Chameleon Press | January 2004
On Raincheck Renewed
In Raincheck Renewed, a collection of 34 poems, Kavita Jindal explores themes ranging from superficiality in the section ‘Aspiring to be a tai tai’ to painful self analysis in ‘My father’s life in mine’.
Jindal manages to be a detached analytical observer and, simultaneously, an active participant—and it is this quality that gives her work the very desirable element of surprise. By rights, Kavita Jindal ought to be wearing a mask! She sweet-talks the reader with whimsical or pleasant introductory lines and stanzas and then ambushes them with a cynical twist.
With her tongue firmly in our cheek in ‘Dressing up for the salesgirl’, Jindal describes a topsy turvy world, where the consumer herself is reduced to the level of a commodity and the power to grant or withhold entry into the exclusive club of patrons is in the hands of the lowly-lofty salesgirl.
There is a narrative quality about the work where even those pieces that are essentially impressionistic somehow have a forward momentum and a resolution.
‘My father’s life in mine’ is the section that resonates the most with me. Although each piece is listed and numbered as a separate poem they are definably linked. Her deceased father’s character and their relationship and their effect on her comes through stronger for his absence. She digs deep into her emotions and the projected possibilities are more redolent than actualities could ever be. Although stylistically Jindal is very different, her relationship with her father has Sylvia Plath like qualities of melancholy and missed opportunities.
David McKirdy, The Asian Review of Books, January 2004
‘An intriguing variety of mood in these poems, from fanciful to thoughtful to deeply serious.’
‘Here is a REAL poet’
‘One of Hong Kong’s most active poets, Kavita Jindal, has come out with a new collection of poetry, Raincheck Renewed. It contains social commentaries on matters ranging from being a tai tai to the Bali bombing. Here’s one of the poems, Diary Entry (after Lunch with the Tribe)…’
South China Morning Post, February 11, 2004
‘A triumphant launch… the poems are fresh and inspirational. By turns humorous, regretful and acerbic, the poems all showcase Kavita’s keen observation and wit. Raincheck Renewed is a must.’
Dania Shawwa, Publisher, Haven Books
‘The poems in her new collection move from a satire of tai tai existence… to a moving reflection on the death of her father, also a poet.’
South China Morning Post, March 8, 2004
‘The Scorchers all express ambivalence about their status as ‘expat’ poets… Jindal, too, is prepared to poke fun at stereotypes.’
The Telegraph, August 8, 2004
‘A lyrical, jaunty collection, often laced with irony and with an eye for the absurd in modern life.’
Dymocks, Hong Kong