In Conversation With Saumya Kulshreshtha
On a pleasant sunny winter afternoon in a café in Connaught place, OWN had an insightful and interesting conversation with Saumya Kulshreshtha. Who is she, you ask?
Well read on!Saumya Kulshreshtha is a poet, writer and a story-teller, who, at heart loves to experiment with emotions, expressions, forms, genres and audiences. She is a “Pakka DIlliwaala at heart” and for her Grand Dream Project that she would perhaps like to execute is to bring all the art and culture of Delhi under an umbrella and market Delhi as the unparalleled hub of history, heritage, art, literature and culture.
When we asked about the driving force, or inspiration behind the writing, she said: “Writing necessitates a strong foundation of reading, which I am proud to say I have.
I love to meet people – and I put forth multiple efforts in the direction of making that a reality. I am forever drunk on the idea of:
I am forever drunk on the idea of becoming the flow
1. Becoming the flow (Ref. – Rumi)
2. Witnessing the fragment and entirety of the Universe which hides within me. “
On the starting point of this fascination for literature, she says, “I cannot remember the physical details, but I remember what it did to me – It set me free. Literature began with books I picked out myself from the school library.” When we asked about her first novel, she smiled and said, “Would you believe it – the first novel I picked up and finished on my own accord was Train to Pakistan, in the 10th standard!”
She explains further, “The never ending love for the written word began then. I read Ramayana, Mahabharata, Noddy, Famous Five, Treasure Island, all of Ruskin Bond and Tagore, and many such books in a queer order, but in quick succession thereafter. But the crux remained the same. It all set me free. The power of a written expression unleashing boundless imagination was intoxicating and liberating at the same time.”
When asked about the initiatives and/or organizations that she is a part of, she tells us and makes us count in awe. They are not one, or two, but several. She says, “My love for writing makes me a happy employee of my current firm – Drizzlin Media– where I get to write stories of real humans making a difference to impact the digital audience.
The first novel was Train to Pakistan
I started my own blog some 5 years back which goes by the name of Nascent Emissions. It is closing in on 4 million views. I wonder what people see there. I, I see my whole life in a different tangent unfolded on that website.
Poets’ Collective – It was started by myself and a group of friends back in August of 2014. I was part of a poetry group earlier, and PC is my attempt at keeping the expressive value and share-worthiness of poetry alive and kicking. We’re experimenting with multiple things at present and shall be displaying an altogether different avatar in a while.
Maha Varta – It began out of a need to cure itches drawn from perspectives on mythology and developed into a full-fledged concept of its own. The group discusses all aspects of the mythology, to see different sides of the epic, from psychological, social and feministic to atheistic and theistic perspectives.
Delhi Karavan – A concept started by Asif Khan Dehlvi, DK gives me a scope to verbalize my love to the city, as well as to explore its culture and heritage from a very different angle.
In Mahavaarta, the group discusses all aspects of the mythology, from psychological to atheistic views.
Positivally Cynical – Very proudly, I am the Poetry Editor in the e-magazine started by Sameer Thakur, as of now a student of 12th grade.
Napkin Chatter – Let’s just call it a failed food blog.”
On asking her about her other areas of interest, she says:
“If you look at it closely, literature can never be a love in isolation. It brings many interests with itself. For me, these are – mythology, history, philosophy, food, culture (India) and people and their stories. I love to investigate what lies behind the creases that a face acquires over time.”
I love to investigate what lies behind the creases that a face acquires over time.”
What keeps you going?
Different things at different times. But mostly, it is an urge to give solace, in whatever menial manner I can, to the ever worsening human condition. You know, literature does the same in magical ways. At the same, slightly paradoxical point, it is the magic of humanity which keeps me going.
You mentioned that you love poetry, can you share one of the best pieces that you’ve come across?
You can find some of the best works of poetry of various poets, on my blog. Some of my recommendations of other authors, ‘Aaj Baazaar Mein Pabajola Chalo’ by Faiz and Lucy Poems by Wordsworth are my favorites.
Can we hear some lines of ‘Aaj Baazaar Mein Pabajola Chalo’?
Chasm-e-nam, jaan-e-shoreedaan qaafi nahin
Tohmat-e-ishq poshidaa qaafi nahin
Aaj bazaar mein pa-ba joulaan chalo
Dast afhsaan chalo, mast-o-raqsaan chalo
Khaak bar sar chalo, khoon badamaan chalo
Raah taktaa hai sab sheher-e-jaanaan chalo
Hakim-e-sheher bhi, majmaa-e-aam bhi
Teer-e-ilzaam bhi, sang-e-dushnaam bhi
Subh-e-nashaad bhi, roz-e-naakaam bhi
Unkaa dum-saaz apne siwa kaun hai
Sheher-e-jaanaan mein ab ba safaa kaun hai
Dast-e-qaatil ke shayaan rahaa kaun hai
Rakht-e-dil baandh lo, dil figaaro chalo
Phir hameen qatl ho jaayein, ae yaaro chalo!
Some excerpts from the conversation:
“What, do you think is the current scenario of cultural and literary fascination among the youth? Are they equally fascinated, as the youth were, let’s say, in 70’s and 80’s?”
“I cannot compare the decades, since I was not alive then. I can purely speak of the current times, and I see them as revivalists. There is a need and hunger to connect, that I see in people, who, at the same time want to assert their individuality.
“What’s next?” “Magic!
This, however, cannot be done while you are bereft of a sense of belonging. We’re all finding a common culture we belong to, evolving it at the same time.”
Lots of things, actually. Storytelling will be the start and end of it. Storytelling will be the heart of it.”
Would you like to say anything to the readers and the youth, today?
And don’t allow others to judge you for what you are reading, or choosing to believe. Eat, sleep, talk, rant, sing, dance, travel, paint, love, cry – do whatever, but don’t allow others to judge who you have become.
Do you know, you make a book unique the moment you read it? As a reader, you have immense power.
This inspiring and insightful conversation concluded our session. The team of OWN wishes Saumya Kulshreshtha, all the best, for all her endeavors.