The best storytellers in the world are always our parents and grandparents. As a child, I would listen intently to stories from my mother and grandmothers. I was blessed to hear hundreds of stories from both my grandmothers, some repeated many times over. Mythological tales from my grandmothers, along with inspirational stories and folklore from my mother, would draw me to dream, allow me to fly, get me in touch with the characters of the stories and take me to a different world. Her art of storytelling is simply perfect. Her conversational style encourages the mind to imagine in vivid detail and makes each story breathe with amazing forms. If there is one thing I have picked up well from my mother it’s the art of telling stories through conversation—except that I write poems!!
I released my first book, Your Shadow Wants to Walk Alone, in 2015. Since then, I’ve done several book reading sessions across multiple cities in India and the US. I started a new job with intense responsibilities. Needless to say, writing a second book of poems was not on my priority list in the first year of a new job. I credit the immense support from my readers and tremendous encouragement from my family for helping me get my second book across the finish line over the last 6 months. I am delighted to share that my second book of Hindi–English poems, Old Seeds of a New Tree, will be published and available worldwide on September 15, 2017.
I often pick up themes to write about as I observe them, making notes on my iPhone and later building on them during flights and on weekends. In fact, most of my writing happens on long coast to coast or international flights. Writing poems is an intensely iterative process. The shorter the verse the more work it takes to ensure its integrity is maintained. Poems are like mirrors; they reflect thoughts when you read them. When you close your eyes, they speak to you. They also connect with you in your own frame and then draw you out to think beyond.
Conflicts between the heart and the mind have probably existed ever since the beginning of human civilization. Whether in love or in pain, to seek or to give, to understand or to imbibe, to teach or to learn, I do hope the poems in this book will connect with you in your own way. Old Seeds of a New Tree has some of the most intense poems that I have written so far. I have also written several poems in this book that are on contemporary themes, each with a different take. I do hope you will see the flow of conversation in several of the poems in this book. Old Seeds of a New Tree will draw you out from the normal day to day world to a different realm. They will talk to your heart and also challenge your mind to seek higher, different altitudes.
As with my first book, this is also a bilingual book of Hindi-English poems. Originally written in Hindi, I have self-translated them into English for global connect. Poems, much like feelings, love, dreams, joy, aspirations and hope, are universal. They need to be shared with one and all. I have tried to keep the core ethos of the poems similar to the original ones written in Hindi, though they may not be literal in translation.
The affection and support from readers all over the world for my first book, Your Shadow Wants to Walk Alone, is immense even two years after its publication. I get many messages on how poems from the book connect with you in your own ways. There’s nothing more gratifying and humbling for an author than to connect with readers in their own individual way. Many of you have also written that you started reading and conversing in Hindi again after reading the book! Thank you for your love and affection. Each one of you inspire me every day. You keep me going and urge the creative side of me to do more.
So here I am again.
I do look forward to hearing from you on my new book, Old Seeds of a New Tree. I hope you like these poems as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you.