BOOK REVIEW: ‘UNSAID’ BY ASMITA RAJIV

Hello Bookdragons!

Gosh, it’s been such a long time since I posted on my blog. I see WordPress have changed so much in the time I was gone! Hope you all have been keeping safe out there. I know I completely disappeared from social media and the lovely book blogging community. A lot has been happening in my life and I just needed to take a break from the online world. The pandemic wasn’t helping either. I am doing better and I am in a better place right now. I’ll be sharing a life update with you guys very soon.

I am slowly getting back to reading and I recently had the opportunity to read Asmita Rajiv’s Unsaid. If you have been following my blog you would know that I am not very keen to review poetry books but when I read about Unsaid, it pulled me. Keep reading to find out what I thought of Asmita’s debut!

BOOK DETAILS

Book Title: Unsaid

Author: Asmita Rajiv

Total Number of Pages: 190

Publisher: Self-Published

Date of Publication: 20th September

Genre: Poetry

Unsaid is about all those thoughts that are born inside of us, but are left abandoned, unclaimed, and unsaid.

As I crossed over to the other side of forty, I found myself constantly wondering, “Is this it? Is it all there is for me? All those sacrifices that I made as a woman, have they really been worth it?” I was constantly dealing with self-created issues of love, vulnerabilities, and self-worth.

On one such day, as I sat under a beautiful, half-naked maple tree, I found myself in the middle of a stark contradiction between the ethereal beauty of nature surrounding my body and the dark shadows of emotions surrounding my mind. As I tried to make peace between the two, my eyes fell on a fallen autumn leaf. There, it lay…

Quivering yet unafraid 
completely devoid of any shame
It let the earth embrace its pain
‘cause in healing, there is no shame.
When I turned the leaf over
I found my face smiling back at me
And just like that on that autumn day
I found a piece of my broken me.

And from that day, I began collecting my broken pieces. ‘Unsaid’ is a collection of these broken pieces in the form of poetry & prose. I offer this book as a memoir of my learnings and realizations with the hope that these thoughts will speak to you in the same way they spoke to me. And however sketchy or incomplete these learnings may be, I offer them with complete humility and gratitude.  

We live our lives thinking that all that we are doing will one day be worth it. Well, that one day is today. Has it been worth it?

Trigger Warning: This book contains expressions of grief, pain, loss and darkness.

During the time when I was away from blogging and social media, I was in a bad state. My mental health was deteriorating and when I read Asmita’s book, Unsaid, it felt like a breath of fresh air. I am so happy that I discovered this hidden gem of a book and had the opportunity to read an advanced copy. Most of you must be thinking how come I am reviewing a poetry book when I don’t even read any. Here’s the thing, I couldn’t read any dark novels or any novels because it was too much for me at that time. I was looking for something light and easy to read and Unsaid served that purpose. Also as an advocator of POC authors and a determined champion for books by South Asian writers, I wanted to share my review of this title with all you amazing bunch of people 🌻

Asmita describes her book as:

Some tease, provoke, entice
Some run away, some hide.
A memoir of my thoughts…
The ones that I could catch.

Although it’s categorized as a poetry book (which it is), on a broader perspective, Unsaid is a collection of short poems, quotes, commentaries on topics such as feminism and other such compositions. Asmita’s adopted a writing style that is emotive, almost lyrical rather than being analytical. Written in free verse, the forms of poetry ranges from elegies to epigrams and everything in-between. I also loved the fact that there’s no particular order or sequence which we are supposed to adhere to while reading the book. I felt that this particular style also mimics the onslaught of emotions in a way. We experience such a wide range of emotions and rarely do they stay in order. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by our own emotions that we fail to make clear concise decisions. Asmita has perfectly captured this emotional overdrive in Unsaid and thus the set of compositions serves as a reflection of our own selves.

The author urges us to start reading from anywhere we feel like and compares this idea to the thought of finding a safe place, a place we could call “home” as:

Getting lost in the world of words
I let my heart to freely roam
Often then, through a different path
In so losing, I find my home.

Gosh, aren’t these such beautiful words? 🥺

You know what’s the best part? Almost every page of poetry consists of illustrations which makes the reading experience even better. Asmita herself is an artist and the pieces that she have included along with her writings add to the expressions of the poems. Although her book is not sequenced into any overt thematic chapters, each of her composition has underlying conveyance of emotions such as love, pain, loss, grief, darkness, hope, self-awareness, self-understanding, self-love, healing, introspecting, happiness, etc. There were a few pieces of writing that I couldn’t relate to because they were too random for me but I am sure many of you would. That’s the beauty of this book. There’s something for everyone. Asmita’s words resonated with me on such a deeper level.

I just can’t get enough of her words! Here are a few lines from her acknowledgement:

The words that I spoke
Since I thought I made sense
From the time I became me
Till right now, in my present
These words that I hear
I would like to share with you
‘Cause the echo of my world
May resonate with yours too.

Here are a few lines from one of my most favourite poems from Unsaid. It’s called The Autumn Leaf:

And as I bent to pick up my pebble
I saw the fallen autumn leaf
There, it lay…
Quivering yet unafraid
Completely devoid of any shame

[…]

When I turned the leaf over
I found my face smiling back at me
And just like that on that autumn day
I found a piece of my broken me.

Poesy In Chrysalis

I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful collection of poetry and I recommend it with all my heart. I can assure you that you will find a piece of yourself in Asmita’s verses. I am also truly happy to share the news that Unsaid‘s paperback version is releasing today and you can get yourself a copy from Amazon! As soon as the purchase link goes live on Amazon, I’ll share it with you guys. Until then, you can show your support by pre-ordering a kindle copy from Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Asmita is an international award-winning artist and poet. Unlike her formal qualifications in Physics and MBA, which are backed by formal degrees, her existence as an artist is purely backed by her passion. A passion so strong, that made her quit her corporate career, stopped her from playing hide and seek with her calling, and taught her the true meaning of the word gratitude. It is with this gratitude, that she paints each stroke and writes each line.

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SUPPORT ME!

Show your support by buying me a Coffee or PayPal me or send me a book! I am looking to upgrade my website and I am also funding my own education currently. So, any help would be appreciated. 🌻

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Signing off,

Sohinee Reads and Reviews

9 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: ‘UNSAID’ BY ASMITA RAJIV

  1. Wonderful book of Asmita. Title”Unsaid” is telling me more.most interesting Title of book.i will try to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah.most welcome,dear😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow!! I am not really into reading poetry either but your review is making me want to read this. The passages you highlight have totally sparked my curiosity. Excellent post!!

    Like

  3. I used to love to read poetry and told myself I need to read more. I think I’ll start with this book. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can check it out. It’s a really good one. I would say pretty underrated.

      Like

  4. Great post! I haven’t read a good book in years and this article makes me want to snuggle up in a blanket and pick up reading again.

    Like

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