Sunday, September 18, 2011

Poetic reflections - week 5

Welcome to week 5 and Poetic Reflections. I am Blaga and today our guest is Mihir Vatsa.
Welcome Mihir! Thank you for your time, sharing thoughts with The Gooseberry Garden!

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
W. H. Auden

by Mihir Vatsa

Walking the streets,
his face assimilates
in the arbitrariness
of the similar many.

Two weeks since
his indifferent cell phone

Friends leave behind
their existence like splashes
of dirty water in a pit
gawking in a ‘busy’ road.

His hands, convicted
to deepest chambers
of his pockets, thrust
to infiltrate the fabric,
woven neatly in a
capitalist factory;
fighting the expanse
of an unnatural cold.

The jacket shrunk long ago,
he walks silently beside
the walls of a now lost city.


Tell me about yourself?

I’m Mihir; Indian; almost 21; a student of English Literature in University of Delhi and a struggling poor writer who likes cold coffee. I also believe that monsters are cute.

Tell me about your blog, about the name and what it means to you? When did you start blogging?

I manage two blogs and edit the third one since it happens to be a webzine. The first blog is simply named after me- Mihir Vatsa. Why? Ummm... no clue, really. I think I like to see my name on the top. Narcissist much? Well... yeah. I started this blog in February 2011, I guess, just to see if my poems were good enough for public reading. Just a few days later, a blogger by the name of ‘little miss homo sapien’ dropped her comment, thus, giving my blog its first international comment. At present, I get most of the comments from readers who belong to countries other than India. Feels good to see words traveling, if not me.

The second blog is titled ‘Tales of Hazaribagh’. It is on both blogspot and wordpress and in the near future, I’m planning to convert either of the two into a proper website. I share a very intimate bond with Hazaribagh and I believe it’s a really beautiful place. Not because it happens to be my hometown but because it really deserves it. The second blog actually started with a thought- let’s create a platform which would provide all the details about places of this town. Things started easily, and then the passion grew really intense. Today, when I look back at how ‘Tales of Hazaribagh’ has progressed, it gives me a weird yet comforting consolation... maybe saying ‘finally, you did something’. Feels good, again. Tales of Hazaribagh was started in October 2010, on blogspot first. In September, I imported the same blog to wordpress. We now have a Facebook group with over two hundred members, and a page as well. Cool, right?

What draws you to express yourself through poetry? Where do you find inspirations?

Tricky question. What draws me to poetry? Everything- I’d say. I wrote my first poem when I was nine or ten years old. That was some four lines scribbled in Hindi- my mom showed me later. In English, I wrote my first poem at the age of 15- on a dustbin. Funny, right? I mean, like really, a dustbin? It was a long poem... very long, as I didn’t know what ‘crisp’ meant at that point of time. Years passed and I continued writing, scribbling in classes, lectures, on word processor, and finally on blog. Now, there is hardly an hour when there isn’t any kind of poetry reeling inside my mind. Trains, buses, roads, squirrel, hat, mat, hair, beard, mobile phones, shoes, dead, alive, mouse, room, roof, rent... everything inspires poetry in me. Inspirations lie scattered; the need is to pick them up.
Untitled - 9

Six months, isn’t it?
You slipped right through
that grip of my hand
(I’m pulling back, still):
you didn’t listen; said,
you had to go, you must.
Your memory is what stinks
when I see him
drifting past my longing eyes;
the realization: he is not you
-the brown eyes;
cut of his arms, shoulders;
his melting voice; familiar touch-
stabs right through
the wound- already moist-
which you had ripped
off: before dying.

Favorite books? Authors?

Favourite books... hmmm. See, I am a huge Rowling fan, so it goes without saying that HP series is the most favorite. ‘The Hungry Tide’ by Amitav Ghosh and ‘Delhi is Not Far’ by Ruskin Bond: I can read these two books again and again. Then of course, there is Marquez. I loved Frankenstein and it is my recent favorite. George Eliot’s ‘The Mill on the Floss’ is a really nice read while Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is something beyond comparison. It’s really difficult for me to write down all books here as there are lots of them. How can I forget plays by Euripides and Aristophanes, they were like really awesome!

Among poets, I like Sir Philip Sidney and John Donne the most. Their styles are in immediate contrast to each other but still, the magic is preserved. W.B. Yeats is a recent favorite as I am reading his poetry these days. Sylvia Plath is awesome, and I think her poem ‘Daddy’ is the best! There are many Indian poets whom I like- Jayanta Mahapatra, especially. I also believe that we bloggers are no less poets ourselves and there are many bloggers whose poetry I really really like. Luke, Kavita, you yourself, Pat, Charles, Esteban (he disappeared, all of a sudden), Kriti, Sina are just a few names to take.

Do you think that an interactions with strangers/ people you meet in the blogging world/ is a meaningful part of your creative vision?

Absolutely. We learn so many things from each other! The sharing does not take place only in terms of some verses or syllables but you can actually visualize a whole new culture interacting with you. Sometimes, it only takes two strangers to form a story. Even in India, considering the country itself is so diverse, interacting with people from different parts is always fun. Also, in such kind of an interaction, you only see what the other person shows you, and hence there is always a kind of mystery- what exactly is the other side? I love dealing with these mysteries. So, yeah, it also harnesses your creative faculty to an extent. You imagine, you assume things, later you find out that something went wrong in your assumption... it’s like a whole parallel world. Subtle, clever, yet enchanting.

What benefits there are from participating in poetry communities?

For someone like me, who loves to make friends like anything, poetry communities are like awesome stuff to happen. I mean, I couldn’t have imagined that I would be currently answering your questions had it not been for the Jingle community of which we both are a part of. So you see, you meet people, you form friendships, you exchange ideas; then, of course, you get insane traffic on your blog and equally insane amount of comments- which make you feel like ‘finally, some recognition!’

Any advice for people involved with poetry even not professionally, what do you think is important for them to appreciate and follow?

I don’t think I’m the right person to answer this question, considering I’m quite young myself and I lack experience in a broader sphere... but I personally feel that for a poet, it is necessary to have an imaginative mind with which he/she could dig out meanings from the most trivial of objects. Wordplay is another important thing which makes a poem, poetry. See, the difference between a prose and a poem lies here only- with prose you can’t experiment much but with poetry, you can- thanks to these things called ‘poetic license’ and ‘poetic liberty’- and since I write both fiction and poetry, I understand that they demand different treatments. People who are shy writers should believe in their talent and come out in the open, if it’s possible; constructive criticism will only help to improve the quality of a piece- the talent shall stay theirs.


When was the last time you swayed me away?

Was it that ‘one fine day’ when you first visited,

Leaving me to bathe myself in the pristine showers,

Or, the day when the friendly umbrella chose to revolt?

Was it when the clouds parted to reveal your enemy,

But you were brave enough, weren’t you, to close them again,

And rewind the misty darkness through the film of August,

Till the last nights you thrummed at my door, remember?

Or was it some idle moment when you reflected my face,

In a muddy puddle- right in the middle of a speedy road,

I saw the wheels faint and heard the brakes cry-

You took my eyes in your lips and drank the pains, alone?

Or was it when the moon rebuked and teased you away,

And you drenched the soil with your treasured tears;

I cherish that moment still, when you cooed in my lap,

In a white November sky- the difference being, do you, now?

* * * * *

That would be all for today, dear Garden readers, if you like to discover more about Mihir, visit him at
Thank you for following Gooseberry Garden and today! Stay tuned for Poetic reflection - week 6.
I am Blaga and I wish you a happy Sunday!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Blaga! It came out quite nice. :)

The Poetry Palace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
morning said...

this is fabulous, Blaga.

Glad to learn more about you, Mihir..

September 18, 2011 7:44 AM

The Gooseberry Garden said...

enjoyed reading the details of how he gets encouraged via comments from strangers when he started blogging..

beautiful poetry from talented poet.

JamieDedes said...

Nice work both of you. Loved the particulars and the intro.

Thanks, Blaga!
Thanks, Mihir!

Well done. :-)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about you, Mihir! Your poems are absolutely fantastic... Nice job, Blaga! :)