***I consider Sweta a friend and her book is on tour with Poetic Book Tours.***
Saris and a Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram is highly emotional and raw. It is clear that her mother’s sudden passing left a void in her life, and she was adrift with anger, despair, and confusion. She spent time with family in India, people who she viewed as vampires (sucking the life from those around them for gossip), but respected her mother enough not to say anything. There is a delicate balance in grief — when we want to cry out and shout out despair, we must be respectful that others are grieving in their own way as well. At the same time, there are those who continue to lack compassion or empathy, making the grieving process even more difficult.
This collection made me cry on more than one occasion as I thought about those who have left my life — some suddenly, some after long illness — and each time the grieving process was different and difficult. My nana passed at a critical time in my life as a college student, and I carried a lot of guilt about her passing before I could make it to the hospital to see her after my classes. I procrastinated that day, wanting to eat dinner and rest after a trying week of classes and wanting to avoid the sadness of seeing her with tubes everywhere in an ICU where germs were kept at bay as much as possible. When I arrived just after she left this world, I was tormented by guilt. I wanted to know why she left before I got there. Sweta’s poem, “Why Didn’t You Wait for Me?” struck a chord. Can they see us after they have passed? Can they send us signs? I think it’s possible, and whenever I see a ladybug, I think of her.
From: JFK: Terminal 4 Airport Lounge (pg. 4)
At first I try to hide the fact,
but any passerby could look inside me
and tell it was fake calm that I was drinking
at the airport lounge in a wine glass.
But, inside that one glass,
I could become invisible.
Inside one sip of wine,
I could whisper my fears.
Like love, grief is an emotion that bonds us. Through these poems and mini essays, Vikram show us the entire grieving process and how it tears us down so we can rebuild ourselves. Saris and a Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a tribute to a wonderful woman, who may have lived differently than her daughter, and while it comes after her passing, it signals to us to cherish those we have. We need to pay closer attention to our now and less to the past. We need to be better about showing our appreciation in the now, rather than when it is too late.
- Because All Is Not Lost
- Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors
- Beyond the Scent of Sorrow
- No Ocean Here
- Wet Silence
Guest Posts and Interviews:
About the Poet:
Sweta Srivastava Vikram, featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of 11 books, writing coach, columnist, marketing consultant, and wellness practitioner who currently lives in New York City. A graduate of Columbia University, she also teaches the power of yoga, Ayurveda, & mindful living to female trauma survivors, creative types, entrepreneurs, and business professionals. Sweta is also the CEO-Founder of NimmiLife, which helps you attain your goals by elevating your creativity & productivity while paying attention to your wellness.