Flights from My Terrace
The Boy in Yellow Knickers and Other Essays
Publisher : Authorspress
Very rarely we have found essayists who could put into their works daily events of life for the reason essays are always parenthesized as something which should be pedantic, erudite, stirring our thoughts and grey cells with ideas that make us ponder and debate and discuss. Essays carry no slightest touch of poetry, usually, if not we are reading someone like Charles Lamb.
And Santosh Bakaya has written essays which are like stories. They are filled with events of life, very subjective and by doing so she has gone beyond the traditional idea of essays being objective and unwittingly readers can still relate to that subjective and personal view as expressed in the essays for they have that quality of engaging the readers, that quality which stories have .
The very first one, ‘ Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive’ begins with opening up of an immense mind to the beauty of nature and also to that understanding of how mind and heart work at tandem to gather that beauty specially in case of a writer and poet.
‘ As I sat in my chair looking up at the aqua sky, the birds flocking to and fro , I heard a chugging sound…’
Unbelievably poetic as the description is, it at once brings to the readers, the eternal show of nature which keeps on happening all the time around us. Gradually as we move on with the essays we come across snippets of our daily lives, our houses, our furniture, our parents, siblings, children, spouses, maids, newspaper vendors and hundreds of people we meet on streets, at parks, at cafes.
The author has put them all in and has done so with such succulent ease that the readers simply forget whether they are actually reading essays. They get the feel of mornings, afternoons, evenings, nights of different seasons of years. Nature and people as in real life create our lives, in a similar fashion the essays reflect life as if they create life through words.
In ‘ The boy with the crutch’ we get a vivid empathetic mind finding rhythm in the boy’s ‘stumbling tumbling tripping limping haste towards a runaway kite’. We at once picture a scene , as if a clipping of a movie being cast infront of our eyes.
So fluid is the movement of incidents, so dynamic is the structure of the essayist’s keenness , that we continue to savour the little things of our lives through the essays which perhaps we oft overlook in our real life.
There lies Santosh Bakaya’s strength.
She brings us back to life and to its little pieces of happiness as embodied in scenes or events which we all witness in our lives in one way or other but oft fail to gather them.
For example , think of the graphic description of a policeman in ‘The power of the baton’.
‘He had gaps in his front teeth and he appeared to be whistling out the words’.
We at once relate to the scene or to the character. We are reminded of people around us who talk as if whistling out words. So from a very subjective experience the essays move towards objective views.
Add to that the poetic fervour that always keeps the words into a musical flow.
‘ to slippery chunks of joy, passed and gone, like the disappearing dewdrops on a verdant lawn’
( In the blink of an eye)
We find rhythm, we find movement, we find cadence. We find moments.
And as in our daily lives we sing or dance or watch movies or go out for tours, the essays also bring them all.
They take us to discover the variety of life and its pied hues.
If in ‘The two guys’ we are amused by the conversation between an Indian and a Frenchman , in ‘Love in the air’ we find an elderly couple sitting at a place beside a group of youngsters and how by a simple act of kindness the old man gives a lesson on love to the youngsters.
Yes, lessons are there in the essays and they are being given with that beautiful subtlety which never makes the essays pedantic or didactic.
A poetic view of life or a writer’s view of life is what the essays bring forth and they give us that with abundant music. They ennoble us. They make us keen. They make us make out more our life.