CHENNAI: Reading poetry often offers a form of catharsis to its reader. But, what’s most profound is how the words of everyday usage, familiar ones, become significant when in verses. In his latest Tamizh poetry book, Mittai Payal (sweet boy/man), author Mano Bharathi offers the warmth of familiarity wrapped with feelings of love, liking, yearning, affection, attraction and heaps of memories, which feel resonant. “Idhu kavidhaigal alla, kavithai tharunangal (These aren’t poems but poetic moments),” shares the author, whose oeuvre includes Ezhuthupizhai, Vikadakavi, Kannamma and Kansimittal; all part of his venture — Ezhuthupizhai publications. Mittai Payal is the publication’s fifth offering.
“Kannamma too is a book of poetry. It is about a woman, written from a man’s perspective. In Mittai Payal, the tables have turned. Idhu Kannammavin kadhal (This is Kannama’s love). She takes on everyday incidents, musings, conversations and fleeting moments with her ‘one’ and scribbles them away during moments where she feels deep emotions,” says Mano. “How many books in literature take on the subject of a man, his emotions, heart and sensitivity? I feel there is a dearth, a gap and it is this gap that I wanted to fill,” he informs.
The handwritten notes of Kannamma offer us a peek into female desire, romantic love and her admiration for her lover. Emotional reactivity, envy, sensitivity, empathy and shyness in a man too shine through and the words pleasingly normalise the tenets as an essential part of masculine identity.
The slivers of emotions tread on a shared boundary — that of being descriptive, straightforward and of one filled with allegories. With the emotions of women and the sensitivity of men still unplumbed and tabooed, the book does a fine job of exploring these terrains. “The reception for this has been heartwarming. We have women gushing over how Kannamma’s words capture their thoughts and emotions accurately. Having said that, I didn’t want to assume what a woman feels/felt for a man. So, during the creation process, I ensured I spoke to women and understood the pulse. As for the men, they are happy to have (finally) become the muse. Poems are often synonymous with nature and women and this has been a welcome change. The words have found a deep connection among people from both these genders,” he notes.
Since its launch last month, the publication has sold close to 500 copies of Mittai Payal. “We are elated and there’s more to come,” he adds. The author is working on his next, Nadhi (River), a novel chronicling the life and journey of a woman. Mittai Payal is priced at `295. For details, visit: ezhuthupizhai.in or Facebook page @ezhuthupizhai