Book Review – Midnight Moaning by Mehzabeen Hussain

Title of Book: Midnight Moaning

Author: Mehzabeen Hussain

Number of Pages: 96

Rating: 5/5

A spontaneous overflow that is etched in emotional turmoil and the thirst for attaining understanding of each other in a relationship that has the power to make or break an individual, this book is a poignant rendering of the deep seated affairs of the heart. As they say, the matters of the heart are only known to the heart and it is so in the case of the poet who is an avid reader and an articulate writer. Her sense of emotional understanding is a result of high emotional quotient that emerges from being a globe trotter who has extensively travelled across India and abroad. These include places like Assam, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and some of the most romantic cities of the world like Paris, Rome and Venice.

The author’s sentiments develop from the impressions of prohibitions and open expression of love that she has witnessed in the various places during her travels. This book remains the outcome of many such love lives who have confessed to the poet about their struggles, joys, anxieties and hopes about being in love. The vocabulary in this collection is simple, easy to follow though the usage of words is apt and a logical flow of thoughts is encouraged in the course of the progression of poems in this book. This makes the poems follow a precision of expression that does not indulge in excesses of thought or expression.

Intriguing as the topic of this book is, there is a sense of circularity and wholeness that makes for an enticing and engaging read to those who may not be sure about the genre of poetry or are not avid readers of poetry. Through this collection, readers will be able to feel the different shades of love, the restlessness of lovers and the joys of the consummation of love along with the pangs of lost love and also the endearing nature of love. Hussain bears her soul before the reader. Be it in expression, in themes, in ideas or just in the manner with which the poetic persona charms and carries herself throughout the text, there is an overall sense of the all-encompassing nature of love that consumes the lovers, takes them to a whole different sphere of existence and also brings forth the idea that through love and because of love the world is a better place to be in. This is indicative of the very many powers of love as is mentioned by the poet in the poem Power:

“You fight

Volcanoes erupt in my blood,

You smile

Like a snowflake, I melt.”

This poetry collection definitely radiates hope though it remains realistic in the manner in which it depicts love and never fails to mesmerise the readers about the abilities of love, its myriad facets and its many sides that make it such a necessary element in human existence. The book consists of 5 parts in which the poems are divided. These parts include Nocturnal, Stardust, Witching Hour, Umbra, and Twilight. The technical aspects of this book require mention as it has been done with a sincerity and eye for detail that is so reflective of the general theme of this book.

The typographical innovativeness reflects the beauty of the book as only poems that evoke love can bring out such creative thoroughness. The black and white illustrations also indicate that the book is done with a lot of love as these pictures provide a heightened reading experience and charm readers into attaining a better understanding of the text. No matter how many times it is mentioned that the book is beautifully done, there is a need to experience this book as the illustrations seamlessly blend with the words of the text that bring in a powerful reading experience and making the reader endure a process that enlightens him or her about love and also teaches about how to not just fall in love but remain in love, revive the love between species and befriend the idea that love is the be all and the end all that is indispensable for human survival.

As a researcher and communication strategist, Hussain is eloquent, thoughtful and precise in her choice of words as she neither sugarcoats nor exaggerates the theme of her book. Rather, there is sensitivity towards the treatment of the idea of love and a general, overall appreciation of the ability of love to entice, enthral and imbibe a new joy for life. It is this splendour regarding the ability of love to overcome the difficulties of life and make individuals recharged with a new zest for life that completely thrills the poet. This is what encourages her to write about love and believe in the idea that love can conquer all. On the whole, the book gives a fantastic reading experience and makes for a thrilling read.

About The Author: Mehzabeen Hussain is a mother, dreamer and a die-hard lover of Love. An Alumna of Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi University) and JNU, she has always been known to write emotion-stirring and cathartic pieces since her school days. She has won many awards for creative writing at national level competitions. She is a Qualitative Research Consultant and Communication Strategist who has worked with national and international NGOs, media houses across India and has academic publications in international journals. The author looks at every mundane life stance with nuanced lenses. She immerses herself in all shades of feelings and opens her heart to be at the mercy of those emotions. She has been lifted, thrashed, numbed, amused, abandoned, welcomed, burned, bewildered and impassioned by emotions, and yet has always chosen to value those emotions as precious parts of Love. Confessions of dreamers and lovers intrigue her. From the rural villages of Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh to cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Paris, Rome and Venice, she has met people from different walk of life and been a listener to many love stories. As a poet, she tries to step into the shoes of the protagonists who bare their soul to her and share their sentiments. Her poems are a medium of expression of her gratitude. The author’s soul is now a casket of many stories, many emotions; some told with pride, some whispered in shame, while others confessed for the first time hesitatingly in the orchestral symphony of the universe. She believes every emotion felt by every person is layered, precious and profound. Midnight Moaning echoes voices of many a man and woman are true embodiments of love. The author believes this book is like innocence’s master stroke of red paint on a blank canvas, just wishing it’s love to become immortal, if not art.

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