Book Reviews

The Way That We Are | Priyam Acharya | Book Review

  • Publisher: Notion Press; 1st edition (5 March 2021)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 196 pages

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‘The Way that We Are’, is Priyam Acharya’s second collection of free verses. Developed and written almost entirely during the year of the pandemic, every work in the compilation offers a perspective into the vulnerable side of human beings – making us the way that we, are by touching upon themes like urban loneliness, complicated relationships, spiritual questions, struggles with self-care and mental wellness. My New Home and Elements speak of loneliness and intense longing for someone you love, while A Whirlpool in my Sparkling Coffee and Affogato offer a playful conversation between two lovers as they revel in new-found love. Box of Memories explores the pain of a dead relationship while The Perfect God among others makes you ponder over the relationship between man and God. 

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Poetry is my ultimate comfort genre for how much it speaks in fewer words. While I go into sporadic reading of some well-known poems by the most illustrious poets, I always enjoy reading contemporary poets. To see how much I can see of me in their words.

The Way That We Are by Priyam Acharya is a collection of 121 poems that describes the raw and heartfelt emotions of a human. The poems are spread across diverse themes, ranging from love to desire for personal growth, and hold the potential to strike its readers because of how relatable they stand out to be! There is the ecstasy of love, nostalgia, embracing one’s truest self with a good dose of metaphors.

For the first few pages, I came across poems that revolved around unrequited or unfulfilled love. There was a sombre atmosphere that comes after a heartbreak or shattering disappointment in love. Then there were a few freestyle verses that explained the urge to dissociate oneself from the world. Those poems shed light on the bitter truth of the world we live in and how we tend to wish hard to escape it.

If there is love and belonging, there is also an unsettling vibe that washes over us as we shift to a new place. There is more pain in knowing that we are not understood. There is lingering pain that holds us close to itself for we don’t know how long. Pain is everywhere. Pain is us. Is there a life and living without it? Towards the end of the book, some poems focus on the effort to discover oneself. How are we so lost that it eventually becomes so so hard to be real, even to ourselves! That’s the way we are.

This is the second book of the author and I can totally see her willingness to express herself, without any inhibitions. As one of the poems lays it bare that how can one find rhythm in their poems when there’s none in their life? Yes, the poems are not rhythmic per se. However, they are simple and real.

Anyone new to poetry and reading would enjoy reading this collection. At 121 poems, it would surely offer a lot to its readers.

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