A CERTAIN WAY by Mona Dash available from Amazon
- Feb. 10, 2017
-- A Certain Way, the collection of poems, brings a first time eighty-nine pages of poems by this award-winning poet now living in the UK as the UK poet to the readers internationally. After her novel published last year and newly gained MA, she speaks in a polished and a confident voice, but not rowdy in any way. This collection is a mix of poems about identity, belonging, spirituality, feminism and love. The voice is intense, always searching, and always honest. It is unique not because the poet observes everything through the eyes of an Indian and a first generation migrant but because it explores the sentiments of displacement and belonging in a different way. Instead of the usual longing for home and derision of the new surroundings, it tries to bridge the two. It tries to define new spaces to inhabit. It does the same with the other themes expressed; feminity and feminism, love and solitude, spirituality and disbelief, motherhood and independence. Throughout the collection, there is a sense of search and exploration, and trying to find a balance in dichotomies.As an immigrant,
I am expected to behave in a way,
A certain way
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A writer and poet Yogesh Patel of Word Masala Foundation highlights the significance of the title: Is it still the certain way we –the displaced ones - are expected to behave suggested by the cover of the book? Is a roar at the locked door about the same hopelessness as 'the calf butted the oak' by Solzhenitsyn and the self-satisfaction of challenging the impossible? It seems Mona has not only those but more questions about the certain way we are expected to behave in all kinds of situations. It provides a perfect ground for the poet to explore them through her poetic take. Hence, the collection is not a loud rant by an immigrant, but an examination of perspectives from the other side as well. The example of it is in 'Suitcase,' where an emigrant returning home is expected to behave in a certain way burdened with guilt in the homeland!
The voice and the themes make this a unique collection. The writer, like many others, lives in dual worlds, whether it is about adopted home and birth home, a technology job and words, independence and feminism.
Prof Saleem Peeradina, poet and essayist, puts this aptly in the book blurb: 'There are two voices here: the personal domestic one and the bold public one.'
Mona Dash is an Indian writer settled in London. She writes fiction and has been widely published, after her MA, she has embarked on her PhD studies.Contact (http://www.skylarkpublications.co.uk/contact.html) Mona to explore with her the points she makes in this statement:
'I have been living in London since 2001 and I came here to work. I think it is hard to feel or be made to feel as an outsider in this city, as it is so multi-cultural. As a child growing up in India, studying in English and reading so much about England through literature, I guess it never felt completely foreign. However, there is also something called perception and how outsiders view you, and after living here, I see so many different viewpoints of 'first generation immigrants,' second generation immigrants, 'I see the locals almost questioning how we manage to speak their language, albeit not in the same way! Or I sense the expectation that immigrants and migrants must all feel the same, must all come here for the same reasons and act the same. If I have to say 'struggle' then I guess it is the expectation that work from an Asian writer has to be of a certain type, it has to be 'exotic' enough, but not real enough! How English and how Asian can one be? – getting that balance the way it is meant to be, is perhaps the challenge I have felt, but I think it is something I safely ignore, 'for there is no certain way to be' (A certain way.)'