Additional Director General of Police B. Sandhya, talks about her new anthology of poems Chembakam Nee Madangipokalle
She burnt the midnight oil to get this book out in print. And that’s despite the pressures of her 24/7 job as one of Kerala’s top police officers.
“Most of the 86 or so poems in the anthology were written late at night, between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Writing poems is not relaxing, its hard work!” says B. Sandhya, Additional Director General of Police, Armed Police Battalions, prolific writer and artist. Sandhya’s latest anthology of poems Chembakam Nee Madangipokalle, her 11th book thus far, is all set to be released on August 19 in the city.
“Chembakam Nee Madangipokalle has been nine years in the making, after my last anthology Neermaruthile Uppan was published in 2004. It’s only in April this year that I was able to give the finished collection to the Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangham (SPSS), who had been after me for one for a while now,” says Sandhya.
As such, she says the anthology is a hotchpotch of her thoughts and experiences over the years, the subject for each of her poems coming from sparks as varied as nature, sorrow, and history. “Whatever touches me, really. For example, the poem ‘Marunadan Kudumba Katha’ is the tale of a young girl and through it, it’s about the issues faced by migrant labourers. The inspiration for ‘Sabarmati’ came from a trip to the Sabaramati ashram and ‘Chetak’ from the story of how the legendary horse saved the life of its rider, Maharana Pratap Singh, after it was fatally injured in the midst of a battle. ‘Veri Nee Karayaruthe’, meanwhile, is about the travails of an Adivasi woman.” says Sandhya, who also holds the post of Special Officer for Scheduled Tribe Welfare.
The anthology has been divided into five sections, namely ‘Sangalppangal’ (long poems), ‘Yadharthyangal’ (poems in prose), ‘Yathrakal’ (poems based on travels), ‘Geethangal’ (lyrical poems) and ‘Mozhimuthukal’ (thoughts on Indian philosophical).
“In ‘Sangalppangal’ there is a poem ‘Ganga Sandhya’ written back in 2007 but one which has an immediate relevance because of the recent natural disaster that took place in Uttarakand,” says Sandhya.
Being the artist that she is Sandhya often gives her own artistic touch to her books too. “I’ve done most of the illustrations for Chembakam Nee Madangipokalle.
The rest of the illustrations are by students of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing here in the city. Artist Murali Nagapuzha has done the cover art for the book,” explains Sandhya, who has won the Edassery Award for her novel, Neelakkoduveliyude Kavalkkari. The book release is at Professor N. Krishnapillai Foundation Hall, Nandavanam at 5 p.m.