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[Book Review] The Camphor of Night by Samir Satam | Where Little Things Breathe

“Think of those rivers of tears,In which we enter to bathe,To walk out a little grown up,And a little bit dead”~Samir Satam, The Camphor of Night

Poetry captures what’s so beyond comprehension, articulates what’s so often inarticulable, makes sense of the seemingly nonsensical. Verses and Stanzas have the ability to becalm the aggravated soul. So, to celebrate The non-fiction November, I took up reading ‘The Camphor of Night’ by Samir Satam.

I came across the book on my Instagram wall and I’m so glad I took up reading. Here, in the blog I am giving a comprehensive review of the book so you can decide for yourself.

Book Blurb of ‘The Camphor of Night’ by Samir Satam

The Camphor of Night, Samir Satam, Latest Indian Poetry book

This day, Today, when looked at from the window of Future; Wouldn’t it seem golden?

But today it feels like just another day. Why does all this preciousness have to pass to be seen? Why can’t it get its due while it lives?

Unfortunately that’s the way it has always been.

 The Future seems to hold a certain value for The Past. 

But The Present seems to be like an unfinished coin. It’s still incomplete to derive any worth.

The poems in this collection ‘The Camphor Of Night’ are little things stolen from life which found their way to a treasury box in which they lay locked for years until these stolen things developed a life of their own and hence they need to be set free, because now is their time to breathe.

About the Cover of the Book ‘The Camphor of Night’

The Camphor of Night, Samir Satam, Latest Indian Poetry books

  • They say, “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover” and I say Why not? What’s wrong in that. Isn’t the Cover a part of the Book too?So, when I got my hands on ‘The Camphor of Night’, written by Samir Satam, I was pretty impressed with the Cover.
  • It is gray and so realistic with a person riding a modified bicycle. Usually people equate poetry books with something that is fictitious fabrication and so the cover is usually animated or anything but realistic.
  • But just like the treasured poems contained in the book that are derivatives stolen from real life, I give full marks to the raw, unadulterated and prudent cover of the book that justifies and neatly wraps the poems contained within, like that red ribbon wrapped and tied around a bunch of red roses.
  • Not to forget, the telephone booth on the cover that stole the show.
  • On Conversation with the author, Mr. Samir Satam, I came across the fact that the Cover of ‘The Camphor of Night’ is composed out of a photograph he clicked during one of his travels.
 Hence, the realism of the cover is justified and so I shall proceed with the review. 

The Camphor of Night by Samir Satam Review

The Camphor of Night, Samir Satam, Latest Indian Poetry Books

I won't ask any questions,

I am afraid you may lie,

I am afraid, you won't~Samir Satam, The Camphor of Night

I devour books,

While the sun is rising and setting and rising again, I can keep reading.

And I'll admit I avoid poetry or books with small anecdotes because they don't intrigue me much.

Moreover, Instagram is inundating with amateur poets and reading so much of that shallow stuff has made my brain cells go resistant to Poetry; like Ruskin Bond said

“I think with so many people writing now, there is a danger of having more writers than readers."~Ruskin Bond

So, when I got 'The Camphor of Night' by Samir Satam, I was a tad skeptical and I thought I will complete the whole of it in a day.

𝘽𝙐𝙏 𝙄 𝙒𝘼𝙎 𝙒𝙍𝙊𝙉𝙂

 First few poems and I got a lump in my throat, proceeding with it, I received love sickness and more ahead I felt the cold part of my brain melting. Such was the therapeutic power of ‘The Camphor of Night’

It is a collection of poems that will trigger your senses that were previously sleeping.

Like you know how when a person is breathing his/her last, external shock gives the much needed push to the heart and it resumes beating again.

This book was that much needed trigger.

(I may get a bit dramatic with explanations but trust me when you read it, you feel it)

NO..NO..

It is not something out of this world or a new theorem you need to learn but this book throws golden light on everything that is a part of our daily lives, everything that is already there but which you have been ignoring or trying to run from.

For instance just read these four lines excerpt from a poem written on exodus of Kashmiri Pandits-

"Someone served his own sisters, with poisoned milk, when their killers broke the door, They found the dead smiling, Taunting"~Samir Satam, The Camphor of Night

The last line was hair raising. It gave me shivers and use of the word 'Taunting' here is so hauntingly beautiful.

Ok! Here’s another-

"Somewhere in the Cobbled streets of Paris,A lone musician on the sidewalk knows not,That love took birth in a room upstairs,Kindled by the tune he played."~Samir Satam, The Camphor of Night

Did you notice the musician on the sidewalk, or a musician in a club playing a song?

You might have, but did you notice this fragile yet so magnificent little detail?

That love took birth in a room upstairs,

Kindled by the tune he played.

This, for me is a masterpiece. 

"Ok! One last one-Decaying amongst dry twigs,Melancholy leaf sings,Songs of a life green."~Samir Satam, The Camphor of Night
  • It is written in such a simple language but the text is heavy.
  • There were some poems I read after which I closed the book and lived it for an entire day and then the next day proceeded with the next one.
  • Contrary to my belief, where I believed I would complete the whole book in 2 hours, I actually read this book over a span of a few days (I didn’t keep count)
  •  Samir Satam weaves unsettling emotions that soars and dips and then comes to a constant with realism.  I don’t like poems that rhyme ( they miss that tingling sensation of poetry), so the free verses of ‘The Camphor of night’ went hit for me. 10 on 10 for the horizons of imagination.

Here are a few sentences I especially underlined from different poems-

  • “We will make our bed,
    In the lost vessel of a broken dream.”
  • “To get my heart broken over and over,
    So that you can mend it again and again”
  • “At the edge of age,
    He took a vacation,
    To the land of forgetting.”
  • “Like a vicious wind of rumors,
    Flows through small towns,
    With fluidity of junk music…”

There were several others, but for that you need to read the book.

Again, I strongly suggest you not to go for “The Camphor of night PDF” or “The Camphor of Night by Samir Satam Online”, instead order the book, read a segment everyday, sleep with the book by your side, wake up to it, read another page and moisturise your life.

What I like the most about ‘The Camphor of the Night’ by Samir Satam?

The Camphor of Night, Samir Satam, Latest Indian Poetry book

What I savor the most of ‘The Camphor of Night’ was that it is branched into different segments and each segment explores and kindles an explicit emotion. Usually random collection of poetry does not allow the suited seeping of the emotion evoked from reading a particular piece since whatever it generates is disrupted by the next piece which is on an altogether new subject. So, I really appreciate the segmentation.

The book has been segmented as-  Blues, The Language of Love, Drifting Souls, Waiting Room, Individualism, Harsh Realities, Cityscapes, Unaccustomed, Music and Nomads. 

I thoroughly took joy in each of these.

The only one thing that made my teeth sore was that it ended way too soon. I had an appetite for so much more and at the end I was left hungry for more.

If you are stepping into the world of books or have an inclination for poetry, I’d recommend you to go for ‘The Camphor of Night’ by Samir Satam. It will really serve as a camphor.