The Way that We Are– Book Review by Asha Seth

Author: Priyam Acharya | Genre: Poetry | Pages: 196

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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. 

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After ‘Seasons’, this is author Priyam Acharya’s second book, a collection of poems again. Seasons was a fresh delight given that she was a first-time author then and her love for words, for poetry, was totally worth it.

Then came The Way that We Are. At the outset, let me admit that I was skeptical about this book for it shouted ‘romance’ off rooftops and the cover was a total turn off. But a good look at it, and I realized it was worth more than that. I’m glad I did not discard the book basis my preconceived notions.

‘The Way that We Are’ is a collection of about 120 poems encompassing multitude of genres, thus emotions and moods that invariably surround the human mind and spirit, at varied stages of life, all an aftermath of diverse experiences, learnings as life is known to bestow upon a being; some fairly good and some not so.

We have found calm in each other, at last!
We are here – where no one can find us!
Because it is impossible for anyone to be in love,
The way that we are…!

Priyam Acharya

We all know how much we’ve mulled over the most trivial things in the past year of the pandemic. The author has bucketed all her musings in this book – The Way that We Are. Each of these pieces are pensive in nature, introspective at large, and some driving us deep within ourselves where lie answers one has been seeking for; consciously or unconsciously. These are meaningful, meditative, melancholic, and mesmerizing all at once, for the sheer brilliance of capturing the thoughts in words so efficiently.

The titular poem was capturing ‘love at its best’, but what stood out as the most inspiring piece was ‘Chasing Perfection’. I am yet to read something as simple yet capable of managing a paradigm shift in changing mindsets. The language is simple and since these are free verses, any one who is a reader can revel in the pleasure of poetry without taxing their brains; although the inappropriate and excessive use of exclamation marks through out the book could burn out your eyes!

Art is not about perfection.
it is just a reflection of my existence.

Priyam Acharya

As a lover of poetry and someone who writes poems herself, I felt the depth of emotions went missing for most part and it felt like I was left with just a glimpse of the surface whereas the real gems hidden at the bottom were never cared for. The author could well have allowed herself the pleasure of exploring beneath the surface of her thoughts and that’s where I felt the intensity to leave a mark went lacking. That, however, does not hamper the reading experience and one will find themselves noting down quotes from the book for their own self-help goals.

‘The Way that We Are’ is simple yet captivating nurturing of words that promises to delight its readers on a tiresome day. For that, I recommend this book to every reader, irrespective of age, gender, preferences, or reading choices. There is something in it for everyone.

Have you read ‘The Way That We Are’? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

P.S: I received a review copy from the author but the review remains unbiased.

Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem! 

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