Monday, February 9, 2015

LIFE OF A POET - AMRIT SINHA

My friends, I am so thankful that many of our members live in India because I can't get enough of it. I am always so happy when it is a poet from India's turn to be interviewed, just so I can visit it vicariously once again. This week we are visiting Amrit Sinha, who writes at Live Your Life. Buckle up, kids, as the jet is revving its engines on the tarmac and we are about to lift up and away, to beautiful Mother India.






Sherry: Amrit, I am so happy to be interviewing you. (I see on your blog you enjoy doing interviews too! Cool!) Would you give us a little sketch of the poet at home?

Amrit: Your invitation to get featured in ‘Life of a Poet’ series came as a pleasant surprise. I have been following Poets United since a long time, writing on its prompts, reading the posts and going through the interviews of eminent poets and bloggers. Thanks for the honour of making me a part of this prestigious series.


Sherry: It is our pleasure, Amrit.

Amrit: I was born and brought up in Kolkata (West Bengal, India). However, work commitments have pulled me to Gurgaon (Haryana, India), and I have been living here since a year and a half. In fact Gurgaon is the neighbouring city of Delhi, the Capital of India, and thus life has been pretty nice over here. I do miss Kolkata at times, the homely and relaxing ambiance that it offers, but then again, it’s always great to move out and travel places.

My Dad is a retired bank officer, while my Mom is a homemaker. My sister is pursuing her Masters in Philosophy. They all reside in Kolkata.


Sherry: You live in a beautiful country, Amrit, so rich in history and culture. Tell us a bit about your childhood.




Amrit: Kolkata is one of those cities that have an old worldly charm, mixed with the elements of modernization. It has an ambiance that soothes and relaxes you. I love this city, where I spent my school and college days, and a significant part of my work-life.





I was not a very naughty kid. I was quiet, and was mostly focussed on my studies. I did my schooling from The Frank Anthony Public School, which played a significant role in my growth. On evenings, I played Cricket with other boys of my age in the locality. Childhood was innocent, and sweet. But I enjoyed more during my college life, while I was pursuing my Engineering degree from Institute of Technology and Marine Engineering, located on the outskirts of Kolkata.

I have always been a big fan of reading since the time I can remember. I started with Comics, and then gradually shifted to abridged versions of classics. I loved words and the depth they contained. The fact that a few thousand words could transport one to a completely different world fascinated me, and that was when this new love of writing slowly started inculcating. However, it was only in my early twenties when I took to writing seriously. 

My blog took birth in 2012, and since then, writing has turned into an obsession.

My parents encouraged me to read, buying me new books all the time. This was a prime factor that also made me wield the pen and write pieces of my own.
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Sherry: Did prose or poetry come first? What do you love about poetry? What do you strive for in your work?




Amrit: I started with bits of poetry in my diary during my college days. My blog came much later, in May 2012, and it was only then that I gave a serious thought to writing. Poetry came first to me, and then gradually I moved on to short fictions. I love rhyming, but sometimes, free verses give me solace.

I feel poetry is a way of expressing your thoughts, and channeling them in a medium that satisfies you and makes you feel good about yourself. Poetry can be of any form, they may revolve around any theme, but what makes me write them is the happiness I derive after I have penned the lines.

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Sherry: You write verse in many forms: haiku, small stones, limericks, shadorma, micro-fiction. Is there extra satisfaction in saying something profound in as few words or lines as possible? What draws you to the shorter forms?

Amrit: I like condensed forms of writing. Expressing a lot in just a few words is a challenge, and that’s what excites me. I have always been a big fan of plot twists, and short forms introduce that sudden turn of events in just a few words. I love that.

However, I love longer verses and poems too. They have sense of fulfilment and a completion, which results in satisfaction. Being a writer, I love exploring all forms of writings, because I feel one shouldn’t restrict his ideas to a single dimension. Thus on one hand where I am writing micro fictions and haiku, on the other hand I have also written longer poems and stories and ebooks.
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Sherry: Do you have a favourite poet? 

Amrit: I love reading classic poets, specially the works of Edgar Allan Poe, John Keats, T. S. Eliot, William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Frost and Rabindranath Tagore. I do wish to write as beautifully as them, but I also realize that it isn’t an easy task. They are icons due to their dedication and devotion towards poetry, and that is one feature of them that I would like to imbibe.

Among modern poets, I am a big fan of Lang Leav. I love how she manages to weave a complete story in just a few lines.

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Sherry: Are there two poems written by you that you would like to include here?

Amrit: There is a poem titled ‘Flickering Blue’ that I wrote recently. It’s based on the loss of humanity, as we see all around us, with violence and bloodshed everywhere. Humans are killing humans for lame reasons. There is hardly any peace anywhere.



a dying flame
flickering blue
where hope once danced
now stuck in queue
divided by names
tormented by colours
flooded with fear
and selfish fake valour

this dying flame
was once our home
deep in our heart
it brightly shone
we named it humanity
binding us all
not knowing that tomorrow
this belief too shall fall

Sherry: I share your concern for this poor old world, my friend.




Amrit: I am a die - hard romantic. I like love stories and love poems, and have also tried penning a few on this theme. ‘I Will Dance To Your Tune, Tonight’ is one such attempt of mine.


I will dance to your tune
tonight, tonight
with angels from the moon
alright, alright

in a perfect trance
we swing, we swing
like the waves that roll
we sing, we sing

now let me say
in my own special way
I love you thus
and it's here to stay
no storm can plunder
neither shall we sway
I love you my love
I love you this way

I will dance to your tune
tonight, tonight
with angels from the moon
alright, alright

in a perfect trance
we swing, we swing
like the waves that roll
we sing, we sing

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Sherry: I'm a romantic, too, and I love the lilt in this wonderful poem. When did you come to the world of blogging and what impact has blogging had on your work?

Amrit: I started blogging a couple of years ago, 16th May 2012 to be precise. What initially was a casual hobby, turned into a passionate obsession, and I made it a point to write something every day. Of late, I am not able to write daily due to work commitments, but I do try to pen down something every alternate day.

Blogging has a soothing effect on me. After a hard day’s work, when I sit back and write something, it does make me feel relaxed, bright and happy. Blogging is that balm that rids me of all my tiredness.
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Sherry: You mention that you are a guitarist.  Is there a connection between music and poetry for you?

Amrit: I feel every form of art is connected, specially music and poetry. Whenever I write, I read it in my mind with a rhythm, a harmony that fits my verses. I love writing poems that rhyme. The biggest connection between the two is that both poetry and music are present everywhere, all around us, in the flowing of the breeze, the chirping of the birds, and the waves that lash the shores on a full moon night.
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Sherry: Well said! I see you have published your short story The Last Note in a Kindle edition. What plans or dreams do you have for your writing in the coming years? Might there be a book? Would it be poetry or prose?






Amrit: Actually, The Last Noteis my first published work in print. I had participated in a short story writing contest conducted by Penguin India, where the participants had to pen down stories related to love. Out of several thousands of entries, twenty five winners were selected, and their stories published in the anthology – “LoveStories That Touched My Heart – Edited by Ravinder Singh.” I am glad to be a part of it. Later, Penguin India also published ebooks of each of these short stories for quick reading.

I aspire to write novels, of every genre. I am working on a couple of plots that I would like to bring out someday, soon.

As of now, my focus would be on publishing stories. Maybe someday in near future, I would like to publish my poetry too. There is still a long way to go, a lot of distance to cover, and so much to learn
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Sherry: We wish you well with all of it, Amrit. Is there anything else you’d like to share that I don’t know you well enough to ask?

Amrit: I am a dreamer. I keep harbouring new wishes all the time. In fact, I want to try my hand at everything that’s constructive. So while I have ventured into the field of writing, I would also like to move ahead in music. I want to learn photography too. I want to travel to exotic places and taste the finest of dishes. I want to explore each and every avenue of creativity that this world has to offer. After all, we have just one life to live, isn’t it?





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Sherry: I hope you do all of those things! Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Amrit: I mostly write blogposts based on prompts, and Poets United is one of those sites that have contributed a lot to my growth as a poet. ‘Midweek Motif’ and ‘Verse First’ provide me topics to compose my poetry, while ‘The Life of a Poet Interview Series’ serves as a window to know more about the people whose poems and verses I admire. I love Poets United ‘cause it provides something for everyone. With multiple sections, each dealing with different facets of poetry, this is one site that every blogger must follow.

Sherry: Well, thank you, my friend. Poets United wouldn't be here without the contribution of each and every poet, like you. Thank you for your participation, and appreciation.


Well, my friends? Wasn't this lovely? Another talented poet on his pilgrimage, and another wonderful visit. Week after week, they gladden my heart. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!



43 comments:

  1. It is a pilgrimage, Sherry. So cool to see the paths each are taken down. Love it when we can catch a glimpse into someone living in another part of the world. My first time read, FLICKERING BLUE, which are lovely lines. Nicely done.

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  2. Wonderful interview Amrit. Nice knowing you better. The good thing about young poets is that one can know them while growing up and follow their progress when they bloom. You write very well in your poetic lingo and from your interview you are very focused in your cause. We should see more of Amrit in the not too distant future. Thanks Sherry for your interview here!

    Hank

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  3. Hi Amrit.. you were one of the bloggers I came across when I started blogging.. so nice to learn to know you better... and as usual a fine interview Sherry..

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  4. Good, good. I hope you sing your love poems, Amrit. They are musical. And I hope you find places to read your poetry. Congratulations on your story! I like the trips to India, too, Sherry.

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  5. Hello Amrit, I enjoyed reading about your journey. So you are a dreamer to that I say always hold on to your dreams for they are what sparks the fire within the heart. I enjoyed both of your poems. The second one could be a song it has a nice easy flow.

    Thanks for another great interview Sherry!

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  6. I enjoy reading Amrit's poetry and all his visits over the years. A dreamer and a nice person too. Thank you Amrit:)

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  7. I so enjoyed putting this interview together. Thank you, Amrit, for your loyalty and long-standing membership at Poets United, and for this wonderful visit! I so agree that I Will Dance To Your Tune would make a wonderful love song!

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    1. Thanks so much Sherry ... it is a proud moment for me to be featured in this series alongside other great poets whom I have admired all these years :-)

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  8. I enjoyed reading about Amrit's endeavors and successes. I love that he is a dreamer and one who works hard to realize his dreams. Best of luck to you Armrit. Thank you Sherry for exposing his talent.

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  9. Excellent choice, Sherry. Amrit, I enjoyed learning more about you. I remember you from you first started blogging. Mostly haiku, I think. Your poems have really broadened and lengthened & have become much more depthful I think, since your original days... I am thinking of the kind of poem like "I Will Dance to Your Tune Tonight." Excellent!

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    1. Thanks Mary ... You are one of the bloggers from whom I learnt a lot, and am still learning, since my initial days :-)

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  10. lovely work Sherry, as usual. the perseverance with which you keep arranging these interviews for us is amazing.it's a treat for the person who is being interviewed and also for us readers.

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  11. How right Amrit is in saying Poets United provides something for everyone. This is especially so with the interview Sherry, where we can see where the words and feelings of a poet come from. The personal touch makes all the difference.

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  12. Thank you Sherry for bringing more of Amrit to us....I feel such a spirit, such a light, a beautiful soul as he spoke here...

    Amrit I too love the shorter forms of poetry for many of the same reasons. And I enjoy reading why people write poetry....it is a soulful experience. And I connect to your reasons...

    'I feel poetry is a way of expressing your thoughts, and channeling them in a medium that satisfies you and makes you feel good about yourself. Poetry can be of any form, they may revolve around any theme, but what makes me write them is the happiness I derive after I have penned the lines.'

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  13. Good to know you Mr Amrit Poetry is popular and classical in the sub continent...talent abounds...Thank you Sherry for this wonderful interview.

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  14. I love the post. So good to learn more about Amrit and his home town! Thanks so much!

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  15. Interesting piece! Amrit's writes prose like a poet. Good to meet him here today.

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  16. Excellent interview, great poetry--thanks to both of you.

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  17. Yes, another lovely interview Sherry, with a poet who seems easy to get to know and to have a great outlook on life. But Amrit, I am amazed that you describe Kolkata as relaxing! It's your home, so no doubt you know its ambience very well. It's just that for me, passing through in 1998, it seemed huge and busy. Fascinating, yes; relaxing, no. :)

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    1. Hometown will always be relaxing. But if you stay there for a few months, you sure would feel the same :-)

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  18. I knew most of the things written here. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful interview and I loved the poems :)

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  19. Hi Amrit, Enjoyed your interview and your poem I will dance to your tune. I Love India as it is my birth country. But I have never been to Kolkatta.

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    1. You must visit Kolkata. I am sure you would love it :-)

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  20. So great to see Amrit featured here! He's extremely talented and has his way of mesmerizing his readers with his poignant words and sudden twists. Keep writing and keep inspiring others :)

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    1. Thanks for your constant motivation always :-)

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  21. Thank you Sherry for a lovely interview of Amrit.
    Congratulations Amrit :)

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