Voices to Verses: Review

Voices to Verses

Author: Monisha Wadhwani

Publisher: Imprint! Vakils

Pages: 87; Price: Rs 350

“Voices to Verses” is an attempt to bring the knowledge of our ancient texts to the reader in a simplified way for practical application in daily living through introspections and insights,” says Monisha Wadhwani, who debuts on the literary scene with a collection of invocation poetry. Intended for aspirants straddling both the metaphysical and material space, the 40 compositions in this book have been meticulously crafted.

“Voices to Verses”, to put it in the writer’s words, “Is an expression of gratitude for the eternal knowledge of humanity conveyed through early texts. Each of these uplifting compositions is a reminder to reach for the higher. I offer these poems as an invocation or a prayer to the higher power within us.” The book is a fundraiser, supporting underprivileged children through charities GiveIndia, Dasra and Jai Vakeel Foundation.

The book is divided in four sections: Power Sutras, Thematic Expressions, 18 Gems From The Gita & Dedications. Simplifying these four sections, Wadhwani says: “Poetry meets art. Power Sutras are short verses, like capsules to be taken daily for contemplation. These pithy verses are juxtaposed with mandalas, which are geometric patterns that represent the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically. Thematic Expressions are a portrayal of concepts for scrutiny, such as purpose of life, acceptance, time, intuition, multitasking and so on. This section features beautiful works by the legendary, S H Raza. Razaji’s life was an inspiration in itself, as he popularised Indian philosophy through his iconic paintings. 18 Gems from the Gita feature select verses from the Gita which have resonated with me – these are verses on the mind, duty, dichotomy, selfless service, devotion, evolution, death. There are 18 chapters in the Gita, though not all 18 chapters have been covered in this section. Each of the corresponding verses has been reproduced in Sanskrit on parchment paper, signifying the timelessness of these words of wisdom. Dedications are tokens of gratitude to all those who have inspired me. I am surrounded by wonderful people, without whom this creation would not have been possible.”

Chartered Accountant by profession Wadhwani’s “journey into the literary world happened gradually”. The inspiration for writing poetry came to her while Wadhwani was pursuing the study of philosophy, particularly Yoga and Vedanta. “Decoding financial statements, analysing trends, structuring products, frugality – all these workplace elements have influenced my poetry, with its disciplined measure, consistent arrangement and fiery spontaneity,” Wadhwani adds.

For Wadhwani, “poetry is the articulation of impromptu moments of revelation, which are unplanned. I strongly felt that these voices deserved a platform for a wider outreach. And that’s when I decided to write Voices to Verses. I write poetry as a humble attempt to unravel the code created by the Universe in programming human life.”

Monisha Wadhwani is currently working on a second book based on Japanese Haiku, “a poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables each. Haiku traditionally evokes images of nature. Brevity, simplicity and artistry will be at play in conveying stories of humanity through my second book.”

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