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Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Life is not about achieving perfection, it's about reconciling with your imperfections.

Poems are fragments of life. In Simi K. Rao’s unique poetry collection for women, there are blissful moments; deep, invisible wounds; cries for help; declarations of defiance and philosophical observations. The poems and prose pieces compiling the collection are fragments of life elucida
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 30th 2019 by Written Dreams Publishing
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Kitty Marie
I went into this poetry collection expecting something similar to Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur but Under The Shade of the Banyan Tree absolutely carves its own distinct path. The topics of the poems vary greatly from feminism, mental health, addiction, illness, isolation, love, family, Rao's experiences working in the medical field, the list goes on. The emotions contain equal variance- anger, affection, despair, hope. Most of the poems are positive and uplifting in nature. I also really liked th ...more
Laura's Library Space
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was very pleasantly surprised with Simi K. Rao's book.

This is a beautiful collection of so many types of writing: from short stories to poems and reflections that bring important ideas onto the surface such as identity, gender studies, isolation, womanhood and self-worth.

It was such a light and enjoyable read despite treating certain "darker" issues. Rao's wording has such evocative power that all of these characters, scenes and feelings are perfectly displayed in your mind once you begin rea
Merril Anil
First of all a huge thanks to the author and the team for allowing me to experience a beautiful and unique piece of work. Under the shade of the Banyan tree was a mixed bag for me. You can't exactly call it a work of poetry or a collection of Short stories because it is both. This fact actually surprised me, Intrigued me and at the same time kind of irritated me. So I am going to deal with the review in two halves as to what worked and what didn't in the book for me. Let's begin with the negativ ...more
Pamela Scott
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it

I’d never heard of the author before so had zero expectations for this collection of poetry and short stories, though mostly poetry with less than half a dozen pieces of prose. Sometimes it’s better that way and you can be pleasantly surprised as I was reading this. What threw me a little is there seems no real link between the pieces. I’d be enjoying some beautifully crafted poems then out of nowhere would appear a story several pages long which was unexp
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I appreciated the chance to read this collection and want to mention first of all that the cover is gorgeous.

This was pitched to me as appealing to fans of Rupi Kaur, although this collection was in no way like Rupi Kaur's. Other than both poets being Indian, there were no real similarities I could see.

The main issue I had with this book is that it over explains itself. There are several times when a block of text followed a poem to expl
Krisha Bayer
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Me Is All I Can Be

I tried my best
to talk the talk, walk the walk
But fail miserably
Who am I trying to be?

I strive to be
the best of the best
I fall, lie bruised and battered
When will I be free?

I paint myself
like a rainbow
But end up
like a fool

I work hard
to be what I can never be
So, to save me some trouble
I better just be me.

Isn't it amazing how poems touch your very soul and just reflect in it?
That's how I felt on some of her writings and poems. Powerful. Deep.
I didn't even realize I was almos
Chelsea DeVries
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I was asked to read this book of poetry and some prose for an honest review. Once received, i was unsure of what i would find under this tree of metaphorical significance but i am happy to share that not only did i find myself lost in the midst of some of these poems...that share bits of truth about self-esteem, self-confidence, and one that cleverly tells the story of a seed of doubt.

My favorite of all Rao's words shared within the pages of this collection is called Love is.

I also enjoyed the e
Melina Lobo
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are some who await
the call of the moon
Who stalk amongst us
reckless and brazen
Beware of the beast.
Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree is a collection of poems and prose by Simi K. Rao.
While reading the book I was trying to figureout what direction this book was trying to take, but everything seems random.
The poems are a mix of various topics with the short stories thrown in.
Lone Cloud was definitely one of my favourite poems, just because I could relate to it.
I preferred reading the stori
Kelsey  Fagan
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Rao's style and flow and how she put together her collection. The assortment is a mix of her own life experiences and of those of her friends and family which makes it far more realistic and enjoyable. Life isn't always easy to write about and even harder to share with others. For Rao, the emotion comes out in each poem clearly. You can tell she took her time in writing and arranging the poems and short stories to best convey certain emotions.

Read my entire review here: https://
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read all the novels/books by Simi K Rao. This collection of poems and short stories is different from her previous books but it is yet another a marvellous work by her.
Let me begin with the cover of the book first, which deserves to be mentioned. The cover consisting the picture of banyan tree, is nostalgia to me, it takes me back to my childhood days. I have fallen in love with it.
Now coming to the poems, they are simple yet have a profound meaning. Each of the poems tells a story of the
Sudha Mahadevan
Simi K Rao has the gift. She is on familiar grounds, while spinning a yarn or while giving a poetic touch. I can relate to the nosegay of experiences. She just needs to describe and the story evolves. Never once does she sink into the pedantic. Awaiting her next release.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another masterpiece by Simi k Rao ! You can’t help but see the world in a different light
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I felt as if after reading Simi K. Roa’s, Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree, I was able to take a glance into her soul. This eloquent morsel was released in August of last year and is less than 150 pages in length. Rao was born in India, but she has been living in the United States for several years now. She has also published a few other works within the last few years, such as Inconvenient Relations and the Accidental Wife. Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree was the first work of hers that I ...more
Emma Rund
First of all, I want to say thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review. I always appreciate the opportunity to read new works.

Second, I would like to say, even though I only rated this collection 2 stars, there ARE some wonderful moments. I think Simi K. Rao is a lovely writer with a lot of potential, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to write her off because of this review.

Things I liked:
The short stories. Every single one of the short stories was lovely! They
Mahathi Ramya
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This collection of short and sweet poems featured by Simi is like the mirror of life's moments. These poems are some subtle moments expressing the feelings or reminiscing some lovely memories.

I usually don't enjoy poetry, so I don't pick poetry books to read. But, this poetry is simple to understand and clearly written from the heart.

I loved some poems like - War, Me is all I can be, Life an ugly cousin.

The Stranger really reminded me of someone that I know. The poem 'Woman' is heart touching.
Courtney Giraldo
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree is a collection of both short poems and short stories. If I'm being honest, I was much more taken by the short stories. Ranging from heartwarming to spooky they didn't really follow a particular genre but were so very enjoyable. This is not to say I didn't enjoy the poems- as I did. One in particular resonated with me, Growing Pains, as it so movingly described parenthood and how our children grow up in the blink of an eye. As a mom to a 9 year old and a 13 yea ...more
Surabhi Kaushik
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful poems on wonder women, author. You have penned down their 'Silent screams' with empathy and emphatically too in this book. I could truly connect with the genuine emotions.
Interesting short stories.
I am not fond of Chai but your 'A Cup of Chai' is my favorite, author. Loved it.
Thanks for writing this awe-inspiring masterpiece. 
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Simi Rao
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years.

The inspiration for her books, and other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary Ame

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