Tell Me Your Real Story – Book Review

Title – Tell Me Your Real Story

Author – Savita Nair

Genre – Poetry

12 sept 2018 (2)

Savita Nair had featured as a guest author at our book meet last month. Poetry is not one of the genres I frequently visit, but the writer’s description of her writing journey and her love for composing poems based on her observations of the world, intrigued me to give this one a go. Nair had read out three poems from this book at the meet, along with the backstory of what led her to writing them. Her thoughts and usage of language compelled me to order the book when I reached home – and Amazon delivered it soon enough.

So, I have spent the better part of the last three weeks pouring over some poetry. That’s the thing with poetry – you can’t review it the same way like you would for prose (fiction or non-fiction); it would just end up being slapdash if you don’t take your time through it. “Tell Me Your Story” is a collection of fifty-seven poems – a mixture of heartbreak, celebration, romance, skepticism, sarcasm, fun, disbelief. Nair describes her book as “urban and chic, cynical and syrupy”, and the reader is taken on a ride on the poetry bandwagon. Some of my favorites from the collection include “Mid-way Musings” , “Our Failings” , “The Freak and the Faulty” , “Leaving Things Unsaid” , “To The Heroes” , “Take Control” – each of the poems strikes a different chord. As Nair rightly points out in the blurb, the poetic journey helps you discover a little about yourself, as well as the poet.

“There was a slot called Mediocre, and happily I settled in. Some run the race, others admit with grace, that mediocre lies Within” , go a few lines from “Mediocre” , “Mid-way between Home and Nowhere, we got off at a stop called Stranded”, begins “Mid-way Musings” , “Slow Burn” tells us about a kettle simmering with anticipation – Nair’s brilliance shines through in her incorporation of figures of speech. Rhyming appears to be her forte and many of the poems follow this format. Personally, rhyming gets to me after a point, so I didn’t read the book in sequence. Cover to cover doesn’t always work for poetry. Phrases like “finding solace in the din” , “being optimistic isn’t a remedy, but being morbid is a crime” , “settle for nothing but restless” , “choose to stay silent, than make empty noise” – show you the writer’s exceptional talent in keenly observing the happenings in the world, reflecting on those observations, and putting thoughts into words. From the hilarity of “An Ode To The Common Cold” , to the difficulties of a working woman managing home and career in “A Lady’s Got To Do Some Straight Talking” , the tribute to the armed forces in “To The Heroes”,  and the melancholic “Falling In Love With The Rain”, the collection covers a multitude of emotions that anyone can relate to, at varying frames of mind.

And having had the opportunity of meeting Nair in person, the vividness with which she describes herself and her writings is displayed in her book as well. It is difficult to review books like these because each poem affects you in a different way – sometimes you might not be in the frame of mind to read one, but another one feels so much at home. Then you go back to the first one a few days later, and appreciate the sarcasm or disbelief it portrays. And this can be said for good poetry in general – it makes you go back to what you have chewed earlier, and digest it properly in the second visit. I re-read many of the poems and came back with something new each time. The poems are short and leave a lot to dwell on. The collection is lovely, and while retaining and showcasing her individuality, Nair still manages to relate with the reader. The collection is heartfelt, thought-provoking, charming, fun. A must-have in any book collection. I had initially purchased this copy as a gift, but later decided to procure one for my own collection as well – to keep reading and relishing one’s changing state of mind. For those interested in audio books, Savita Nair has herself read the poems aloud – and having heard her recitation at the book meet, I can vouch for the fact that the audio book will also be a treat.

The one single grouse I had was that the poems are numbered in the index page, but not in the rest of the book. And with a collection numbering fifty-seven of them, it becomes difficult to search for a particular poem.

Rating – 4/5

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