Sonnet Mondal’s “An Afternoon in My Mind”: a delightful afternoon read: Book review by Poorna Singh

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Publisher: Copper Coin

In “An Afternoon in My Mind,” Sonnet Mondal invites readers to curl up on the couch and reminisce about places and people who no longer exist in the same way as in our memories. Beautiful, melancholic, and evocative emotions and observations that appear transient linger after every poem—much like the sight of the earth rising above the moon’s horizon. 

“An Afternoon in My Mind” is a collection of 75 poems that depict the poet’s observations of the real and imaginary worlds. He deftly dips his fingers into his emotional vault and whips out words that are both captivating and kind, prompting readers to return to his verses to decipher the cryptic aspects they contain.

Tiny yet significant details find moorings in his verses through his frequent trysts with life and its trappings, of the whispers of nature, of incidents that unsettle, of long silences impregnated with desires and longings, of solitariness, of lost innocence, and incidents of childhood and nostalgia, which is often the overriding theme of his works.

Many of his works are slow, meditative, and often are a quest to find answers or to seek an explanation for life’s many mysteries and injustices of recent times in poems like “Lockdown,” “Pandemic Symphony,” “Tangled,” “The Nameless Man,” and “To Delhi.”

He touches upon sleeplessness and hangovers in “Unsettled” and fleeting aromas and bruised walls with inane slogans in “The Biscuit Factory”. Never severing his frequent mental trips to his boyhood days, his lines lure back moments and reminiscences from raindrops in “Yesterday’s rain” and the assuring eternity of rice fields, village songs, and routine triviality in “My mother’s village” He speaks of familiar scenes of ordinary dwellings and forgotten faces and walls that might have reeked of memories and longings in “Preserved in a Corner,” crafting his expressions with a heady mix of simplicity and profundity, rich with metaphors and philosophy. Sonnet’s verses continue to echo a certain familiarity, speckled with a certain detached quality that is charmingly mystical and has a certain hold over lovers and seekers of fine verses, much like an afternoon reverie. 

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