A Skyful Of Balloons

Review of – A Skyful Of Balloons

Writer : Santosh Bakaya

The book’s name as joyful and happy as this – brings forth the desire, the carefreeness and childlike candidness to reach out to those colorful balloons floating in the cerulean sky. The vibrant cover depicts this to be a story of hope happiness and ebullience. And yes- that is what this book all about.

Published by the Authors Press this novella of just 147 pages is a book one can pick up for a leisurely light read. This is also a book for novice writers who wish to hone their writing skills and learn the effective use of imagery, alliterations, metaphors in abundance. This book also would be a poet’s delight because of the rhythm, rhyme and romance it builds and creates. Basically, this book is for every literature lover.

‘A Skyful of Balloons’ is a story set in exquisitely beautiful Kashmir, The vivid description of the landscape, lakes, houseboats, seasons and the Kashmiri cuisine made me absorb the essence of Kashmir right from my the comforts of my home. 

As I have had the privilege of hearing this amazing author recite her poems and essays, I could sense that the exuberance and outspokenness of the protagonist Preeti is one very similar to the author herself. The story revolves around the love of yore between Preeti and Vivek, their friendly banter and their child like innocence, the unfortunate undercurrent of an unsettling incidence, the loss the pain and the revival. 

This beautiful novella celebrates love and romance, nature and it’s fury, humour and laughter family and bonds, literature and music so finely. The book is indeed lively and every page unfolds the meticulously sketched characters and their friendly banter making it impossible for ennui to step in. The narrative is clean and effective. The author has done nature a favour by giving it a voice and the lines full of imagery are breathtakingly delightful. 

Just to quote a few of my favourite lines from this book-

“The Pine tree nearest to the cottage, unable to restraint its curiosity, leaned closer to the cottage.. tried to eavesdrop, but probably ashamed of its leanings, straightened up.”

“Pahalgam was a piece of paradise.. the red and yellow of the wonderful flowers, what else could the trees do, but turn green with envy?”

“The wantoning wind , bloated with vacuous pride, smug in the belief that it had driven away the sun, had now fallen quiescent , but not Preeti.”

“A scarlet crested bird took an ascending flight to a nearby tree and, chirped its displeasure from there, soon more birds hopped into the chirping bandwagon. A thunderstorm was in the offing.”

I can go on and on with praises on the book and the beautifully crafted lines. The author’s vocabulary- use of imagery and metaphors is par excellence. I myself have happily gained a lot of insight and learnings from her powerful writing. 

This is a must book for every reader and anyone and everyone who is full of love inside.


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