The Notebook

More Than a Notebook

By Kamran Khan | August 2020

Keeping a notebook is perhaps a thing of the past. Once upon a time, this was where one jotted down personal daily experiences and memories, copied something well-said, preserved good poetry couplets, wrote down names of people one met for future reference if one was suffering from memory loss and kept a tab on grandma’s recipes.

Such notebooks or diaries even came in handy to record how many clothes were sent to the dhobi for washing. Now there are no dhobis. Our clothes are washed in the house on washing machines or go to the laundry.

Come the cell phone, people do all the noting part on their phones - or computers. In fact, the tradition of keeping notes has also lost its charm, except perhaps for some people who stick to the old habit.
Those companies and commercial houses which used to have calendars and diaries printed every year also seem to have lost interest in the activity – or they do not have the budgets to spend on such ‘luxuries’. In such circumstances, the courier and logistics company TCS has recently published a very attractive notebook that meets the old need of taking notes.

Lavishly produced, the notebook pages are undated and that is why it is not called a diary. However, there is one other great thing about this notebook: it is not just a volume containing blank pages in which one can jot down whatever one wants. Instead, it is interspersed throughout with beautifully designed colour pages that carry relevant illustrations and excerpts from Taimur Awan’s book of poetry called Empyrean Realms.

The poetry in Empyrean Realms has been written in medieval English and is very interesting to read. In his views on the book, Senator Javed Jabbar says, “Empyrean Realms is intensely individual, scorchingly personal and exceptionally panoramic. The poems transport the reader through time and multiple dimensions to another distinct plane of self-consciousness, separate and removed from the immediacy of our surroundings.”

Amin Hashwani writes, “Taimur’s poetry paints the physical, the spiritual, the emotional and the supernatural on the same canvas - and that too effortlessly in a few lines. That’s the genius of a good poet and the hallmark of a searing soul.”

The poet’s English teacher in Dubai, Madhavi Murthy, has also expressed her gratitude by saying, “Taimur’s love for the classical period of English literature is evident from his style of expression, which may leave the reader bemused with its complexity. However, as one reads more poems and notices the unifying thread of symbolism, his poetry begins to explain itself. Each line becomes a place to pause and admire the choice of words which seem to flow so effortlessly from the poet’s pen.” All these views are reproduced on the back of the TCS notebook.

The picturesque words in the notebook become even more interesting when guidance is taken from the annotations that appear at the bottom of each page of illustration. The poetry excerpts based on the themes of Faith, Love and Nature, have been carefully selected and serve as very attractive separators in the notebook.

This makes the TCS notebook not only a diary to keep as a prized possession but also offers a good short read to those who love medieval English. Empyrean Realms is an Amazon publication.