Unanswered, by Kunal Uniyal

Life is all about questions and answers. When in our journey, we don't seem to find an answer, we invoke the almighty and put the question to him, see if he can give us the answer, or better yet, help us to find the answers within ourselves. That is a part of spirituality that I admire. And to me, that's partly the path that this book "Unanswered" takes. The book is the poet's contemplation on life, and these questions, and at times, the answers that he finds to these questions.

How one looks at different aspects or characteristics of life varies with each person. Through this book of poetry and philosophy, the poet looks at and discusses on topics like death, immortality, morality, dharma, ego etc. He seeks answers for these in the pages of spiritual and religious texts like the Bhagwad Gita, and enlightens us on what they say about these. And in his own style, he makes us think on those topics as well. Something that I noted down in particular was a quote from Bertrand Russell that I hadn't come across before: "It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly." I don't quite feel the poet or Russell talks of the very human yearning for something, but it's an obsession that we seem to have for something materialistic that kills peace. And another aspect of this book I could relate to was the contemplation on prayers, for they are something that's very common to mankind, not just a religion.

Poetry cannot really be reviewed, I feel. One can only review or state what one finds or understands in the poem. It is an interpretation of the reader. If it matches the intent of the poet, the joy is more. If not, it doesn't mean that the poet or the reader has failed. The poet here shares many of his verses, but perhaps the one that stands out to me is the very first. What I can relate to is what will be memorable, after all. The poem, titled "You and I" questions and seeks the almighty, and queries if we, or the poet, can see Him in his form, that if He is everywhere and in everything, can He, for some moments, be ours and only ours. I've felt that often. More so, it reminded me of Hiranyakashipu, who wanted to see if God was in a pillar, though not with the same emotions.

There is depth, I accept, in this collection of Capt. Uniyal's thoughts. And it is warranted. But it might still be a bit heavy for most readers, with the vocabulary especially not helping to keep my attention on the prose. But it is worth diving into, and it is appreciable.

I like the book for the most part, but it doesn't engage me a lot. So I rate it 3.5 stars. Best wishes to the author for his future books.

Reviewed by Vinay Leo R. for the author, who gave a copy of the eBook.

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