Writers are usually solitary creatures. Okay, we can be social too, bordering even on the wild side.
But, hear me out!
To be a writer, you need to cut off from the world, go inside, and write till you bleed. There’s no other way out.
In many ways, writers are the odd ones out in the world. We’re the natural outcasts.
So, what happens when you meet up with like-minded maverick writers? There’s a lot of food (literally) for thought (literary in our case).
Asian Literary Society Meet in Hyderabad
I met the Asian Literary Society members at Hyderabad in December 2023 when Dr. Bishakha Das (Sarma) was in town. She is a writer, poet, linguist and researcher specializing in the documentation of lesser-known and endangered languages focusing primarily on Tai Khamti.
The only ones I was familiar with were my fellow writers, founder friends, Sonal Singh – Founder, Rian Placements and Anupama Dalmia, Founder – Beyond the Box, Building Bridges Foundation, Rhythms & Beats, Tingle Your Taste Buds.
I’d heard of some ALS members and connected socially, but met no one before. It surprised me we had so many writers in the city. Knowing the anti-social me, that’s not really a surprise. It was a pleasure meeting Rohini Jayanti, storyteller, writer, Founder – Katha Karavan, Mahua Sen, poet, editor and speaker, Anindita Chowdhury, Special Correspondent of The Statesman and short-story writer, Dr. Srinivas Vasudev, an English lecturer and writer, Aditi Lahiri, French and English language teacher, writer and poet, Mou Mallick, artist and digital creator.
A meeting like no other
It was unlike the regular social meets I’m accustomed to – where there’s lots of food, drinks, and gossip. It was also intriguing to see Dr. Bishakha come with a sheet of paper, pen and an ammunition of questions for us. Mahua Sen brought a mike. Yeah, I told you we writers are quirky beings.
The conversation quickly snowballed into an exciting discussion on literature forms, such as prose narratives and poetry.
While everyone had their unique take, I was ready to blurt my answer until my friend’s daughter, who was barely nine years old, was sitting right next to me. I had to zip my mouth and reserve my unfiltered answer for this blog.
My Thoughts on Writing Styles
I’m a writer at heart and I love writing. It could be anything from a poem to short fiction and non-fiction articles and essays. And writing each one of these forms gives me a special joy and high.
However, I must admit nothing comforts and satiates me more than writing a wonderful poem.
It’s difficult to explain, but I’ll try my best. If there’s one way I can explain it, it’s this:
I remember an old interview of the 90s Bollywood actress, Sonali Bendre, who’d once remarked, “I prefer the term lovemaking to sex.” This interview was in the pre-internet and social media era in one of the Stardust type of magazines.
This question took me back to this actress’ interview. Because I feel the same way about poetry compared to other writing styles.
Poetry is an art form like no other writing forms. Yes, it’s a medium of self-expression, like all forms of art, including writing.
But like lovemaking, there’s a special kind of touch you need when you write poetry. You need that finesse, touch, elegance, style, depth, and soul to pen beautiful poetry. You need to be light while being heavy and heavy while being light. Weaving eloquent poetry is being grounded and flighty at the same time. Poetry is a bundle of contradictions and yet it works in tandem.
Poetry is making love with words. Or how I’d like to describe the poetry meaning is –
“Poetry is lovemaking with words.”– Tina Sequeira
Why Poetry Matters
Don’t get me wrong! I enjoy other writing forms apart from poetry too. But they’re all akin to different variations of sex ranging from being mechanical to wildly imaginative to fun. But it’s never, ever quite like poetry.
Good poetry is slow to churn, challenging (it’s what makes it even more exciting), and timeless in its impact. It’s why I like my prose integrated with poetry.
I find the best poems (yes there are bad to terrible ones) to have a soothing quality to it—irrespective of how light or dark the subject is. They have a soft, nurturing quality, like a mother’s hug. It’s wise, empathetic, accepting—and magical. It’s no wonder why children are introduced into learning through rhymes.
It’s my ardent wish to see more people read and appreciate poetry. Poetry makes us self-aware and thus, puts us in the pursuit of being good human beings. I truly believe we can create heaven on earth when more people from all walks of life embrace poetry.