Blog Book Tour | “Saris and a Single Malt” by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Posted Monday, 15 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Saris and a Single Malt” by Poetic Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of Saris and a Single Malt direct from the publisher Modern History Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Initially I felt reading about a daughter’s emotional journey through grief was a better fit for me personally than other collections of poetry being offered to review. I’ve known grief and sorrow throughout my life as I’ve lost one family member after another; including dearly beloved companions in fur and feathers. I have an interest in Indian Literature as well and writers from India in general – therefore, I felt compelled to join this blog tour.

The depths of the human emotional plane are as wide as the seven seas and as encompassing as the cosmos, as we truly live deeply and wholly true through how we emotional perceive and feel the events of our lives. Death is one of the hardest transitional moments of our lives, as we have to find a way to have closure out of loss and how loss cannot be a window towards an erasure of memory.

I felt reading about this particular collection of poems and words, fused to the author’s own journey of losing her Mum was one I could relate too, as I have experienced the heartache of loss and the difficulty in moving forward when a loved one’s presence is no longer at hand. The hope of light flickering at the tunneling end of grief is what keeps you moving forward but it’s the resolve to hold onto the memories where love flourished and thrived is what helps us heal our hearts.

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Blog Book Tour | “Saris and a Single Malt” by Sweta Srivastava VikramSaris and a Single Malt
by Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Source: Publisher via Poetic Book Tours

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.

Genres: Poetry & Drama

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

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ISBN: 9781615992942

Also by this author:

Published by Modern History Press

on 1st August, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 46

Published By: Modern History Press an imprint of Loving Healing Press

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram

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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Saris and a Single Malt is a slimline paperback collection of poetry, speaking to the humble heart of truths where life and death merge into the legacy of a soul. The collection is precipitated by a quotation about ‘life, loss, and recovery’ where you gather the ending result for the author is in accord with it’s truism about how as devastating as loss can bleed your heart and affect your emotional well-being, there is a turning tide where all will become calm, where memories return and love forevermore is a lasting impression upon your heart. Healing takes time, as hours cannot be measured nor grasped how long a period is needed to recover from the shock of a loved one’s absence and their death which permanently shook them out of our everyday reality.

In an unusual method of cathartic release, the poems, connective thoughts and essays are presented in a living sphere of conscious and emotional anguish as the author herself, flew back home to India to say her good-byes to her mother. An emotionally raw moment for anyone to come to terms with the sudden death of their Mum, much less for a writer whose pen can sometimes become unable to compel the words to fit against a blank page – somewhere in that emotional chaos, Vikram found her path towards healing her mind, spirit and heart through the words she’s left behind inside Saris and a Single Malt.

In the poem “Destination” her mind is a frenzied mess of expectations and nervous anxiety of what she might find when her plane find’s solid ground once more in India. Her Mum’s condition is forefront on her mind but so too, is the questioning angst where we all start our own suffrage of re-questioning what we once believed to be true and what is now quite apparently our ‘new’ reality. The mind cannot find measure to warrant the filtration of the information that breaks the soul’s being in half – it spends it’s time trying to repair that gulf of emotion by remembering what it cannot yet understand.

Whilst Vikram is awaiting departure at JFK, she aptly titles a poem that seeks to express and explain her current state of fluctuating emotions. There is a start-stop railing of emotional density when your in the midst of a medical crisis, you try to temper your fears with the will to survive what will come (good or bad) but it’s the human side of your spirit that is not as willing to accept an outcome that will bleed the soul dry. All those thoughts you cannot dash or put to bed, all that weighing on your mind as you wait your moment in queue to board a plane that will take too long to reach it’s destination. As transporting ourselves across date lines and continents is not a quickfire way of arriving where seconds erase faster than hours.

As we read her words inside “Looking for Signs” it’s the gentle reminder of how we fracture our resolve in a moment of uncertainty, where our fragility and vulnerability is in full view. You dare yourself to find a reason or a plausible ‘anything’ to get you through those vexing moments where time does not yield answers nor does time halt it’s assault to start a new chapter. All of those small moments inside the seconds, and the seconds increasing in strength through the hours, lend you one bit of clarity – for all the memories you ache to remember, just to bring one happier moment to the surface of your mind’s eye would suffice to see you through the currents of where time and memory overtake you.

The frustrations of a daughter having witnessed how others had treated her mother in life and then truly saw how they were unchanged in their behaviours at her time of death, pushed Vikram over the edge of where tolerance and livid anger can funnel together into a living stream of unresolved angst. She spilts this venom out of her mind and purges it into the poem ‘Conversations with Mumma’ as a last attempt to make sense of her mother’s forgiving spirit and the way in which her mother overlooked the faults of those who seemed to superficially be a fixture in her life.

A harbinger of solemnity and of the truth of realising that you cannot escape the sorrows of your life, Vikram bleeds her emotions through the words of “I Write” with such heart-wrenching clarity as to be accurately representative of what you feel inside that moment of ‘how does time renew itself from here?’ How does one recover themselves to the point where ‘getting on’ with life doesn’t feel so empty and apathetic?

My favourite poem by far bridges the grief of a daughter and the beautiful lasting love of a mother as seen within the lines of “Ode to Mumma”. It’s the type of poem all daughters can singularly relate too, because in the end, all that is left is the closeness and the tenderness of the relationship you shared. Whilst her “Forever Courage, Beta” is the reminder of what you can forget when your caught inside the aftermath of how death curates this sudden exit and unresolved abyss of memories.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who picked up the same story to read.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 15 August, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, India, Indie Author, Literature of India, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New York City, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Vulgarity in Literature

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4 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Saris and a Single Malt” by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

  1. Jorie, thank you for sharing your well-expressed thoughts about this very touching collection. I have read Saris and a Single Malt and will review it as part of this tour later this month.

    • Hallo, Hallo dear Suko!

      I regret – I’ve been working so hard to keep on deadline this past week whilst trying to make up for lost hours (i.e. lots of lightning & surge caused me tech issues to work round!), I simply haven’t had the pleasure of returning the kindness you gave me! I have been looking forward to visiting your lovely blog to see what your reflections were on behalf of the poetry, as I was touched by how emotionally honest Ms Vikram left her poems open to her readers. In many places I felt her honesty was both pure and tangible as well as sombering full of the grief that hits us all. Thank you for letting me know how much you loved reading my ruminative thoughts! I appreciated your visit & your compliment.

    • Hallo, Ms Cox!

      Thanks for bringing this poet’s work to my attention! I appreciated reading her living truths as she transitioned out of the difficulties of grief to re-set the balance of her heart by holding tight to the memories & love of her Mum. This collection is approachable to anyone who has gone through loss & has needed to take time to understand how to best move forward when all you want is a bit more time with the person you’ve lost.

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