Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sweta Srivastava Vikram's #SarisAndASingleMalt - Review

My thoughts
For someone who has a mother who is so very dear to me, and who is also my best friend, this slim volume of poetry was a difficult read. I can't imagine suddenly hearing that my mother had fallen critically ill and not being able to get to her in time. It is unfathomable.

Sweta Vikram has beautifully expressed her time as she rushed to get to her mother before she passed, and the unfortunate time after her passing. She poignantly gives glimpses of what her mother meant to her. Each poem gives us insight into how she is coping with, and working through, her grief.

As you can probably imagine, I had tears in my eyes while reading these poems. There were a couple that really hit home.


Why Didn't You Wait For Me?

Such un-clarity on such a bright day,
such darkness in my verses.

I ask for a sign;
something, anything.

Can you hear me?

Did you know I needed
to give you a hug,
cook some Persian Kalam Pulao
when I saw you next?

A detour in your journey,
did you know fate?
Before leaving for Kashmir
did you gather
memories for me?

Why didn't you wait for me?
I ask the same question, over and over again, Ma.

I ask for a sign;
something, anything.
Can you hear me?

I wonder, as I stare at your body wrapped
in blue in the morgue. You look peaceful.
But I want to hear your hot, teasing words:

Chota kapdaa pehnee phir se?

I ask for a sign;
something, anything.
I weep silently,
thanking the thunder
for expressing my pain through the noise.

Why didn't you wait for me, Ma?

and this...

Time Changes Us

I hear you hum, "Time changes us all."
You always complained that I didn't write about you, Ma.
In thirty-six hours, I bled
a book of poems about you.

Writing is what helps me
keep you alive.
Writing is what tells me
don't lose faith.

I stand inside the sound of my words,
like a stranger lost in a dark forest.
I hear you hum, "Time changes us all."


Vikram shares this cathartic experience with us and it is very powerful. It also shows us that losing someone changes us forever and we must move on, incorporating this change into our new life. I leave you with this quote from the beginning of the book which I will remember well in years to come. I find comfort in it.

"The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to." ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

About the Book

Saris and A Single Malt
Published by Modern History Press in August 2016
Kindle and Paperback; 46 pages
ISBN: 9781615992942

Saris and a Single Malt is a moving collection of poems written by a daughter for and about her mother. The book spans the time from when the poet receives a phone call in New York City that her mother is in a hospital in New Delhi, to the time she carries out her mother’s last rites. The poems chronicle the author’s physical and emotional journey as she flies to India, tries to fight the inevitable, and succumbs to the grief of living in a motherless world. Divided into three sections, (Flight, Fire, and Grief), this collection will move you, astound you, and make you hug your loved ones.

About the Poet
Sweta Srivastava Vikram, featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of 11 books, writing coach, columnist, marketing consultant, and wellness practitioner who currently lives in New York City. A graduate of Columbia University, she also teaches the power of yoga, Ayurveda, & mindful living to female trauma survivors, creative types, entrepreneurs, and business professionals. Sweta is also the CEO-Founder of NimmiLife, which helps you attain your goals by elevating your creativity & productivity while paying attention to your wellness.

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  1. Thanks so much for being on the tour. This was a wonderful review.

  2. The second post I've read on this book this afternoon. Though not a big fan of this genre this really appeals to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a book I'm sure I'm going to be hearing a lot about.

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