Format: eBook (Kindle)
Length: 134 pages
Publisher: Notion Press
Date of Publication: 17th March, 2020
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a free ecopy of the book in exchange for an honest review
I had read and loved the author’s previous book Malhaar so when I was approached by the author about reading and reviewing her second book, I quickly accepted. Unfortunately for me, the book that I ordered over Amazon could not be delivered because of restrictions in courier services during the lockdown so I began reading the ebook that the author sent.
“Petit à Petit is a collection of simple and inspiring poetry that motivates one to dream and change the narrative of their lives. It assures you that tomorrow will be a better day and encourages you to realise your potential and achieve your aspirations. Petit à Petit is centred on themes like self-love, self-confidence and taking life into your own hands.No matter how far-away and impossible your dreams seem, don’t be afraid to reach for them.“
Ambica Uppal writes poetry that speaks to the modern woman. The emotions are what each of us has felt at least once in our lives but couldn’t put into words. She is the quintessential feminist. She talks about empowering the society and equality for everyone. She asks us to re-write stories that begin with “mirror mirror on the wall”. She asks us to enable girls to wear capes and fight rather than wonder ‘who is the fairest of them all’. A sentence that really hit me was “Don’t grow thorns just because you couldn’t grow flowers“. We often see ourselves hardening our heart because of a trauma that occurred years ago. We shut ourselves off to new experiences that would have healed us. She says that it doesn’t matter if we live when we don’t give any meaning to our lives.
The book is peppered with illustrations, some of it made by the author herself. My favorite was the one showing a young child looking into a mirror that shows her her grown-up self. It is important that we grow up to live a life that the younger version of ourselves would have been proud of.
She urges us to be unique and let our light shine through. She says that there will always be sunshine after the rain so we need to believe in the strength within ourselves. I loved it when she said, “don’t go searching outside for the magic that you so preciously hold“. In a race to fit in, we have all forgotten how unique we truly are. It is time we let our true selves shine through rather than make ourselves smaller and quieter.
I also liked the concept of the heart having loose hanging wires that we need to join to re-ignite dreams. My favorite poem of all was Don’t fear, go for it. Here the author says that we are afraid to fly because we see the ceiling before we see the sky and we are afraid to dream because we see no point in it. This reminded me of one of my favorite parts in A Court of Wings and Fury where Azriel says that the main reason for not being able to learn to fly as an adult is the fear of the fall. The author also talks about how we judge a person based solely on what we see but forget that the person is made up of many hidden parts that we know nothing about. We cannot decide that we know a person based on what we perceive at a particular time.
Reading the book during the time of lockdown for the Corona Virus, I saw a lot of poems resonating with what we have all been feeling. Everybody is trying to be productive every day and seems to think that it is a race to see who comes up with the most number of new artwork or new recipes. But Ambica says “Why is life not what we get but a bunch of wants and wishes? Why is it all about chasing and trying to catch the misses?“. Another poem that spoke to me during this time of crisis was title Slow Down. It asks us to look around us and appreciate the things that we have.
While this collection of poems did not have the same hair-raising response from me as her earlier work Malhaar did, I still found a lot of poems that spoke to me on a very personal level. It is something that everyone could find that they relate to at some point in their lives.
Ambica is an Indian Canadian writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. She was born in Aizawl, an eastern city in India. Today her writings are manifestations of what she feels while experiencing things around her and poetry is just one such form in which she likes to express herself.
You can find more details of the author in my review of her book Malhaar.
Her work include:
- Malhaar (2018)
- Petit a Petit (2020)
TL;DR: A book that will resonate with everyone
What have been some of your favorite contemporary poetry book?
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