Irficionado | (e)Book Review | ‘Arbit 26’

I am a recent Kindler. Became one just two days ago when I asked one of my friends/ex-colleagues about the book I had heard he had written. He told me he had self-published it (although he would still be eager to find an offline publisher) and that it was available on Kindle. I searched it out, and after getting to understand the mechanics of Kindle, downloaded it. No, I don’t have a device; got it on my PC. (I’m still a good ole paper-book reader.)

But this post is about a book by another friend/ex-colleague, which I too I got to know about recently. (Friends/Acquaintances writing books. Now, when am I going to get around to it?) As it’s a book of verse/poetry, and shorter than the first friend’s tome (that is an adventure thriller), decided to start my e-book journey with this. Having finished it, here’s the review, or rather, my thoughts on it…

Arbit 26, almost as the name suggests, is a collection of 26 poems/pieces of verse by Debarshi Kanjilal. Debarshi, or Deboo, as I call him, is from Calcutta/Kolkata and works (at least, last I knew) in Accenture Content Development Centre (CDC) as a senior instructional designer. (Very simply, that involves writing and being creative.)

Debarshi Kanjilal during a Durga Puja

And why “almost as the name suggests”? Well, they are 26 alright, but they don’t seem that arbit to me. For one, he’s organised them into four sections, each roughly around a theme, such as love/heartbreak, observations, and songs. (Yes, Deboo seems to have lyricist aspirations.) Also, there’s good organisation of thought in them. (But then, that’s what instructional design, ID, teaches you.)

Most of the poems flow very well, and they don’t seem stiff or forced. For instance, he doesn’t use inversions to bring up a rhyme. The language and concepts are mostly simple too, except perhaps for one or two toward the end (All About You), and I found myself glossing over these. Some others are copy-book school-poetry-book (Deboo does mention that he wrote these between 10 and 21; he’s 28 now). But a couple really strike a chord: Via Antarctica (about found-and-lost adolescent/young adult love) and Time Ticks On (a lament on today’s, well, times). And I just love this couplet from You Don’t Love Me Anymore: ‘And the struggles we went through / And how I lost me and you lost you’.

There were a couple of typos here and there, but given this is his first attempt at self-publishing (I believe), that’s okay, I guess. Also, given our shared love for Calcutta and dogs, I would have expected to see some or more poems on the two (there is one on Calcutta by the same name, about harsh sights and sounds in the city), but maybe next time.

Debarshi Kanjilal giving a street dog a helping pat at the beach

All in all, a rather satisfying read. If you give me simple poetry with simple ideas (read, Vikram Seth), I’m game.

Finally, a note about the cover (how can visual-lover me not comment on stuff like this?). Nice, simple, clean, mellow, soft; very “Icelandic”. The lone visual inside, repeated, that of a stream, is in the same vein, and works too: I guess it indicates clarity and flow of thoughts.

Nice start, Deboo. And good job too.

 And here’s about Irficionado > Irficionado: Here’s Presenting…


3 thoughts on “Irficionado | (e)Book Review | ‘Arbit 26’

  1. DK says:

    Hey Irfan, thanks for reviewing it. But more importantly, thanks for reading the poems. Glad to know you were able to enjoy some of them. And thanks for the encouragement. And don’t worry, neither Calcutta nor dogs, is too far away from my imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DK says:

    Hey Irfan, thanks for reviewing it. But more importantly, thanks for reading the poems. Glad you were able to enjoy some of them. And thanks for the encouragement too. Also, neither Calcutta nor dogs can be too far from my imagination. So stay tuned. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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