Book Review ~ Aatish, Sensitizing Sentient Sentiments
Written by Sayandev Paul
“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” – John F. Kennedy
Poets, artists, musicians and many more, all belong to a group of dreamers who can change the world, and Aatish, Sensitizing Sentient Sentiments ~ is one such attempt to galvanize the people for a social change through poetry and photography. It is an English anthology of poems and photographs covering various issues faced by the society physically, mentally and emotionally and tries to explore each of them in greater detail, an insight into the various constituents of the social evils and in the process it also shows ways to overcome them.
The book contains poems from diverse backgrounds, encompassing most parts of India and foreign countries as well, from the works of senior poets like Gulzar and Irshad Kamil to the young poets who are in their teens. This is a great attempt to bring the old and the new generation together and hence view the reflections of society through different mirrors, and each poem has been visualized through photographs from an efficient bunch of photographers. The anthology features 60 poets & 28 photographers from Nigeria, US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Germany and other countries, thus the book acts as a representation of the world.
Grab a copy of a book on World Social Issues featuring Gulzar Sahab, Irshad Kamil, Ashok Sawhny, Rajev Paul and many others, here
In terms of composition, most of the poems are in free verse. The themes of the poems vary from the disparity of religion, inability to get education to massacre of trees, a musician’s loss. The book contains vivid descriptions of these problems and uses great photographs in addition to words to bring the issues closer and give life to the poems.
These are a few lines from the poem, Sold Iktara –
‘Hung on the wall
Like Jesus crucified
For family survival
It was a sacrifice’
Aatish in GoodReads!
The words bring about the loss of a musician and stands out for the non-existence of means to keep the music alive, a symbol for the non-existence of music, of harmony in the world.
Here are a few lines from the poem by Gulzar Sahab talking about riots –
‘Earlier people had fire in their hands
Now people are in the hands of fire.’
And to arouse the pall, to fight the social evils, here are a few lines-
‘Leave all this in the trash can,
First and foremost you are a man,
And so are all who step on Earth-
From the time each one takes birth.’
In addition to the imagery of words, each page of the book has beautiful pictures depicting the poem. They add to the depictions of the poems and make them more vivid and closer to heart.
To conclude, Aatish is a great effort to bring the poets as well as the photographers as a community for a cause, as one against the evils of the society and the glaring realities of the world. The anthology of poems encompasses poets from various nationalities, ages and backgrounds to speak their distress, their perspectives on the prevalent social issues. Coupled with the photographs depicting the imagery of the poets, the poems are brought closer to the audience to discern each and every element of the Fire.
To have a glance at the launch of Aatish, go to