Sakshi Chanana, a poet by design, romantic by disposition and curious by choice, is an Assistant Professor of English in Delhi University, India. An excellent academician and an avid seeker of knowledge, she has distinctions of being a gold-medalist and a topper throughout her academic career. Many of her poems have been published in online journals, magazines as well as national and international anthologies. ‘Webs of Light’ is her debut anthology.
I still remember vividly the first time I met Sakshi Chanana, around eight years back. It was a rather dark wood-panelled office that I was sitting in, and there walked in this young frail girl, her brightness almost immediately lighting up, not the whole of the officious space that I was occupying, but, as a flickering candle would illuminate its immediate surroundings even if it fails to light up capacious vacuous meaningless spaces, a radiant glow clearly spread in the precincts of where she sat.
It would take me several years to realize that the iridescence I saw that day was the radiance of a poet in the making, of embers of poetic thought embedded deep within her, trying to come out and burst forth in this world with an uncanny luminescence. May be, all that the glow wished to tell me that day was what I hear Sakshi cry out today through lines of the current volume: “The incoherence of life / Will make sense / Some day / Till then / Let me live.”
Time passed by, and Sakshi proceeded to complete her doctoral research with me, on a topic that she could best consume herself and that flame sitting quietly within her on – “Dreams of Existence and the Alchemy of Love”. Needless to say, she researched deep into the topic, producing what would be a first-rate dissertation by any standard.
But, now I realize what her probing soul had really been searching for, all these years ... I hold the result it in my hands ... this slim volume of verses. Verses that wax on life and love in phrases more eloquent than any academic dissertation can ever dream of producing. Lines that flow straight from the core of the radiance I fleetingly saw that first day, on to the pages in black hue, to rebound off them soon, through the reader’s ears and eyes, and scatter pell mell in little pellets of light ... a thousand fireflies setting wing in myriad directions.
Now, with these poems in front of me, with the innumerable glow-worms buzzing all around me, their million shards of light reminding me of the original glow that I distinctly saw in that dark room almost a decade back, I think I could have said, borrowing Sakshi’s words, which will come to me eight years too late in this volume: “O fleeting moment / Fare thee well / Your destiny / Will defy the past.”
I see the promised destiny here, in the pages of this volume. I can but, in pride at being the first witness to these burnt etches the hidden embers have caused on its white pages, the first reader of this volume present the same to the readers, with an invitation to savour the halo that I have been so fortunately privy to.
Dr. Saugata Bhaduri
Centre of English studies
J.N.U ( Jawaharlal Nehru university)
New Delhi, India
Like the flowing river, that does not give up even in the midst of greatest storms and bellowing winds, each one of us has an invincible reservoir of strength and persistence. This book is an ode to that consistent spirit in you and me, which makes us move ahead, looks over our faltering steps and lets us discover the joy and pain of evolution. It is an accumulation of my journeys within and without: the journey of a child wishing on stars, of an adult trying to come to terms with adulthood, of a woman long lost in the societal maze of norms and her defiance, of a man’s indefatigable quest to understand his own drives, of lost dreams and earned hearts, of missed chances and lucky charms, of success stories and failed thoughts, of love and lust, of gratefulness and thoughtful nights, of lost hearts and unbroken threads, of completions and abandonments, of being and becoming...it is about ‘you’ and ‘me’..
Being a poet, I trust that poetry is a sensitive appreciation and observation of the life processes and the continuous transformations that occur in inner and outer worlds. It is a way, a medium to channelize one’s unreleased and pent-up emotions in the creative direction. Every poet knows that what makes his/ her poetry readable, are not mere words but the fact that it can resonate with countless hearts across time and space.
This book ‘Web of Lights’ primarily deals with the twin themes of construing love as an infallible light of the cosmos as well as a kind of web that fixates us to this world of senses and its relationships. The attempt here is to highlight that it is only by immersing oneself into this deep web that one can transcend it and undo its illusion. For a poet, everything is real as long as it is lived on the plane of experience. Most of the poems have been created in different ways of being and thus each of them represents a different aspect of human life: Contradictory and Ambivalent. Such then is the texture of this book... my life...and the cosmos...always changing and evolving.
The idea of this book germinated in an acute desire of a little girl to be heard... a little girl who grew up ...to tell the world that even though it might hurt to love and let go, it is in the empty spaces between these two processes that we become the highest versions of ourselves. It is the I-ness that makes me understand you, we and they.
Through my words, I desire to spread the message of myth of individualism and to allude how all our differences are but a matter of mere illusionary perceptions. My words are intended for the one in despair, the one who has given up, the one who is about to recover his/ her faith and the one, who like me has not bowed before the vagaries of time and nature.
I write to ‘become’ and to understand my being and perhaps others could also feel some happiness in shared words, spaces and visions. I invite you to share this journey with me...to make me your friend...to walk beside me...and to remember that you are never alone! You are never ever alone!!
03 First Spring Day.mp3