Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Poetry And Me

I have been writing poems since the age of 5. I even distinctly remember where the first inspiration came from. Although I don't have a great memory and I often forget many incidents that others around me remember in detail, but I remember this episode. That is because I have a very selective memory. I remember things, people and incidents in great detail if they matter a lot to me. Anyhow, so this incident somehow has remained intact in my head. The image of a 5 year old, skinny and laughing girl, watching TV with great interest when what the only channel has got to offer is a 'Hasya aur Vyangya Kavi Sammelan', yeah that's a gathering of poets who pride themselves in humor and satire. I don't know how it caught my 5 year old fancy but immediately after the program that was what I wanted to do. I told Mom that I wanted to write poems and she laughed and said that I could when I grow up. I never had the patience to wait so I just gave it a try. Writing poetry in English never occurred to me back then. The obvious choice was Hindi because I had watched the Kavi Sammelan in Hindi, and although my vocabulary in both English and Hindi was very limited at that time, I was still more comfortable in Hindi. I remember my first poem was more like a song and it was something about dancing flower buds :-) In fact since my Mom collected a lot of my poems for many years, I had the opportunity to read that poem numerous times in the coming years and every year it embarrassed me more than it did the previous year. I won't even dream of putting it down here :-)

So I kept writing poetry in the years to come and I always wrote of things that I saw in nature; flowers, snow, water, wind and sometimes there was an occasional poem about fairies or people. My family was proud of my poetry, all of my poems rhymed perfectly and I read my poems on a few occasions in the morning assembly at school. On one big occasion during the time when Uttaranchal was still a part of Uttar Pradesh and the people of Uttaranchal demanded that it should be a separate state, there was a gathering of several poets from Uttaranchal who wrote and read their poems in front of a big audience. I had the privilege to be a part of that gathering and as the youngest poet I read one of mine too. It was about the state of Uttaranchal and I had written that only because I was asked some days back to write something for the occasion and not because I had any real feelings on the subject. I was too young to understand why we should have a separate state and had to think hard before writing the poem. Anyway, I did write that poem, read it before the audience and accepted their applause. Incidentally, I don't remember any of the poems of other poets who were present there, some of them were well known writers too. In fact I don't remember anything else about that evening except that I read a poem before a big audience and then rushed back from stage to my Mom sitting in the audience. I was in 8th or 9th standard at that time, not too young but somehow my memory fails me about the other happenings of that evening.

However, the poetry writing spree was abruptly stopped when I studied in 10th. I had a big accident and in the aftermath a big loss that nobody including me noticed for a long while was that I had stopped writing poems. A couple of years later I tried but I couldn't. I thought that it was just a childhood thing and I had now grown out of it. But it seems that poetry is too much a part of me because it resurfaced many years later and this time in English :-) I don't write great poems, in fact I feel embarrassed in sharing them with many people, so they lie dead in my laptop. And I don't even write that often now, only when I feel so full of some emotions that they cannot be expressed in any other way, I write a poem to let them out. This happened when I started writing a post on December 11, the only way I could write on that day was in the form of a poem although it was very unstructured and effortless. I composed directly on blogger and edited very little and thus happened my first poem after years that was written for anybody to read.

Yesterday I read a poem on one of the posts of The Unsung Psalm, which was beautiful. I started writing a comment on that post and what came out were few lines that started with the last line of the poem that he had posted. I like the lines that I wrote and would post them here too

I do not die

I just live on

To see what you do

When I am gone

Would you feel me

In the morning dew

Or forget my touch

In days too few

Would you hear me

In the gentle rain

Or would I call you

Just in vain

Would you know

That I caressed

Or would you be

Forever unimpressed

When The Unsung Psalm asked me where those lines were from I paused to think before replying that they were out of my own head. I read the lines again and again to decide whether they were any good but then I decided that good or bad, they were mine and I liked them and I would not abandon that poem as an orphan that belongs to no one and yet exists. Hence, I replied that they were mine and therefore I am putting them here on my blog too. Good or bad, they are mine :-)


Karan said...

lovely lines Nikita.
But we wanna read those first Hindi lines too :)

Rahi said...

hi nikita,

u left a comment on my blog and i wanted to know more about this lone girl (at least in my knowledge) who doesn't fears ghosts.

with a few posts that i hav read, i at least know that u r a bit different. u hav seen the world.

and of course u can do good poetry. don't underestimate yourself. why don't u let ur mother or other people who read ur past poetry decide - i bet they will tell that ur poetry has grown along with u.

haan i remember one incident from my own childhood here: i was very impressed by the writing style of people. i had started reading novels quite early. and one day i decided to write something. the writing was not as painful as when it came to the knowledge of my parents. i had written some very mature things here which was unpalatable for my parents, especially when it came from me.

so my first attempt was not as glorious as u. but i m still writing. u see how shameless i m.

mister avant garde said...

people who enjoy writing, write write only because it's a wonderful release ... because they feel good about themselves after they have put pen to paper... from what you've told girl, you really enjoy penning poems... so have no inhibitions bout flaunting it da, coz it's your baby and it's gonna make you feel good bout yourself...

Anonymous said...

How very very true!

"Good or Bad, they are mine"

I miss the days when I used to write poetry. One really needs to feel. Otherwise, forced poetry that I've attempted now and then always came out absolutely awful :(

Nikita said...

I would share those first Hindi lines with you but on GTalk :-)

Thanks so much for saying I am different. Somehow that word makes me feel so intellectual :-)
Sorry to know that your initial efforts at writing weren't as glorious but same went with my reading. My Dad never liked my reading loads of seemingly adult novels :-) I am shameless too, I kept on reading :-)

Nikita said...

@mister avant garde
Hey thanks! What you have said is so true. Writing does make one feel good. And it feels great to write a blog because we get to know so many like-minded people. All of us here write and that makes us feel good :-)

Nikita said...

Thats absolutely true. Forced poetry is awful and has happened countless number of times to me. Hence, I don't even attepmt to write a poem now when it doesn't come out naturally.

Anonymous said...

Once again the same advice...START WRITING U FOOL!! ....thats the only thing u r good at..U just try to jump on various boats without any reason though u know ur real choice...lucky u!! How many people are able to find their inner talents ...Dont wait until u r 40+ something..thats just ur regular excuse to run away from most of the things..

All the best...koi nahi toh atleast I ll be the first one to buy ur book!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nikita said...

@Anonymous (Neha):
You posted the same comment twice so I deleted one.
well, maybe you are right. After all you know me more than I like to admit. And I know if I ever write a book you would be the first one to buy although you are lazy about reading my blog and posting comments.
And writing is not the only thing I am good at (in fact I doubt whether I am any good at all). There are other things too that I am good at, like flirting with your hubby :P

pseudo intellectual said...

keep writing. for yourself. and (though that's not exactly the most important thing) you write well! i loved the poem!

Nikita said...

@pseudo intellectual:
Hey thanks for saying that!!! It feels wonderful when someone likes your baby :-)

vivek said...

hey, can u share links? I will add your blog to my blogroll but if you reciprocate. Just let me know when you add me.Happy new year. Nice blog! IGnore this if you are not interested!!

Nikita said...

Well dude, I don't know how to react to that. Whether to be flattered or not. It's great that you like my blog, thank you for that and if you want to blogroll me, go ahead and do that. But why do you expect and ask me to do the same? I would never blogroll someone just because he/she blogrolled me and similarly I would not ask someone to blogroll me just because I have blogrolled that person.
I saw your blog, it's good, but it does not belong to the genres of blogs that I love to read and have hence blogrolled. If you see my blogroll there is not even a single blog there that is similar to yours.
Sorry about not adding you!!