In her prologue, Anchale A tells the readers, “Just write. Scribble your soul… Let it be four words or forty. Let it make sense or none at all. But write.” And that’s what she has done in her first book — Extra Decaf — a collection of poetry.
She has scribbled her soul. Courageously. Authentically. Intimately.
Tell me your deepest secrets;
Tell me your darkest dreams.
Talk to me about your tummy grumbling at night;
Talk to me about how you were softly snoring in your sleep.
Show me your ugly duck-face selfies;
Show me all your fears.
And, watch how I collect manure and seeds from your rots;
Watch how I feed them with my light.
Watch how I make wild flowers;
Watch how I love you.
The collection offers three chapters — Infection, Disease, and Recovery, and 45 poems which are a beautiful melange of joy, pain, and resurrection. As I read some poems, I smiled, and told myself, “Awww! That was cheesy!” But I am incurably romantic. So, that dash of mushiness agreed with me.
Anchale’s motifs are poets’s favourite children — stars, rainbows, darkness, light, oceans, feathers… What are poems without those elements? They would be words without rhythm.
For her poems are adequately sprinkled with all things cosmic, they sound familiar, yet fresh.
Let’s steal the stars and glue them on to our velvet blanket.
Every poem is coupled with a fitting monochromatic, evocative photograph. I wish I could see them in glorious colours. But that is not a complaint really, for the pictures are poems themselves.
The author’s dedication warmed my heart. It simply reads, “To the mountains…” And her love for mountains takes form in this poem, which is my pick from the collection.
Muscles flexed, lungs gasped for oxygen.
She could finally climb the mountains;
Not built with tectonic plates smashing together.
But the mountains,
Built with collapsing minutes, hours, and days.
That threatened her to nestle in the past.
I am a sucker for the kind of poetry that Lang Leav, Nikita Gill, Amanda Lovelace, and Rupi Kaur write. The kind of poetry that you write on a tissue paper while relishing your comfort food. The kind of poetry that you carry in your bag like a lucky charm. The kind of poetry that you write on public toilets’s doors. The kind of poetry that you want to recite to a stranger. The kind of poetry that all of us can write. The kind of poetry that you mumble on sleepless nights. Anchale’s writing belongs there. It’s cold, and warm. All at the same time.