My friends, this week we are bringing you someone fairly new to Poets United, the very interesting and talented Samyuktha Jayaprakash, who lives in India, and blogs at Steady Meanderings. Let's pour ourselves a cup of chai and draw our chairs in close. We don't want to miss a word.
Sherry: I am so happy to be visiting with you, Samyuktha. As you are fairly new to Poets United, would you like to give us a snapshot of your life? Anything you’d like to share, so we can get to know you better.
Samyuktha: Hi everyone! First of all , I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity. Never in a million years , I thought that I would be asked.
So my name is Samyuktha Jayaprakash , friends call me ‘semi’. (Jayaprakash is my father’s name , we don’t take our family name). Talking about we , I come from the city of Chennai which is situated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. I am currently doing my 4th year of law from ILS Law college which is situated in Pune in the western part of India. I live in a flat with my friends and try to juggle law , poetry , creative writing and watching/reading anything and everything and still try to maintain a social life. In short , I live a student’s life.
Sherry: It sounds busy and happy. And law is an excellent field to be studying. Where did you grow up, Samyuktha? Is there one person, looking back, you feel was a significant influence in your becoming a poet? Someone who believed in and encouraged you?
Samyuktha: I was born and brought up in Chennai and spent the first 17 of my 21 years solely there. I lived in the same home throughout and am lucky to be raised by 2 amazing parents who always encouraged my literary endeavours. My house also consists of loving grandparents , a naughty dog ( we call her Laika) and a very annoying little brother.
My father reads voraciously and I inherited that trait from him. He used to read every Enid Blyton I borrowed from the library and that gave me the encouragement that reading books is ‘cool’ and after that I never turned back.
Sherry: Books are like air to a poet. I love your happy dog! When did you begin writing? What is it that caused you to choose poetry as your means of creative expression?
Samyuktha: I think it was my mom who bought me this tiny blue pocket book when I was around 9 and asked me to fill it with poems. We were traveling in a van to our aunt’s wedding and I filled that book with my rhyming poems in Tamil ( my native language). The positive response I received urged me to write more.
However , in English I mostly stuck to stories and articles for my school magazines and my personal blogs. I always found myself too shallow for poems . Then one day I stopped thinking and took out the paper and poured myself into it.
Sherry: I love that. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way and let the poems come. What do you love about poetry? What makes it sing for you?
Samyuktha: And that is what I love about poetry. Less is more , you never have to lie or even think. It is just what you feel in a moment on paper. The things I write in a poem are things I hardly plan , they happen , I don’t plot it. And that is why I love it.
Sherry: Well said. What impact has blogging had on your writing?
Samyuktha: I started blogging when I was 14. I was very inexperienced and didn’t know what I was doing when I wrote my first post. It gave me exposure and freedom to experiment. Today I write poetry , stories, articles, reviews, letters , conversations and on any topic without being typecasted because of my blog.
Blogging gave me an identity amongst family and friends and I will continue to update my blog whenever possible.
Sherry: We look forward to reading much more of your work. Would you like to share three of your poems with us? And tell us something about each poem?
Constant cacophony of callous cuckoos cloud the horizons of my consciousness ,
I seek the shimmering rays of the sun
to build me the moral compass to navigate the gnarly waters of life.
the darkness beneath my eyes dawned the light within me
This is the first poem which I wrote on a ‘challenge’ which flowed well and touched me. Honestly , my friends ( I have a huge squad) were rehearsing dance steps for a friend’s brother’s wedding and I just needed some quiet to think about my career and this poem happened.
To think that
the only real relationship I ever had
the one I never had.
Beat my chest in pride,
every time I did the courageous karate
in the name of romance
with almost every other person
I could feel your patient gaze
silently sear through my back
as I strutted around town.
For you know for who I was am.
A genuine hypocrite
Afraid of All.
Of your gentle embrace wrapping me up
in the near future,
actually play that reel in my head quite often.
Till I get giddy in fact.
You are my handsome secret.
Of me having to confront you
about these stupid feelings which engulf me
and make me powerless ,
you will never.
You rock at this waiting game
Not a level playing field actually.
Of you saying 'no',
For Fate and Circumstances
spare no one.
Of you saying 'yes' .
For Fate and Circumstance
spare no one.
I didn't want my epic romance
to be tarnished by the all too real life,
Twas very pretty and pristine
So I never took the chance.
Cautious for a change.
There was no element of doubt
about our commitment ,
only time when unspoken words made
so much more meaning
than the spoken ones.
Our eyes duelled in anger
each time we tried to dull our love
by truly moving on from each other,
So we pretended to fall in love
with likeable people we never liked.
I am thinking of you
and you are thinking of me.
Toxic flames and fumes
made of our mutual feelings
paralyse me forever.
I know it may sound sad
but it is real
And that is all that matters.
Give love a chance!
What about true happiness?
The lucky ones mutter under their breath.
Passion would eat us alive ,
I don't want to live in the aftermath
So in this mental cove
I am going to stay.
So , I have refrained from writing on ‘love’ generally as I feel I don’t have much experience in that department. However , one day I was doing something on my laptop and this poem just hit me like a wave and I had to take a pen and write , I had no choice.
Hope springs eternal they say
Only for those who bloom with sunshine
Give me a rope already
To hang ‘out’ with.
Snaps and flashes of happy
Really compensate for this life
Which is so crappy?
Tell me really
I am trying so hard
To things not to get under my skin
Maybe a dark soul I am
For nefarious I feel
A true villain I am.
Insatiated with my genesis and growth &
Too proud to acknowledge my misery
I still give it company
I don’t want to give into this darkness
Where I seem to navigate seamlessly
When I see a happy person
I wanna dent their teeth and
Wipe that elusive smile off it
Thinking that I grit mine
And flash a fake smile and move
So what is the end you may ask?
To fit in by killing my self or
To stand out by killing myself?
Maybe it is to simply wait for a tomorrow
And hope that hope springs from within
Initially , I used to think that I should write only when I’m in a good mood and that nothing good can come when you are having a bad patch. Fueling all the negativity into fodder for my poems has done wonders to my inner state and I feel that my words have more power when they are backed by genuine emotions.
Sherry: I love the strong emotions in your poems. It makes them so authentic and resonates with the human condition, for we have all been there. What are your hopes and dreams for your writing in the years ahead?
Samyuktha: I would love to publish something , a poetry book or a feature novel. I just want to write more. I want to experiment and push my boundaries as a writer. I feel that the writing challenges in Poets United and other sites really help with that. I also care about holding a job which helps the society and that’s why I chose law. So maybe legal journalism or a book series based on real life cases might be the way to go. I’m in the period of choosing my path and it is exciting and frightening at the same time.
Sherry: It is wonderful to have all of life ahead. Exciting indeed. Is there a cause that you are passionate about?
Samyuktha: I believe that every person should be given a level playing field to follow the dreams of their heart. I wish there was more sensitivity towards mental health and pursuit towards spiritual thinking , soul searching rather than materialistic ladder that the world seems to be forcing on us.
Sherry: I agree. Materialism has dulled our connection to the spiritual, and society feels its loss. But I feel a turning back to true values occurring. Number One on your Bucket List of places you would love to see?
Samyuktha: I have never travelled outside India and haven’t even travelled properly within India due to my motion sickness and general laziness. I would love to travel Italy and Australia.
Sherry: Good choices! What other activities do you enjoy, when you aren’t writing?
Samyuktha: I love reading , doing yoga , watching movies and T.V. shows. I also love following cricket and finding different food items to eat and drinking new varieties of coffee and tea to try out.
Sherry: That sounds like fun. Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?
Samyuktha: I love reading all your poems! It is a genuine community where I love to share my work and you guys have helped me learn new styles and develop depth. The joy of finding like minded people who appreciate your work is simply indescribable.
Thank you for having me ☺
Sherry: Thank you, Samyuktha, for allowing us to get to know you better. We look forward to reading much more of your work in the months to come.
Wasn't that fun, my friends? It is always wonderful to meet a new poet and welcome them into the poetic blogosphere, which supports and encourages us all so well. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!