Review by Shuktara

❝ The Silent Bystander❞ by Sanhita Sinha is a collection of self-written poetry, written about her day-to-day life and emotional topics. With rich vocabulary and colorful metaphors, Sinha far surpassed many modern-day poets, bringing forward a nostalgia for something we don’t quite know, a sempiternal feeling of anemoia. 

From melancholic nostalgia, going forward with heartbreaking revelations to dejected, klexos yearnings and poignant, deep thoughts, her poems really go places we could have never thought would. The writing seems to reach out to our inner quiescent self, engaging the romanticism every human being pushes down. 
Unlike modern-day poets, Sinha, a bilingual writer, wrote deep and touching pieces of art, while also touching topics most struggle to write about, which usually end up being labeled “Gen Z trash”. 

The very last entry in this rollercoaster ride is called “Epitaph” and I do not know how others have interpreted this, but for me, this gave a feeling of peace and rest.  It was inviting, tempting, peaceful, and promising, something bittersweet, and the perfect ending. 

“Love Story”, whether you related to Taylor Swift’s most famous hit or not, brings forward a reminder that love is harsh, unforgiving, and doesn’t always go right, wiping away our tears and staying strong, following our dreams is the best we can do. For if one tries to push us down, our loved ones would always be there for us, waiting for us to shine.  As “Spices of Love” serves as a sweet reminder of our mother’s kitchen, the way she  hums while cooking, or how delicately her hands move as preparing, and how beautiful  her all-knowing smile seems to us

But “Who Am I”, the 9th poem in the book, reminds us of “unity in diversity”, as well as how identity crisis was, and still is, pretty common, and that above all, we’re Indian,  we’re human, no matter where we come from, what we look like, what we wear, or what we eat. “The Morning Raga” is a sweet, content piece dedicated to the poet’s morning routine, a nod to her city and neighbors.    
 After all, the place where we come from holds our roots and we can never forget where we grew and were shaped to become who we are. “To Life” is a bitter, although short, reminder of the miserable and somber reality in midst of peace and daydreams. 

We all have our stories, being the protagonist in our own, but perhaps a side character in someone else’s. However, not every story gets told, and “An Unsung Tale” proves the very belief of “Life is a play, the world is a stage, the humans are the actors, but not every story has its time to shine, no matter how deserving, for people rush all the time,  eager to have their own moments on the limelight.”. 

And of course, patriotism, taking pride as someone who loves their country, especially as an India- one of the most diverse countries on earth, where people of all religions live- is no small matter. With riots breaking out in different places in the country at different or same times in recent years, it’s hard to feel the “Unity in Diversity”, but of course, we all are human before all. “Junaid”, a simple, emotional ode to such a fallen warrior, a fellow India, one of our own.

Getting lost in our thoughts and memories is not a rare event for most artistic and imaginative beings, and we often let our thoughts wander away from our everyday life. “Quest” brings the feeling of anemoia a body and description, making us fall back into our nostalgia, deep and unknown musings. Things take a rather dark turn in “Congé”, where we see a rather heartbreaking goodbye, and a ride where we learn again that things might not always seem what they are, for every story has more than one side. The namesake and the very first poem of this collection, “The Silent Bystander”, is left up to the reader to interpret in their own way,  proving to be the witness of what will be an amazing and magical read. Sinha’s magic is present throughout, and this is the one collection readers of every age will enjoy! Art, in all forms, can be admired by anyone, but to understand them is the most beautiful thing of all, and this collection of poetry takes the spot of the easiest access to taste the world of art.

An enjoyable read for people of all ages 

Poet – Sanhita Sinha 

Book: "The Silent Bystander", Sanhita Sinha Price: ₹60 Publisher: Niharika 

Reviewer: Shuktara Samkalpa