imagery and words, fusion and confusion, molding something concrete from abstract, shaping unshaped things of life, and uncertainty, a unique blending and unfolding to capture ‘invisibly visible’, and above all a beauty of oxymoron expressions. Thanks to the power of her strong diction and her gripping command over the language, she creates the oft-quotable lines like
As you are the words of words
Soul and verse of the Uni-verse’
Happy reading!
Bhaskar Jha
See review at Boloji.com
Unveiling of Myopic Maya

22 Oct 2015

Memoir of a Mirror

I hold a memoir on the diaphanous surface. The quill of my soul scribbles the cryptic encrypted notes. The enclosed myriad secrets flutter, but it never reflects on the gossamer skin. The nuance of emotion is glum on its fragility. Though it never spills the quintessence fearing it may blur the mirror blocking the vision of entities.

My honesty and clarity, the virtues invite your blind faith on me. I venerate your penchant for me for which I gift a glimpse of you. As a sculpture’s brilliance I present the pristine carving of your physical self! Though the truth is not what you see or perceive but what my humble glassy skin show you. This awareness pricks me as a curse in recluse.

I have surrendered myself.  I acquiesce to be wholly holy to escape the labyrinth of illusion remain a desire as I am exposed to the truth that I am not required for anyone to see their inner self or the transparent beauty they behold in utter divinity. So what I reflect you is not YOU but ME as you. So I weep when I see you admire your transience the mere illusion of the beauty of your mortal flesh. The true grace and the glow of your eternal soul don’t reflect through my gossamer as your eyes are blind with earthy vision and prevent to see the real charisma that needs inner vision but not mirror.

Still, I relish the silent monologues, your absent mind let go off freely in front of my existentially absent presence. In spite of I secretly seek thy earnest attention to share my feeble melancholy. Rather your images vanish as you leave me forgetting even to acknowledge my silly deed. I am bound to remain as a memoir and the secret admiration and desperation of yours haunt me that swirl as guilty and produce tears that vaporise before anyone notice it. I am destined to be just a medium to introduce your physical self and any sort of lingering that is not in my help won’t serve me or others.

What you see at times is deceptive!

Shimmering Chimes by Reviewed by Kumarendra Mallick

Poetry, says the legendary poet William Wordsworth, is an overflow of powerful feelings. I shall beg to differ from the master with due respect and say ‘Poetry is a shimmering Chime’, the music and the rhythm emanating from the heart. Poetry, it is said, one must enjoy before understanding it. I agree with this view point. All the sixty lovely poems in Shimmering Chime of Maaya Dev I have enjoyed before understanding the deep philosophical undercurrent of the sea she has created in it.

When Maaya asked me if I shall be interested to review her anthology Shimmering Chimes, I agreed for two reasons, first, I consider it an honour and second, I shall get a chance to read the works of an upcoming poet.

In order to review a book of verses one need to consider the poet to be a bundle of poems, for the moonlight that reaches the earth often pass through the cloud! The poet and the poems can’t be separated. The mind is just a bundle of thoughts.

Maaya’s canvas is very vast; her first poem, Hare Krishna, carries the shades of the blue sky. Her brush picks up the same tone again in Krishna, My Lord… (p.60) and Sat Chit Ananda … Bliss (p.62). With this I don’t conclude that the anthology is replete with devotional themes. Her pendulum swings between divine and sensual. Imagination builds images and the poet can view beyond the unseen.

Maaya wakes up to this reality in her poem, The Awakening and sings,
Embrace of the unknown
From the womb of mystery
Search for unseen from seen
And from finite to infinite

Even the silhouette of Maaya’s creation is enchanting. Her ‘smirk conceals on the curve of her lips.’ In Divine Silhouette the poet hears ‘melodies in nightingale’s cadence.’ In Love of My love the poet spills the secret,
I clasp your breath
under inner flame
that torches dimness
of unfamiliar sparks

The poet has an inner ear to hear the silence, ‘Under my saddled feelings/I stay as midnight silence (Escaping Ebony). She gets fearless while giving birth to her creation; in Birth of a Poem she confides,

Amid an intense silence
I embraced my desires slyly
swaying away fears aside

The poet glorifies womanhood. Her characters are charismatic, brave, mystic and forever a ‘smoking ember burning, giving and forgiving’ (A Living Enigma’. Maaya is very fond of this land, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. She carries a positive vive and is ever hopeful of reaching the sky,
Beyond my reach
Lay a world of dreams.
My arms fall short.
Yet they try to reach
To grab those glitters

Yes Maaya, you shall one day win all the hearts, nationally and internationally.

20 Oct 2015

Shimmering Chimes - Reviewed by Padmaja Iyengar

It was Edgar Allan Poe who said, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words”.

As I read the poems in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ by Poet Maaya Dev, I was also reminded of another quote by Plutarch who said “Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks”. With each poem, Poet Maaya Dev has sketched such a beautiful word picture that all that an artist has to do, is to fill in the colours and create a painting. Sample this:
There, I see a lucid reflection
smiling at me from inner mirror.
There I see You ! I see me!
Ah! I see me in You!
Hare Krishna!!
(‘Hare Krishna’ - Page 25)
As I read the above lines, an ethereal image of Lord Krishna with His many-splendoured “Maaya” formed in my mind effortlessly. It was not difficult to fathom what the Poet Maaya Dev is trying to communicate!

And ‘Hare Krishna’ is the very first poem in this collection! Every poem in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ amply demonstrates that Poet Maaya Dev had a clear image in her mind of the word pictures she intended to create and imprint them in the readers’ mind. Not an easy task. But the poet has done this with much aplomb and remarkable felicity. Yet, these word pictures are not simple …

The entire book is a reflection of Poet Maaya Dev’s inner quest, as she looks deep within herself to search for answers to an elusive spiritual bliss, illusory tranquility and the ultimate peace or Nirvana! For this, she has used various themes as tools in her poems – divinity, love, yearning, romance, nature and so on…yet somewhere in each poem, her deep spirituality is invariably reflected, embedded in some sensitively penned lines here and intelligent wordplay there ..

Picture this in the poem ‘Awakening’ (Page 29)
Beyond space and time
through the celestial veil
an enigmatic sojourn unfolds
a path paving towards salvation.
Galore of awareness explode
Capturing moments of rhapsody
Herald of golden bliss sparkles
as soul rejoices to the awakening.
As I read this poem, I felt something stir within me, as if I too am with the poet on a quest for “salvation”… And this is the beauty of Maaya Dev’s poetry! While each poem in the book is a soulful narration of her own quest, the reader too is involuntarily drawn into her quest, as the poem progresses… The poet has this amazing ability to make the reader own each of her poems and identify something of one’s own inner being in them!

‘Shimmering Chimes’ clearly shows that it is not Poet Maaya Dev who found words for her poems; it is the words that found their way into her poems and permeated them with their beauty and fragrance… and this is so well expressed in these lines:
With an inborn quest, I devoured for an indulgence
to chase for precise words to embellish my emotions.
In the musing I compose you to gift a mystic guise.
But loquacious silence conveyed irony with a smirk.

… and I with a dalliance of my dreams
of the‘Unwritten Poetry’ is yet to be born …

(‘Unwritten Poetry – Page 81-82)
At one level, it would seem easy to club the poems in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ into categories eg.:

‘Hare Krishna’ (Page 25), ‘Uncertainty!’ (Page 55), ‘Krishna, My Lord …!!’(Page 60), ‘Cosmic Play’ (Page 61), ‘Sat Chit Ananda – Bliss’(Page 62), ‘Oh Master ! Accept my Last Salute’ (Page 64), ‘Divine Transformation’ (Page 65), ‘Luncheon with God …!’ (Page 83) – Page 25 as poet’s engagement and conversations with her God
Certain is thy uncertainty!
Uncertainty though speak
Certainty of Heisenberg

(‘Uncertainty!’- Page 55 – the poet’s intelligent reference in this poem to the well-known Haisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics is truly commendable!)
‘Beacon of Enlightenment‘(Page 26), Awakening’ (Page 29), ‘Desert Rose’, (Page 31), ‘A Walk to Remember …!’ (Page 44), ‘Unrealistic Glimpses’ (Page 45), ‘Life’s Quest’ (Page 56), ‘Holy Bath’ (Page 58), ‘Wake Up Call’ (Page 63), ‘Aurora and Avalanche’ (Page 84), ‘Beyond’ (Page 88), ‘How Far Will I Go?’ (Page 89) and quite a few other poems as poet’s quest for spirituality
A tireless struggle
looks for an answer
to analyze all strives
everywhere, every second.

('Life's Quest' - Page 56)
‘Birth of a Poem’ (Page 28), ‘Divine Silhouette’(Page 32), ‘Scattered Verses’ (Page 47), ‘World of Words’ (Page 77-78), ‘Twinkle Twinkle my Little Poems’ (Page 79-80) and a few others as the Poet’s life-long affair with poetry at different levels.
Yet, few more rejections
He dares to face as strives
on every submission
which assures to surpass until
he embraces his due acceptance
as a writer’s resurrection.

(‘Few More Rejections – Page 35)
And so on…

However, at another level, Poet Maaya Dev’s poems are so multi-layered that each reading would throw up myriad interpretations. The poems in ‘Shimmering Chimes’ resonate with multiple meanings – testing and challenging the reader’s comprehension. Such is Poet Maaya Dev’s thought process that it functions at different levels to use poetic devices and tools to come up with poetry that is at once spiritual, metaphysical, philosophical, romantic, mystical and at times seemingly obvious …

My personal favorites are these three because in one I found the kind of rhyming scheme I follow in my own poetry, another appealed to my ever-present sense of humour (though the poem, as usual, goes beyond this genre) and the third because I could identify with it totally.
Riddle of a vague maze
On the pathway of haze
An ironic style of gaze.

(‘Transient…!-Page 87)

Silly, such a silly word! 
Yes, it sounds silly too 
I write silly, often I feel

(‘How Silly!-Page 51)

As phoenix risen from hopeless life
They sail through invisible wings with a will
to win infinite impossibilities of life

(‘Ability beyond Disability-Page 33)
Poem after poem in this slim collection of 60 poems, leads you deeper and deeper into Poet Maaya Dev’s world – her world of spirituality as she sees it and tries to achieve it… It is said that there are many paths to heaven and each one charters one’s own course to attain it…some of us falter, some of us stumble, and some of us have a clear vision of how they have to reach it!

Poet Maaya Dev’s poetry impacts us at two levels – as human beings having a spiritual experience and as spiritual beings having a human experience. Get what I mean?

As I began reading ‘Shimmering Chimes’, it seemed as if I was hearing some chimes from a great distance – shimmering and beckoning me! With each poem I seemed to move closer to those chimes …!

My recommendation to all lovers of poetry would be to not miss the multi-layered poetry experience called ‘Shimmering Chimes’ by the highly talented and expressive wordsmith Poet Maaya Dev.

I would like to conclude this review with a quote of the great Paulo Coelho:

The spiritual path can only be travelled through the daily experience of love

And ‘Shimmering Chimes’ is a fine demonstration of this
Shimmering Chimes by Maaya Dev
Author Press
Pages93 ISBN978-93-5207-110-4 PriceRs. 195/- USD 10/-

'Shimmering Chimes' by Maaya Dev by Padmaja Iyengar - Paddy