Read how StoryMirror '18 (Poetry) runner-up describes his journey up to here and put forwards his perspectives on various topics, in this interview with StoryMirror Team.
National Poetry Challenge winner, Foyle's Young Poet Award and now StoryMirror national runner-up. Congratulations, and what's next in the line, sir?
Thank you. Currently, I'm eyeing on the coming competitions such as Wingword Poetry Competition and Great Indian Poetry Competition.
What is the background story of the poem, you entered StoryMirror competition with? Was it written on someone specific?
'I wish you were a poem' was my entry in the said competition.
I had discovered a girl that day, had a brief talk with her as well. I was on a morning walk of about 200 meters from my home to the milkman's house. During the walk, was thinking about that girl, was making inferences on her based on the talk I had with her. Eventually the thinking turned out to be a poem, and I penned it as soon as I reached my home.
It is often said that the art of poetry gets richer with time, and so this industry have been dominated by a greater age category for years. Whereas, you have earned yourself a place by the age of nineteen with these credentials and your recent Chennai event. How does it feels to mark your presence in between the established and are they welcoming enough?
It feels more like a dream. Earlier, whenever I used to get an invitation mail for some event, some part of me rejoiced and the other doubted. Initially, I did feel a little insecure, as I wasn't sure if my works were in par with the writers I was supposed to share the stage with. But my insecurity has always been covered under the sheets of warm welcome this industry provides. They have instead made me believe in myself, have boosted my self-confidence to great extents. Now, I feel of myself having some value.
In the recent Chennai event when I shared the stage with eminent writers from across the globe, I did undergo a transition from a poet who wrote because he liked it, to a poet who has to write because there are eyes, looking forward to him.
Describe your thought process while writing a poem.
When I write a poem, I treat myself as the first human being on earth, who has to describe things that have never been seen before. I look at things, and observe them from my eyes, without considering the attributes they were associated with, before. Then, depending on the style undertaken, for the poem in consideration, my approach varies from putting down all emotions plainly to aligning them in a strict pattern.
As it is often said my many creators before, it is the verses which choose us. They can creep in, in between an exam, while riding a bicycle or even while staring at a solitary tube light. As a poet, I have to respect their arrival and welcome them by giving them a place underneath my fingers.
Overall, writing a poem is an adventure in itself, from choosing a theme, to relating usual objects, often oblivion in context of the poem, to decorating, garnishing them with poetry devices to finally writing my name under a creation. The ultimate feeling is satiation.
How has poetry framed you as a person? Do you celebrate this evolution?
Of course, I do. Poetry has given me the power to get into different shoes, to understand people and their perspectives like them. Getting into poetry has also helped me in seeing beauty in things.
If now I find myself, observant, and capable of understanding emotions of people, I owe them to poetry. Apart from this, poetry has also given me, my stand in the society and has made my name, a name many look forward to with a hope. It has given me a purpose to live.
I feel so much lighted up, by now. So, you are pursuing engineering, from a reputed college of the country. Doesn't it come as a contrast to the field of your work? How do you balance these two extremes?
Poetry shouldn't be seen as a contrast over science. In fact, I science appears as a great poetry in itself if one dives in. Many of my poems have taken inspiration from topics of science, Buffer Solution, Hemiacteal formation, C language to name a few.
I do agree that poetry and science can appear to be in two extremes with one being more of emotions and feelings and the other one being more rationale. But if you observe, the line they are extremes of, actually wind up to form a circle. There's often a hustle in my brain of the said two perspectives, but I consider this hustle to be more of a celebration than a fight of survival.
Poetry has witnessed an evolution, and now, it is no longer confined to the vicinity of publishers. Slam poets have gained recognition; self-published books are in trend as well. How do you see this evolution as? Is it undermining the work of contemporary poets? According to you, what role does social media plays in nurturing this art form?
I see this evolution as a celebration of the very essence of poetry, which is freedom. Poetry has apparently no constraints and no defined structure, thus giving utmost freedom to the creators to express themselves in their own ways. I believe that this way, they aren’t undermining the works of the legendary contemporary poets; rather they’re carrying the baton forward to new dimensions.
Social media has given a boost to poetry by the wide reach it can provide to the creators. Poets can get an immediate response to their creations, at almost no cost; this was a utopian dream some decades ago. Self-published books being in trend tells the supremacy creators are enjoying where their works are no longer constrained to someone’s opinions.
Speaking in my context, joining social media, to be specific Instagram to showcase my works, was my transition to increase the productiveness in me, the appreciations and supports one gets in a short time, becomes a great factor in driving one forward, it fuels the spirit of the creator, as it did to me to deliver more.
Where do you see yourself in the next 20 years? Is it as a full time poet or an engineer who writes?
20 years is a large duration. I believe in the spontaneity of things. But I do see myself as a man of science, who writes, on a regular basis, interact with his readers periodically, sits on his couch and read his book on Sundays.
What acknowledgement will you give to StoryMirror for your journey so far?
StoryMirror with its wide platform and competitions gave me a better reach, and recognition. Also, the numerous competitions available here, help in keeping me engaged and productive. So, I thank StoryMirror and its team for giving me a platform to express and for the support I got from this community.
Thank you, for sharing your thoughts with us. We wish you a great writing time ahead.
Thank you for your kind words, I’ll see that I stand in your expectations.