About My Glass of Wine
This is the first part of the trilogy that is soon to be anthologized in one book. In this book, Sengupta ventures to tell the reader in a semi-autobiographical tone, the story of his life in terms of being introduced to poetry. The book is humane, and it becomes real when we actually see the poet (the then student of dentistry) talking to his would-be wife and his ignorance on the genre of Tagore’s Sesher Kobita. This not only makes us relate to our younger days, but also, and more importantly, brings more readers who, hitherto had not been too keen on poetry, to read poetry as they can relate to it. This book also marks the poet’s first brushing shoulders with religion, and thus, though unplanned, this is functionally the first part of the trilogy. Poems like Scratches are only Human gifts us imageries that would mature if you read the trilogy in the correct order, and see the poet’s mettle unfolding before your eyes.
He observers simple words like “clip” that ring a bell and thus unfolds his “life in death” epiphanies that keep us hooked to his work. This is where to start if you are looking to explore the poet’s works and have a correct understanding of his philosophy towards life, spirituality and transcendence.
In Rob Harle’s words, “An old saying goes, ‘A day without wine is a day without sunshine!’ The sun shines brightly from the pages of Kiriti Sengupta’s latest book My Glass of Wine. As the subtitle, It was not only the wine, but that the glass was mine suggests, the book is largely about Kiriti’s life, loves and adventures. A highly personal communication. Short prose vignettes, at times presenting challenging ideas, each followed by an associated poem make this slim volume a delightful read.”
Dr Kiriti Sengupta’s book “My Glass of Wine” does not fall into any neat category, being as he says himself a mixture of autobiography, poetry, an introduction to his writing and love for literature and partly nonfiction that introduces readers to his thoughts on varied topics including spirituality. A small book of a few pages, it can be read at one sitting, and another of its aims is to popularize poetry by offering it in a different way, in a context where we are forced to read it as it fits into the narrative well. The book is experimental and towards the end in its musings on its own cover, interestingly meta-fictional. The last section on Kriyayoga dedicated to his master Dr Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee is very readable as are many of the poems and also place descriptions that are found in the books with incidents recounted of the author’s life there. The best thing about the book is its condensation, there is a lot here in a short space and the reader can return to it again and again, savor it and learn many things in the process. I wish the author all success and thank him for asking me to write this brief note on his book which I read with much enjoyment. The title is particularly thought provoking as it is explained in the end and the book itself neatly divided into sections that explain its flow of free-falling thought. I enjoyed My Glass of Wine as it is very different and interesting, very much out of the box.
Any lover of poetry always is mesmerized and becomes ecstatic and zany remembering the famous expression of John Keats “Beaded bubbles winking at the brim” in one of his immortal odes. Whether one is a votary of Bacchus and his ‘bearded pards’ or not, mention of ‘wine’ certainly evokes cascading thoughts, gliding ideas and effervescent memories. What more intoxication is there to crave for than reading a good book of heady stuff? Kiriti has succeeded in creating that ‘sweet numbness’ with this crystal goblet of My Glass of Wine. One finds it difficult to define the book for what it is, as the trip gently takes one beyond known realms, silently, steadily and securely. One can only enjoy it savoring the divine nectar, if one is permitted to state so, drop by drop allowing the spirit, yes I mean what you think of, to spread across the tongue, eyes feasting on the color and beaded bubbles that flock at the top and the aroma assailing the nostrils with the tingling sensation travelling to the core gently through diligently culled stuff by Kiriti. Cheers!
(**Sony Dalia is the pen-name of Dr. T.S.Chandra Mouli, Ph.D.,a former Professor of English, Railway College, Secunderabad. Poet, translator, critic he was a visiting fellow at Nagaland University, Kohima. He is the Chief Editor of Charisma, a refereed bi-annual journal of English language and literature.)