A for Alchemy, E for Endless
Over a cuppa, soak in the English alphabet with soulful poems and illustrations
An illustration and couplet in the book, Visual words: Anushka Gupta
Two shores, one sea Two, souls, one being.
TITLED Intertwined, the couplet appears under the letter ‘I’ in the book, Visual Words, touted as an illustrated dictionary for the soul. Conceptualised and penned by 28-year-old Anushka Gupta, the 200-pager features over 60 poems, celebrating different words — nouns, adjectives and verbs — from letters A to Z of the English language. For the letter S, Gupta has written verses on Symphony, Serendipity and Solitude while M stands for Metamorphosis and Muse, L for Labyrinth and E for Endless. Tomorrow evening, the debutante author will conduct a reading session and interact with the guests on all things poetry at Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters in Mahalaxmi.
“Even as a child, I loved to read and write poetry. I also liked browsing through dictionaries to learn new words. So, I decided to marry the two and came up with a coffee-table book that readers can flip through at leisure,” says Gupta, who did her Masters in graphic design,branding and identity from the University of the Arts, London, in 2011. For the last two years, she has been running her own venture, Story Of The Brand. At the session, she will also conduct a tête-à-tête with the owners of the café space to trace the origin of their brand.
Published this October, with San Francisco-based self-publishing platform Blurb, the book features poems in various formats, including haikus and free verses. “I draw inspiration from many sources, mainly the colours of the sky, sunsets, travel, everyday life and relationships,” she adds.
Art in circles
Each poem is accompanied by an artwork by London-based illustrator Saman Sohail, who was Gupta’s friend at the University. “It took us two years to complete the project; we largely collaborated virtually. Sohail’s signature style is using watercolours to paint circles.
But, each circular illustration is distinct because she has used different colours and techniques to depict various moods,” shares Gupta. We spot a beautiful red semi-circle for a poem titled Tainted, which is about heartbreak. “She has used textured paper to add depth to the paintings. For one, she has mixed gold foil with the colours to give a metallic effect,” she adds.
The X factor
When we ask Gupta if a particular alphabet turned out to be a challenge, she instantly replies, “X. We wanted to choose words that sounded beautiful or struck a chord with us. That alphabet doesn’t have too many words, or rather only words like xylophone. So, I decided to explore the meaning behind X, and wrote a poem about mystery and being anonymous.”
ON December 2, 7 pm to 9.30 pm
AT Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, Unit 20-22, Laxmi Woollen Mills, Shakti Mills Lane, Mahalaxmi.
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