Why you can relate to Chameleon Lights by Ayushman Jamwal

The universal appeal of Chameleon Lights by Ayushman Jamwal attributes significance to the book.


It is unlikely to imagine that the senior output editor of CNN-IBN can create poetry. It is, however, not surprising that the poetry has something most of us can relate to. The universal appeal of Chameleon Lights by Ayushman Jamwal attributes significance to the book.

The book deals with a wide array of themes ranging from love to despair to peace and revelation – all in twenty poems written over ten years.  The poems are not about rocket science or exceptional experiences but of a journey of the self through events that keep recurring in our daily lives.

The poem Modern Love marvels one with how it depicts the drudgery in love that is caged in the world of technology through lines like

Speaking only through the tap of your fingers.

Expressionless on a distant plane

The approach to self-discovery that Jamwal has portrayed is old-school. For instance, hair like flowing cascades of brown water is reminiscent of how O. Henry described Della in The Gift of the Magi. The poetry gently touches the heart before one realises. The book can be completed in one sitting but its insight lingers in the mind of the reader  for long after it has been read.

The writing sounds majestic when read out aloud. This is owing to the language used in the verses. One example of this is in the following lines from Prophesy of Fallen Heroes.

Untouched by the surge of vengeance,

Builds supremacy, on the pillars of weaklings,

Only the heroes walked in the dark, with an aged thought.

The book offers self-reflection through poems like The Unlikely Pilgrimage and A Destined Tale while also illustrating love for animals in general and dogs in particular through Canine Love which seems to be written for the poet’s golden retriever named Leo. The essence of moments fleeting by as captured by the poems is sure to entice readers who find themselves in a world that is changing fast.

The book is published by Authorspress. The cover art is aesthetic and aptly symbolises the journey of the soul.

The Chameleon Lights by Ayushman Jamwal was launched at Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata. The launch was partnered by Kolkata Bloggers and supported by the Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust which is named after the poet’s grandfather and Dogri writer Kunwar Viyogi, whom the book has been dedicated to.

Click here to find the book on Amazon.
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Two Odd Pages from a Journal

I performed this piece in my debut performance poetry event, Inbox by Saintbrush- the opening performance for ‘A History of Butchers’ by Mad About Drama (M.A.D) at Gyan Manch, Kolkata on 5th August, 2016.

The mailman delivered a box of clichés last night. It seems to have been sent by you. Wrapped in shining material with a perfectly colour-coordinated bow which reeks of courtships that have fossilised for eons in the soil of conventions, umm, the box looked somewhat appealing.

Turn to the bookmarked page

Ting! My cell-phone beeps every time you remember me. I cannot see your handwriting, but I’m sure if you grinned at my joke or blushed a little at the heart emoticon I had sent, because my screen can now emote or at least try to impersonate your emotions, thanks to the torchbearers of science. I have read blogs on texting etiquettes, I have memorized all the 8 ways of subtly indicating that I care for you; I have also…

Back to page ten

Yes, the box looked appealing. I opened it expecting you to surprise me. It had a letter with the smell of ink on it, smudged in some places with your messy fingers. A letter, it was, with minor spelling errors which I meticulously corrected. There was a mix-tape placed near it. I knew all the songs you would have compiled in it, yet played them to ensure I was right. While I was on my way from I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane to Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

Turn to the bookmarked page again

I have also replied to all your messages instantly. A chatbox brimming with unread messages, to me, is a heap of potential typographical errors. I have rectified all your typos with clear asterisk signs since forever. But this time when I open your messages, it is not mere text or emoticons- it is a list of YouTube links. Not that I have not heard Thinking Out Loud and Yellow earlier, but your clichés don’t fail to amuse me.

To page ten again

Inside the box I see a perfume lying like the italicised alphabets in a page full of regular font. You always excelled at customisation, didn’t you? So you chose the very same apparel perfume from the exact brand I have always used. Despite knowing that you would send a handwritten letter, a mix-tape and my staple perfume, I feign surprise at your choice of gifts.

Back to the bookmarked page

I type out that I have heard both the songs and that my favourite singer is Ed Sh… I delete what I just typed, and send, “How did you come across these tracks? My gosh! They are lovely.”

Close the diary

Our transition from letterboxes to chatboxes has in it a series of infinities denying the ravages of the clock. The pages between my page ten and the one which is bookmarked are three hundred and sixty degrees apart. Three hundred and sixty degrees do not always imply a complete change. Just sometimes, it means that after oscillations between unexpected clichés and habitual surprises, you have returned to the starting point, unchanged.

Featured image by Anish Kayal