I had gone there simply to get my glasses fixed. I swear. But then Bargain Book Hut is two steps away. Not my fault. I generally enter Bargain Book Hut to check out the Wilco Classics, or box sets. This time I also looked at its coffee table books and other hardcovers. There were some really good ones at a great discount. After a couple of message exchanges, we bought this one for the home library, and now we are eyeing one more called “Krishna’s Forgotten Poets”, lets hope it remains there till the next weekend.
“Surrealist” – A collection of short stories and verse inspired by Art from Behind Bars.
The book is basically a compilation of short stories and poems inspired by a couple of paintings made by a few jail inmates. It has contributions from 25 authors within an age range of 9 years to 62 years. These include paintings made by jail artists from Nashik Central Jail and Paithan Open Jail. These were a part of the “Know Your Environment” class of Kavita Shivdasani, the editor of the book, that brings to the forefront community service efforts of the children there. She says, “The book is different, different because we on the other side of the bars have tried to interpret paintings that have been conceptualized in the creator’s mind and produced behind bars.”
Each prose or poetry starts with the introduction of the prisoner who drew the painting that inspired it. And every painting is an uneasy reflection of brilliance. These paintings are a blend of surreal and spooky. They are disturbing and yet provide great insight.
The only flaw, in my view, and I will try and see if I can also convey it to the editor/publisher, is that it doesn’t tell us the crime for which the prisoners are behind bars. One detail and it would have led to a deeper analysis to what goes on in minds.
It’s an interesting book, a fascinating concept.
Check the pics here –