Misra, who is also the founder chairperson of the Chandigarh Literary Society and festival director for Literati, has previously published a book of poems in English titled A Life of Light and a book of Hindustani poetry Zara Si Dhoop and Waqt Ke Ujale Mein.
IAS officer Sumita Misra dedicates her new book to the women of the country. At a recent launch of Petrichor, a collection of 51 English poems, Misra said: “Petrichor is dedicated to my two daughters and all the young women of today who are writing success stories against all odds. I hope that each one of us would play a positive role in helping our daughters fulfill their aspirations and potential.”
Misra, who is also the founder chairperson of the Chandigarh Literary Society and festival director for Literati, has previously published a book of poems in English titled A Life of Light and a book of Hindustani poetry Zara Si Dhoop and Waqt Ke Ujale Mein. Petrichor incidentally means a pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm and dry weather. The book contains poems on the themes of love, life, living, hope, gender, feminism, future, nature, human emotions, society, growing older — the soul and spirit of the collection focuses on the many narratives and experiences of women.
Misra said the book is a hope for all daughters, a faith and wish for the fulfillment of their aspirations, goals, dreams as individuals and a celebration of womanhood. “I am blessed to be a mother of two daughters and there is so much I have learnt from them as a parent. It has been a journey of self-discovery and the poems are a crystallisation of these experiences and hopes for the girl child,” she said.
The writer took around four years to complete the book and according to her, compiling the poetry was the most challenging, as she tends to write on bits of paper or her phone.
Her job profile, said the poet, gives her a chance to look closely at a cross-section of society with the connection to different levels giving her a chance to experience varied situations, circumstances and lives. “Poetry is a direct result of these interactions and also meeting people during my extensive travels. In this book, a woman’s voice is more prominent. One poem titled My Daughters is a feminist manifesto,” said Misra, who writes about the many challenges that women face despite modernity and education. Misra’s poetry resonates with positivity, optimism and courage in life. A poem that is close to her heart is titled Womanhood, and is on the recent incidents of gender and sexual violence in India, that according to her are very unsettling and deeply disturbing as a woman.