A Kavi vividly recollects his love, life and losses.
Through vivid recollection of past experiences, I can tell the reader it’s never easy to be asked the reason for your existence.
“Poetry? And in Hindi? Why at all?”
I often think destiny chose for me the right life at the wrong place. Sharing a post in a script seemingly alien to your acquaintances sitting in the middle of urban, posh Delhi can be seriously detrimental to your perception as a literate member of the society. An audience that feeds off Koffee with Karan (the title smacking of literary laziness) can seldom be expected to understand nuanced usage of the Anupraas Alankaar. Alliteration, before you look it up.
“Poetry is all fine, but what do you do?”
It has been observed that once a week, usually on Sunday evenings, I undergo a phase where I begin to regret my addiction for kavita. I’ve often tried to relate this to being a direct result of my low-paying manager’s job, but Sunday evenings are usually unusually unsober.
Tiwariji is a good man, though. Passport offices aren’t particularly known to be a hub of poetry lovers. In fact, they aren’t particularly known to be a hub of lovers, period. And yet, in my office infested by swarms of wooden robots with palettes bereft of saliva and fingertips hardened out of counting bills and papers, I found my only fan and supporter. He visits all my mushairas and sammelans, and though the samples of his own writing shown to me have been breathtakingly underwhelming, I make it a point to invite him solely out of my own selfish interests. My sarkari job has begun to have its infamous effect.
“Who even reads Hindi?”
In a country that prides itself for its diversity, my job presents to me a contradiction. A failure I’ve become used to in the past many years is one to understand why it strains our eyes to read the only language we all understand. The masses who can possibly appreciate what I write lie far beyond the reach of an ordinary sarkari employee, far beyond the internet coverage of warring telecom giants, far beyond the reach of the sarkar itself. The masses my kavita does reach make the mental equivalent of the Face with Rolling Eyes emoji on the slightest printed mention of the Devanagari script.
Humankind is no stranger to glaring double standards. For a profession as hyped and sensationalised as that of a shaayar, I find the fact that my earnings from poetry usually last till the time I get home from the mushaira slightly heartbreaking. Of course, frequent requests from my few friends to recite couplets not my own make me introspect about whether I could’ve done slightly better in my class 10 Board exams.
Time to stop, I guess. Any more introspection and I might fall over- which isn’t the best position to start your week in. The Sunday evening- Monday morning transition isn’t my favourite part of the week.