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Ambika Ananth

Ambika Ananth: Ink and Line

Book cover on left; and a painting from the book

Book Review

Sukrita & Sonnet Mondal

Ink and Line


Paintings (Sukrita) | Poems (Sonnet Mondal)

New Delhi: Authors Press. 2014

ISBN 978-81-7273-806-8

Rs 195 | $ 8


Autonomous yet complementary

Be it a poet or a painter, the need to move beyond the limiting experiences of life and reality and reach an aesthetic, idealized, utopian realm is compellingly necessary. From such ‘moving beyond’ and yet ‘being rooted’  sprung this remarkable production with its enriching offer of poetry and paintings making readers feel doubly gifted.  The warp and woof of this creative work is woven by the design of two minds – Sukrita Paul Kumar- the painter, Sonnet Mondal, the poet, hence one can feel a palpable creative sensitivity and fine thought density. The dual dimensions of the fluidity of the poetry and flourish of the paintings stimulate one in a unified manner. In this book, the artist and the poet come together - with each painting/sketch by Sukrita, appears a poem on the facing page, written by Sonnet Mondal.

Sukrita Paul Kumar, a highly acclaimed academician, poet-painter, with major creative and critical books to her credit, says in ‘A Note by the Artist’-  ‘When I read Sonnet Mondal’s poems inspired by my paintings and sketches, I had half expected to see the poems as mere interpretations of the images I had created. But, the medium they say, is the message. Each poem, I believe, was written with a specific painting in mind but as the creative process took over, the poem seems to have acquired an independent existence. The painting is autonomous of the poem and the poem stands on its own too, but when presented together, each seems to compliment the other’.

Sonnet Mondal as an Indian English poet has a very good standing, with considerable work which gained lots of popularity and recognition in the pandemic poetry scenario. He is the pioneer of the 21 line Fusion Sonnet form of poetry and is the Founder of ‘The Enchanting Verses Literary Review’.  He observes in ‘ A Note by the Poet’- ‘Paintings are the best form for the muse: and Poetry, by its allegorical nature, adds another form of expression for the muse. Ink and Line is such an attempt through my pen upon the brushes of Sukritaji’.

Each painting has a distinct identity and that identity gave the impetus and stimulus for each poem to arise and come alive with its own identity. Only when a poet or an artist perceives, imbibes, digests, enjoys the complexities and subtle nuances of life,  she or he can collect all possible imprints from their repertoire of memories, feelings, thoughts and responses to present them to others in the form of poetry or paintings.

The appealing work of painting is supported by distinctively compelling work of poetry in an apt way. The bold and bright creative strokes in a painting seem to have brought out abstract, cerebral, thought provoking verses – the resonance is loud and clear. The paintings or the poems do not carry any title adding to and rousing the interest of the readers to get to the meaning without the help and lead of the title.

The subterranean thought which ran through Sukrita’s paintings is reflected either directly or subtly in the poems by Sonnet Mondal.  Few instances, the poet seems to have denoted and evoked his own interpretation 

The mystery created in the paintings gets revealed in the poem. The visage in the painting comes out to tell a story through the poem-  

“The colour of the religion for

Me was grey in infancy and

Turned pitch black as I grew: Change of

Hues and my high pitched voice pulled me

Into  a wandering muse each

time I stood before the idols and

those without any, forced me to

perceive latent insanity ..” (p 31)

Life of a worker in coal mines is presented as a complete character in the poem –

“I am still stored in the coffins

Of memories, virtually

Mummified by the potions of

Magicians. They wake me up

Every night and drown me in the

coffins by day. I doubt if I am suffering from a

bite of an infectious vampire

My colour is just like coal, devoid

of pigments and my dress does the

The little to make me a human

In these darkest regions of coal

Mines where I have been working since

The demise of my better half... (p 45)

Emotions in their exuberance will possess and express distinct hues – and they are filled in the book.   

Sukrita and Sonnet Mondal have visualized a creative panorama independently, but have presented it together in this book as two lovely facets of the Muse, Paintings and Poetry. Their personalities have seeped in the creative fibre of this work.

Their individual talents have been acknowledged world -wide and this book value adds more.

This too slender a book, despite evoking a feeling of satiation, leaves one wanting to enjoy the celebrative mood of paintings and poetry some more. The book is- ‘dedicated to colours and words that surrender and make way for a deep breath’!

An Authors Press imprint, this one too adds to their list of fine quality books produced. But one feels, that the cover design is a sort of let down – it is too plain to speak of the content inside.



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