Book Reviews


Author: Manjula Asthana Mahanti

Language: Hindi

Order Here: Amazon Paperback

Publisher: AABS Publishing House, 2019

Maanjula Asthana

“Iztirab” is a collection of Ghazals truly based on love. For readers I would like to convey that ghazal is a form of amatory poem or ode, originating in Persian poetry. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The ghazal form is ancient, tracing its origins to 7th-century persian poetry.

Poet Manjula has done a well justice in her collecting Iztirab. After a long time I read this genre and I felt amazing. Ghazal is one of my favorite genre of Hindi literature. The book is a collection of 54 ghazals which cover a wide variety of topics, subjects, themes, and emotions. Here, the author opens herself to share his perception and interpretations with her readers on love, feelings, separation etc. Through rhyming verses and acute expressions, the words flow as the author ponders on Love, on Hope and the capricious ways of Life in general. It was fascinating to glimpse into the poet’s perception and view the World through her eyes.

The author’s ultimate goal is to reflect on love, hope and peace and help the readers in their constant search for it. Iztirab has a cover that makes you nostalgic. Beautifully designed and described. The eye appealing cover takes you back in time to the days where people still used ink and quills. Though I haven’t really used quills, ink pens are something that I still lovingly associate with my childhood. If there is one cover that portrays poetry it is this one, and it would be a massive understatement to say that I was captured by the cover of this book. Read on “Iztirab” to know more about what is hidden behind this beautiful cover.

The content planning is perfect and Maanjula has very well organized the poetries. What I liked the most in Iztirab by Manula that she has this clarity of thought which is sometimes very difficult to find in somebody in this era.

I also liked that Manjula is able to write about such diverse range of topics. It not only shows his emotional intelligence but also his concern for the world that we live in today. Thanks to the poet for delivering such masterpiece work. Here is my fevourite from the collection.

“Pal do pal ka saath tera jo mil jata,
Jeevan me mere bhi madhu ras ghul jata.

Trishit rahe sada adhar ras paane ko,
Aanand sudha ka mere labon par khil jata.
Yun to aakankshayen meri simit thi sada,
Machalta kahin nadaan dil toh, samhal jata.

Taare ginte ginte kati hain bahu raaten,
Ho chand se gar saamna, nazara hi badal jata.

Khushiyaan kaha mukammal “Manju” ki duniyaan mein,
Jo mile pal bhar ka sukoon, dil jara bahal jata.”

My ratings: I will surely give 4/5 for this book. If you are looking for a perfect collection of ghazals, you can surely go for it. This book isn't going to disappoint you.