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SCATTERED RAYS

By POONAM SURIE

Often, the life lived brings with it a multitude of emotions, experiences and reflections that exist somewhere in the subconscious. This anthology was conceived over a lifetime of travelling, of moving across a wide canvas of experiences and of searching for answers which brought the author to a point where she was compelled to pen down her thoughts. The author’s eclectic and rich experiences are reflected in her poetry, as are her firm and deep roots and the connection to her own soil. Often, experiences and travels across cultures and borders lead to a churning, an empathy for other people, and the currents and cross currents lead to a rich and deep understanding of human sentiment. The journey and the rich tapestry of experiences is what makes one’s identity as a person evolve, over time and space.

This selection deals with issues which touch our lives and are important in the contemporary architecture of social life, such as environmental disasters, the position of women in society, their evolution, and the stark reality of life in these troubled times. These issues are handled with compassion and sensitivity and inexplicably, the author finds a positive energy in spite of the angst that we face in life today.

Writing and art have been a passion for Poonam Surie for almost four decades. While she trained as an economist, she went on to become an educationist and a columnist and experimented with the art of enamelling on copper. Her first book of poetry, Dancing on a Moonbeam (2003, Konark) is about the pulse of life, the angst of women, the partition of India, the loss of loved ones, life in the foreign service, the search for inner peace and the conflict between the old and the new.

This was followed by two serious works on China. The first book China: A Search for Its Soul (2009, Konark) deals with the return of religion to China, its current socio political landscape and the ancient links between India and China. The second book, China: Confucius in the Shadows (2015, Knowledge World) looks at the relevance of Confucianism in China today.

The combination of academic rigour, extensive travel, the ability to observe and study from a distance combined with a deep interest in art and people have enabled her to express herself in more than one way over the years. Having lived in a set of very diverse countries and observing people from different cultures and ethnicities has given her a unique perspective, which comes through in her writing.

This latest presentation of poems has, thus, been in the making for many years and is truly a collection of scattered rays which together weave into more than one beam.

The author is associated with the Institute of Chinese Studies in Delhi, where she is Adjunct fellow. She has presented academic papers at a number of international and national conferences.