Blurb of the book: An intensely romantic story that unfolds in the beautiful hill station of Shillong in north-eastern India, The Last Poem (Shesher Kavita) is considered by many to be Rabindranath Tagore's finest prose work. Amit Ray travels to Shillong to escape from the drudgery of his middle-class existence, and finds himself ensnared instead in a web of passion and poetry with the elegant and enigmatic Lavanya. As the protagonists grow closer to each other in this unconventional love story, they also discover themselves, their strengths, ambitions and follies.
My Take on it:
The character of Amit is wonderfully etched out as we turn the pages of the book. His character of an eccentric, moody, poetic romantic soul metamorphoses to a matured, responsible, calm minded person.
Similarly, the character of Lavanya which begins with a reserved, studious, strong hearted girl soon changes into a fragile, soft hearted romantic woman who craves for love.
Amit and Lavanya complimented each other beautifully in the book as their camaraderie and moments helped each other to overcome the weaknesses they had.The two souls met each other in Shillong, fell in love, helped each other rediscover their inner self and then parted with a smile to settle down with different individuals.
When Yati asked Amit whom he actually loves, I loved the metaphor used by Amit:"What binds me to Ketaki is love, but this love is like water in a vessel.I'll draw it and use it everyday. My love for Lavanya is like a lake, which can't be brought home in a vessel. My mind will swim in it."
The last poem is definitely the most poignant poem out of all the verses used in the book. It was thought provoking, touching and heart wrenching at the same time. The lines that touched me the most are:
"Grieve not on my account,
Wide is the world with many tasks.
My cup is not discarded
Shall fill again-
Let this sustain me forever.
I may yet be blessed
If there be one eager heart
Waiting for my footsteps.
I long to give myself to him
Who can see the compassion of love
The actual me, a blend of good and ill
Who can light up the dark night
With flowers plucked in moonlight."
The translator Dilip Basu has done a great work and the illustrations of Dinkar Kowshik added beauty to the book. I know I will surely read this book time and again as this is surely not a one time read. Lastly, I take a bow to convey my respect to Rabindranath Tagore, the genius.
I am absolutely bewitched by this book and I am still under it's spell. "The Last Poem" has definitely become one of my favorite books.
A must read for all literature lovers.