Shyamasri Maji reviews Ankit Raj Ojha’s poetry collection Pinpricks- Poems (Published by Hawakal Publishers, 2022) and observes how the poems in this volume connect people, cultures, and also places.
Ankit Raj Ojha, a former software engineer at Infosys and currently an academic, writer, and poet, hails from Chapra, Bihar. Pinpricks, his first poetry collection, was born out of Hawakal’s Chapbook series project under the mentorship of Sanjeev Sethi, recipient of the Ethos Literary Award 2022. Most of the poems in this collection were previously published in various online platforms such as Roi Fainéant Press, The Dillydoun Review, Brave Voices Magazine, and Streetcake Magazine.
This volume is like a personal photo album. Fond memories of family members and the anguish of living away from home are recurring themes in most of the poems in it. There’s a touch of Proustian tenor in Ankit’s use of memory as a narrative technique, which is apparent in his In Memorium poems. In “Portrait of a Lady Taken Too Soon,” the speaker sketches the portrait of his late grandmother’s personality by reflecting on her picture archived in an old smartphone. The picture taken from an old photograph is “twice removed from reality” but this is how mnemonic objects are made portable in this digital age.