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A short insight into what makes one of our very own Indian poets tick
Perennials had an interesting chat with Prankur Chaturvedi, a keen poet , and quizzed him on a few thoughts that we were most curious about. With literary art such an integral part of our beings, we thought, as we get into celebrating the beginning of a new year soon, lets warm up to some poetic banter.
An multi-talented prodigy, Prankur is also a corporate lawyer and a writer with keen interest in politics and social causes. When he isn’t busy suing others, he pours his thoughts on paper and weaves beautiful poems. He likes writing about hope. Hope in love and despair, whether it is about social issues or romance.
We asked Prankur how and when his interest in poetry arose…
“Poetry is like breathing…” he says. While he does not recollect when his poetic journey began, as far as performing is concerned, he started doing so in 2016. Beginning with attending Open Mics in Mumbai he soon decided to do a solo show “Poetic Pleasure” at Hive, which was the hub for artists at that point. Post that, everything fell in place. He collaborated with Chaayos for two shows in Delhi that he found were fun. Having studied in Delhi, he has spent some crucial years there. His connect with Delhi is on a different level altogether, going so far as to in fact suggesting we call him a “Dilliwaala.” He says he fulfills all the criteria. So performing in front of his crowd was special. While writing was a personal journey few years back, it became more fun when he started performing his pieces in front of an audience.
When pressed about his inspirations, he said…
“If you ask about inspiration as far as my poetry is concerned, people and emotions move me. Nature inspires me. I am inspired by people that I meet and the sights that I see every day. It is for this reason that I often write about human emotion of loss, despair and hope. Also, whenever I see another artist on stage, I get inspired.
There are many works of poetry that inspire me. To name a few would not be justified.”
Perennials thinks that while the Indian society’s mindset is slowly changing to accommodate parallel and/or non-stereotypical careers, the appetite of people to read is diminishing. Concerned that perhaps the impact is more so for poetry as opposed to prose, we asked Prankur what he thinks…
He believes that every form of art or literature has to be relevant to its time. Old style of poetry is making way for the new and he finds it has garnered much interest among people. He has realized that people are willing to embrace anything that moves them or they can relate to. They do not want to be bound by the rules of language and grammar; they do not want to be bound by cultures or norms. They like to hear thoughts that echo in them, strung in a universal language that you and I talk in. He does not think that it is people who read less, it is just that they read differently now.
We were curious to know if there is a difference in the appetite for poetry across regions/demographics? And if so what are these differences and how stark are they in his experience?
Prankur’s response brought a smile to our faces, so quoting him straight up,
“Can a reaction to a child’s smile differ based on demographics or region? Poetry is also something that touches people’s hearts. Hearts are the same across. Par ek baat zaroor hai….Dilli ki audience jyaada taali bajaati hai (laughs).”
Literary journeys are always exciting stories. We wanted to know more about Prankur’s poetic amble, and what have been his biggest takeaways and lessons…
He said that he felt blessed with his biggest takeaway and learning being that there is a lot to see and a lot more to do. He strongly believes that for any artist it is important to be aware. To be aware about the times we are living in, our surroundings (both the negativity and positivity) and how it is different from history. Only then an artist in general (and writers/poets in particular) can express better through his or her art form.
His advice to budding writers…
“Be relevant and not viral! It does not matter if you are not a featured artist. What matters is the art form that you possess. It is yours. No one can take it from you.
Also, keep performing at the Open Mics. Even if you [don’t] get featured. Open Mics are the best platform to know your strengths and weaknesses. Also, if you are from Mumbai, keep performing at THE HABITAT. We have a Poetry Open-Mic every Monday. The owner, Balraj Singh Ghai is a staunch supporter of art and artists. Our Host, TJ Coulagi is such a motivator. I am a product of that place. You will not find an atmosphere like that anywhere else. Trust me on that.”
Lastly, it is always intriguing to know who the poet’s favourite poet is, so here is Prankur’s list of a few from many favourites…
“Piyush Mishra – For the way he is. When I see him perform, I feel there is a lot to learn (and not learn) from this person. I am a big fan.
Obaid Azam Aazmi Sahab – The manner in which his words and performance leaves an everlasting impact on your mind and heart is just beyond ordinary. I can hear/ read “Rehguzar Rehguzar” several times in a day.
Hussain Haidry – Hussain Bhai has a gift to explain complex emotions in the most simplistic and beautiful manner.
Mohammed Sadriwala – I have been performing with Mohammed at Open Mics for the past one year and have observed him closely. The innocence and honesty of his content and performances makes an instant connect with people. You should check out his poetry videos online. He is really good.”