As the hindi collection of poetry, titled “Chand Ehsas”, Nisha Tandon’s English poetry collection, “Footprints” is an equally refreshing fine work in poetry writing. Everytime she writes a poem, she has something more to say. Sometimes her poems on nature remind of William Wordsworth but still emerges to be different and sometimes reminds of strong feminist poets like Mahasweta Devi.
But an interesting and special feature of Tandon’s writing is the fact of open-endedness. The open endedness is in a way that wo the poem is addressed to is never clear. In that way, the extent of dedication varies and it could be dedicated to any relationship. The reader perceives them as per his/her experience.
The themes of her poems range from nostalgia, inspiration, reminiscing to her experiences as a woman. Another interesting fact is that the poet is able to connect easily to the lives of females and give proper and accurate words to their emotions. The images she has used at the beginning of all poems give a pictorial idea of her thought which makes it easier for the reader to understand what the poet has in mind.
After having read the collections, “Chand Ehsas” and “Footprints”, it can be concluded that Tandon is a poet of substance. She deals with different subjects single handedly. She can talk of nature in her poems or about females or about any social issue or any other event that affects humanity in some way or the other.
The poetry collection has 50 poems but some of her poems have common themes with the poems of Chand Ehsas. “A Mom’s day Never Ends”, “A woman has it all”, “My mother, My forever friend” has the mother centered theme just like “एक नई ज़िंदगी”, “एक नई उड़ान”, ऐसी होती है माँ”, “माँ”, “मेरी माँ” and “मैं हूँ”.
She also writes women centric poems like “And she moved on”, “And she walked away”, “At the Alter She waited” and “Her Journey”.
The fact that she has learnt from the events that happened in her life is clear through the poems she writes. They may be her farewell poems or poems addressed to life or poems reminiscing her earlier times in life.
She shows her awareness at the social level through poems like “Pulwama” and “I am Asifa”. Tandon herself feels inhumane acts affect people physically, mentally and psychologically and poignantly gives words to their sufferings in the poems.
In the preface to “Footprints”, she says, “Despite challenges and a turbulent journey during most of my adult life, I found solace in expressing my thoughts and emotions through these modest lines.” She defines footprints as, “are impressions one creates through walk of life.” Clearly, all that she writes has the impressions of all the things she has seen and been through in her lifetime. Hence the title is quite accurate and suitable to the collection.
Overall, it’s an interesting collection that can be read by people of all ages but the appeal would more be to the adult age group who want to read reality based content.