In this authentically insightful treatise on “what is,” Pandit, a software engineer and father, has collected thoughts and observations on three grand topics in sections titled “On Childhood,” “On Nature,” and “On Arts.” In these sections, Pandit offers short, paragraph-length reflections, each entry illustrating a new (or recurring) subject from which might be derived some meaning. “People go at length in search of God but then there stands—a marvel and a wonder of art—carved and sculpted by one and only one—nature herself,” Pandit writes in “On Childhood.” In these bold assurances, impressions makes an implicit argument for the intuitive attainment of knowledge, that “truth we need not learn but. . . fully grasp in all our flesh and blood.”
If each entry stands as an ode to art (or children or nature) as “a source of truth,” then in these brief, poetic compositions Pandit makes appropriately definitive statements: “In all the vanity and wickedness that this world has, we witness something pure and exceptional… one that is handed down to a woman by none other than nature herself… —motherhood.” However, subjects and phrasing recur to such a degree in these vignettes or codas—Pandit’s form is singular enough that no single established term captures these rich entries—that some readers will find them redundant, especially if they read straight through rather than occasionally dip into Pandit’s stream of thought.
Whether read in short or long doses, though, the writing is rhythmic, melodic, lyrical: “poetry mends the rift, while music bridges the gulf,” Pandit notes, drawing on both. Sometimes, Pandit addresses an audience directly—“I walk. I walk a lot… I walk so I can write; I write because I have something to say…”—and in doing so gains the investment of thoughtful, patient readers invested in style and ideas. Upon reaching the end, any lingering doubts of the literary ambition of this work will have retreated.
Takeaway: In distinct style, Impressions considers the small yet profound daily experiences many of us tend to dismiss.
Great for fans of: Cleo Wade’s Where To Begin, Alexandra Elle’s After the Rain.
Production grades Cover: A- Design and typography: A+ Illustrations: N/A Editing: A Marketing copy: A
"The simplicity of life paradoxically makes its comprehension difficult." This passage from Impressions applies generally to these "short letters" from Ameya Pandit, because while they often touch on seemingly simple and quotidian matters, they reveal an underlying and often unseen depth, and reward extended consideration. Pandit combines his training and profession in science with a passion for art and philosophy, right and left brain joined with heart, all connected to eyes that see the world with exquisite clarity. He begins with meditations "On Childhood" and the way that young children are natural artists and scientists, and throughout the following sections "On Nature" and "On Art" he models how to maintain a child-like sense of wonder and imagination. He extols music in particular as "a language the world fully grasps," and along with its literary equivalent of poetry he suggests they offer the prospect of a "universal philosophy" and a peek into our "inner nature." Life is simultaneously "a mathematical equation" and "a musical melody," he asserts, and "where art ends, science begins." In Pandit's vision, and in his life practice, they form a continuum, each informing the other, together revealing "the universe is a work of art." This book is now a contribution to that work, and that art.
Larry W. Moore, publisher, Broadstone Books