Book review: Once Again Love by Sarita Mathur

I read this beautiful collection of prose and poetry Once Again Love by Sarita Mathur, earlier this year, and was simply blown away. Previously I had been exposed to Sarita’s wonderful poems on a WhatsApp group we are a both a part of. I’ve always connected with her poetry immediately as Sarita’s writing is honest and clear. Not only is her writing beautiful, but spontaneous too – I could be wrong, but I think this talented woman writes a poem a day! This morning when I sat down to write the review, I flipped through the pages again to try and find one poem I could single out as my favourite, but I was simply unable to. Each poem is a mini-masterpiece and the weaving of the prose in-between to thread them together creates a tapestry of colour and brilliance.

Sarita has written all her life – it is her way of expressing her experiences and emotions and sharing them with those of us who are blessed to read. Once Again Love is a collection written after being struck by a chemical imbalance in the brain after routine surgery. This affliction caused chemical depression which could have been debilitating. Her journey to acceptance and recovery is captured with breath-taking honesty. The themes of love (in all its manifestations and forms), spirituality, hope, acceptance, forgiveness resonated with me on a cerebral and cellular level as these are themes that are prevalent in my writing too. Yet Sarita’s renderings display and enviable effortlessness, which I know can only come from a writer being honest and allowing one’s authentic voice freedom of expression.

Durban and its warm, wonderful people are other passions we share – me having been born and lived there for the first twenty-seven years and she having moved there many years ago. Similarly, she pays tribute to India and Nigeria where she has also lived. Her writings reveal how completely she submerges herself in the art of living. While understanding the significance of the individual self, her connection to her surroundings is testament to how she allows herself to open up to environment too.

I’ve only met Sarita twice briefly but I feel I know her through her writing. What a well-rounded, grounded person she is, and I am honoured and blessed to call her my friend. I cannot recommend this book too strongly. It is a ‘must-read’.  

By Raashida Khan, author