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RATI SAXENA

My Voice (Kritya)

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Poetry and Kritya Festival 2011 (December, 2010)

Demand and supply constitute one of the most important phenomenon of the modern world. Not only lifestyle, but also thoughts and emotions; from necessity to entertainment, everything depends on this idea.

When we make things more than what is actually required, they become stale or useless, but poetry is different. Poetry does not become stale if we increase the demand or supply. Because, poetry is not a commodity though it is a most significant way of expression.

We can see poetry everywhere, adorning the back of trucks and auto rickshaws, and speaking out through jewelry and sari advertisements as well as home paints advertisements. Every word becomes rich with meaning through poetry, yet when a poet goes to a publisher, he almost always gets the stock reply- 'poetry books don't sell."

Sometimes I feel the absence of demand and supply makes poetry powerful, as it needs to be written with blood not only with ink, it needs pain not only joy. It needs commitment, not hard work alone.

Friends, next month we will be together talking poetry, listening to poetry, seeing poetry and painting poetry at the Kritya festival, our idea is not to popularize poetry but to learn to love poetry, live poetry and feel poetry, just like our great saint poets felt.... We will be together to go with the rhythm of poetry, to go with the rhyme of poetry.





On Death (June, 2008)

Death is a difficult thing for everyone, but poetry tries to go beyond the death. It explains different dimensions of the death, the death in war is cruelty but death in old age is liberation. Poetry goes beyond the relief even and tries to go in search of a new world. Poetry walks towards liberation through pain; it searches for beauty in every pain and sorrow. Poetry is not short-term emotions, which survive only for some time, but it is a combination of thought, emotion and life experience. In the time of marketing, when physical wealth is dominating every aspect of life, poetry is losing its real meaning. Isn?t our duty to bring back its position in society? Kritya is trying to relate poetry to common people.





Words (April, 2006)

Words are very clever and understanding, they change colours according to the occasion. When our heart is sad, they dress in dark colours and when the heart is happy, they take all the colours of the rainbow and seem to outshine the rainbow. Sometimes they are as pale as death and at other times they are as dark as a night without moon...

I do not know how my control over words transformed them into poetry. I know that readers and poets of Kritya must have unique associations with words. So this issue of Kritya is devoted to the world of words.

My friendship with words is as old as my memory. There were days when I found my self very lonely in my childhood; even in those days words used to flutter within my closed fist. As soon as I opened my fist, they used to fly towards the sky shining like glowworms. I used to sadly watch them go far away, thinking “Why did I open my fist? If I had not, the glowworms would not have flown away.” One thing I could never understand, whether I saw words or pictures? Some say that we see pictures in the shape of words. But can we really? Pictures usually take shape in the mind on recalling seen things. But I have perceived a number of unseen things in my mind. Anyhow, words or pictures were my friends those days, and the strange thing was that my words were mostly colorful. They had some colours on their black bodies.

In those days during the summer holidays, we used to sprinkle water in our courtyard to make it cool. Then we would put our wooden charpai – beds covered with snow-white sheets in the courtyard. Whenever I sat on the bed with its snow-white bed sheet, a dark shadow of loneliness used to envelop me, its claws hurting my chest. It would be difficult to breathe. Then a number of words used to come to my rescue. They used to play around me like juggler’s balls. I could perceive that words also have colours. Moreover they have wings, they can take us anywhere, anywhere we want to go. Only thing is that we have to learn to keep them under our command.

Words are very clever and understanding, they change colours according to the occasion. When our heart is sad, they dress in dark colours and when the heart is happy, they take all the colours of the rainbow and seem to outshine the rainbow. Sometimes they are as pale as death and at other times they are as dark as a night without moon.

Those days my eyes used to be glued to words just as ants stick to sugar. Words could attract me any time; even while sweeping if I happened to come across a torn piece of paper with words, dust was free to enter the house as my eyes would be busy reading those words. Then came a time when words started flying off from my mouth. I could use them like a vendor selling tooth powder. After that I entered a world where words used to come like a marriage procession and returned without the bride. In that world words used to stick on the dress like dead butterflies. Words would blow up like balloons and burst noisily. I used to yearn that the words would freeze in my mouth. But shamelessly enough, as soon as they could get the warmth of feeling, they used to melt. I was exhausted washing them. Now they were my worst enemy. They haunted me like ghosts. I was a prisoner of my own words. How can I explain, how much they troubled me? How much clatter was there in my mind? They even disturbed my sleep. Than I learned that like a horse trainer who tamed even the wildest of horses, I would have to command my words, make them run on my signal. Then once again they would become cloud or sunshine or bird or smell for me. Sometimes they tunneled into the earth like earth worms, and sometime they would tunnel into my mind like mice.

I do not know how my control over words transformed them into poetry. I know that readers and poets of Kritya must have unique associations with words.








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