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Poppy Charnalia - Poetry Book Launch

Parveen Minocha

Poppy Charnalia - Poetry book launch

Agony and love, compassion and ecstasy, laughter and joy, hope and quest - the evening was exhilarating with a multitude of emotions as Poppy Charnalia launched her first poetry book called ‘Yeh Sach Anvarat’ (The Relentless Truth) at the DeCordova Sculpture Art Museum in Lincoln, MA on Sept 8th. Surrounded by an encouraging New England community, the Charnalia family brought together a touching evening with great poetry and art while raising awareness for Autism.

Preanshi, Poppy’s young daughter, opened the program with a beautiful bhajan ‘Asato Maa Sadgamaya’ which means: take me from darkness to the light of knowledge. This was followed by an exquisite Kathak performance by Poppy’s friend, Urvashi Batra who is a student of Gretchen Hayden. Local artist, Rajiv Gangurde presented two songs, one of them including ‘Maa’, a special tribute to Poppy.

Poppy talked about her passion for poetry and how she started writing when she was only fifteen. Very fondly, she remembered her late brother and also sang her dad’s original poem, a gift to her mom on their wedding. She read several snippets from her book, each one brought forth a sensitive subject or was drowned in emotions. The audience was totally enthralled and resonating equally with her emotions.

Samir Charnalia, Poppy’s husband, shared a glimpse of their life and brought about some lighter moments. Poppy is fortunate to have his unconditional love and support. Their 7-year-old son Sohum, who is Preanshi’s twin, is on the Autism Spectrum. Painful and sensitive as it may be, as a family, it is their constant endeavor to accept the fact and continue with their quest for solutions. Moreover, they want to raise awareness for the cause and provide relief for families. Poppy mentioned that many of her poems are inspired by her young son and she draws strength from them in tough times.  

A multifaceted personality, Poppy also paints. Her daughter shares some of her creative interests. Together, they put their paintings for sale. You can check out Poppy’s work on poppyspaintings.com. Proceeds from the book and paintings will benefit Autism Speaks. Donna Murray, Vice President of Clinical Programs and Head of Autism Treatment Network at Autism Speaks also addressed the audience. She encapsulated Autism Speaks’ initiatives in the field of treatment research as well as the progress and challenges faced today in the sphere of gene therapy for autism.

Poppy recognized and thanked Praveen Misra, Chandu Shah and late Dr. Saraswati Mathur for their selfless and gracious support in the publication of her poetry book. Another selfless volunteer, Rekha Palriwala helped with the book sale.

It was a special evening, full of emotions, faith and hope. It captured creativity at its best and with a purpose. It was heartening to recognize the many roles played by a woman - a daughter, sister, wife, friend, artist, poet and yes, most importantly, a mother, just as Poppy had mentioned at the start of the program.

Poppy, we wish you the very best in your journey; life has much more to offer than we anticipate. Quoting your very own:

मैंने तेरी हकीक़त को बाइज़्जत जगह दी है ,

तू अब मेरे ख़्वाबों को कुछ जगह दे मेरे मौला ।

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