Hyderabad-based Assistant Professor Jhilam Chattaraj’s book of poems encourages readers to find joy in everyday moments
“I am grateful to life for coming out of the pandemic with a book of poetry; something good to give to the world, ”shares Jhilam Chattaraj, assistant professor at RBVRR Women’s College, based in Hyderabad. His new book, Noise suppression (Hawakal Publishers, ₹ 350), a collection of poems was recently launched. It celebrates simple things such as potatoes baked in poppy seeds (‘Aloo Posto’), a wet sari soaked in the heat of the sun (‘Sari’) and a homeless dog looking for shelter. . Poems revive memories and encourage readers to find joy in smaller, everyday moments.
“Designed in 2019, the start of the book was ordinary,” Jhilam recalls. When she wanted to buy headphones, her brother suggested a few brands with a noise canceling function. This suggestion acted as a spiritual metaphor. “I realized that there was so much background noise in my life and I wondered if I could listen to what I really wanted.” She adds. Jhilam immersed herself in poetry and there emerged a carefully curated work where each poem tries to cancel one noise or another – capitalism, environmental damage and even online courses. In 2020, she had a collection of poems that was published in journals Room, Porridge, Guftugu and Review of the west easel.
“The pandemic gave me the time to edit, structure and organize the poems from a relevant and useful perspective. I had the time and space to refine my craft, ”she says, referring to her academic life, the time consumed by working online and the general feeling of anxiety that affected everyone. .
The book, commented on in Colorado Review, is divided into two parts – Active Noise Control with longer poems for traditional poetry readers and Portraits in Pods, which has five variations, poems of only five lines in 22 syllables, for nomadic readers. His crisp writing technique, with a refreshing use of language was the center of attention, says Jhilam who published his first book of poetry in 2018.
‘I ran the marathon without shoes’ (about the noise of online classes) which was recently posted in the American newspaper, Inflections, was inspired by her experience teaching online. “Virtual education started out as a big deal, but quickly became monotonous. I could feel the emotional disconnection between teachers and students and eventually education becomes uncertain.
She also talks about the noise of “notifications popping up all the time” in the digital world. A poem on sustainable consciousness talks about the need to nourish the mind with the right kind of diet. When asked, if it’s practical and possible to stay away from social media in today’s world, Jhilam replies, “You can’t escape social media. It must be used in a balanced way. We can try to disconnect from the phone and connect to things that can help us gain insight into our daily realities.
Besides poems with a touch of humor (how a virus became a poet’s muse), there are a few about migrants and their problems, without a moralizing tone. “The poems aspire to heal mind, body and soul affected by the chaos of the world affected by the pandemic.”
Noise cancellation is available on Amazon and. www.hawakal.com