Book Review: Alleys are Filled with Future Alphabets by Gopal Lahiri


  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0912LQ87J 
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rubric Publishing
  • Price: INR 275/-

Gopal Lahiri's latest poetry collection has been divided into 7 separate sections – Voyages In, Voyages Out, Cityscape Silhouettes, Macrocosm, Haiku Series, and Micro Poems, Travel Diaries, and Pandemic and Resilience. In every section, his writing manages to hold your attention long after you have finished reading the book. 

Lahiri is a prolific poet with close to 17 poetry collections to his credit. His works are beautiful imagery of his observations from life at large.  

Gopal Lahiri's writing flows in the book in ebbs and tides. It makes you smile, think, cry, wish and sigh as you go through the poems. 

Here I am alive in isolation, 
breathing in soulless life 
 waiting for a new world.

Lahiri's words are thought-provoking in ways where he questions a lot of things in parts. While some parts are like a gentle nudge where you want to pause and see things the way Lahiri wants you to see. Feel it perhaps or just bask it in the magic of those words.

His verses have captured such a plethora of emotions in his words, that as a reader you might wonder what next is in store. And that is where Lahiri's verses surprise you once again with his ability to look at life so closely and bring forth a never-before-seen perspective through his words.

Having written more than 15 collections of poems till now, Lahiri continues to be an important voice in Indian poetry. And this collection just seems like the perfect icing on the cake of all his collections so far.  

Lahiri captivates his reader from the cover itself which is an oil on canvas painting by academic, poet, and painter Jharna Sanyal. The more you look at the strokes of colours on the cover, the more it piques your interest. Titled Uncanny, this painting speaks a lot to the reader and at the same time, sets a tone for the poems in store. 

As a poet, it will not be wrong to say, Lahiri bares his soul in this collection. We get to see him closely as a poet, a geologist, travel-lover, a compassionate soul, and a caring individual throughout these poems. His verses are like confessions at a lot of places when he shares his deepest feelings. 

I personally enjoyed the section Cityscape Silhouettes the most as it felt akin to taking a walk in the concrete jungle I live in. The hustling and bustling of the traffic, the voices of the crowds that never seem to die, and the grey smoke smelling of petrol, sweat, and the sea we inhale every moment - it all seemed to come alive in his verses. 

The poet tells us how these poems were written over a period of four years which included the pandemic. The section titled Pandemic and Resilience bears witness to it. Lahiri tries to hold onto hope through this segment is what can be otherwise called the darkest phases of mankind - the pandemic. He talks about the 'new normal' , the 'quarantine' and the 'social distancing' - phrases that have been newly added to our vocabulary and yet seem to be so real. 

Overall, a brilliant hard-hitting collection that speaks to the soul in multiple ways and one that you would want to read, again and again.