Book Review: Rang Leela


Rang Leela is a collection of poems (mostly in Hindi) by Piyush ‘Jayant’ Arora. Jayant is Piyush’s takhallus (pen name), like Dinkar, Nirala, etc. The collection is not of a particular form of poetry, that is, Hindi Kavita or , or Nazm or Sher. Rather it is all of these. And none of these. The collection moves between Hindi, Urdu and English. Alongside the poems, you also have their English transliterations. Interestingly, while taking the pains of transliterating to reach out to a mass that may have forgotten/ may not know how to read hindi script, Piyush has not provided the meaning of some of the words, a common practice amongst most such works. Also, almost all such work that I have come across recently has been focused on English translation, rather than transliteration.

On the back cover of the book, we have a sher from Piyush – “Na khushiyon ki bahaar… na gamon ka dariya hai… zindagi aur kuch nahi… bas apna apna nazariya hai.” And so, Jayant proceeds to share his perspective.

Yet, a single sher (couplet) maketh not a book. Five neither.

The book has a few good couplets, and nothing much to offer otherwise. The inconsistency of language, style and meter is disappointing. The incorrect constructs (“alfaaz hua”), the flawed analogies (“lehron se sthirta”), and confused phrases (“dil-e-khushi”) further irritate you. “Sthirta” (stability) is the ocean’s (samandar) virtue, not wave’s (lehrein). “Alfaaz hue” is the appropriate usage, and not “alfaaz hua”. Khushi-e-dil (joy of heart) bayaan hoti hai, dil-e-khushi (heart of joy) nahi. The book has an entire section called couplets, with probably 5-6 of them actually worthy of being considered a couplet. Most of the others are not couplets at all!

It’s a juvenile poetry book, full of three leading dots (… that signify an incompleteness to what was being said) inserted at will, anywhere and everywhere. The quality of compilation and editing screams of this being a self-published book. If the book has actually seen an editor’s table, then the editor has to be blamed for letting the book get published with so many errors and blunders.

Title: Rang Leela
AuthorPiyush ‘Jayant’ Arora
Publisher/ ImprintNotion Press
Pages: 100
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Poetry
Rating: 0.50 of 5
Reviewed for: Author

 Browse through the full list of book reviews in the depths of the Pensieve.


  • While I understand your intellectual limitations as it took you 5 months to review this book, I didn’t expect them to get reflected in the review itself. First of all its a humble 100 page book and not 240 pages as you have written- I think u got the wrong book. Also the point you mentioned about ‘lehren’ .. If you read those lines, it is meant to be an anti-anthology. Lehren (tides) are never calm.. That’s why u derive calm once u have faced the tides of ur life. Similarly the destinations give u hope (makaamon se umeed) . tufaano se sahas…once u face the storm…u will have the courage to do anything in life. I don’t think you got the context right here. Had you even given some time before you wrote all this, it would have been clear to you. Also to see the correct usage of alfaaz, you need to see how it is used by poets. Read ghalib’s letters…poets are not conformists…a very old share in Urdu ends like..’aati hai Urdu aate aate’ poets don’t have the same language…but it is difficult to make u understand once you have developed a particular opinion about my work.

  • Reshmy Pillai

    Dear Piyush,
    1. Amit did not have your book for 5 months, it was once lost in transit etc. Etc. He must have hardly received it a month back.
    2. 240 pages is my mistake as the moderator of the post…I overlooked it. Its edited now to ‘100 pages’.
    3. Your anguish at your work not being looked at from your prespective is understandable but a review is a reader’s experience…his angle.

  • I understand that. However, please read other reviews by the same reviewer….they are mostly negative. Only time and my hard work will define my future but reviews like this discourage the ones trying. Ask this reviewer to approach a well know publisher with a poetry book and he will understand why one opts for self publishing. Why make a taunt on the publisher.A self published book can be as good as a other publisher. May be my book may not be as good as any other but why stereotype the entire self publishing industry. What business has a reviewer of the book got to comment on an entire industry. Also I perform at various places in India and outside…can connect you to grade 12 to 60 year old people and they will tell you the meaning of the poem stanza being discussed…one needs to just spend time…if you think like … Tides are not calm…how is the poet saying we can learn stability from tides…then where is the depth…if everything is taken literally…you really don’t need a poem…you need a detailed explanation..this aint fiction..reviewer’s approach is like visualizing a real madhushala when reading Bacchan sahab’s poem madhushala…you can’t get just into literal meanings in poetry…deeply disappointed by such a rude review along with limited understanding.