Do You See?
I’m lucky in a way to make friends across continents, peoples and ages. Recently, I got acquainted with a very talented and very young poet-writer-blogger. Mihir Vatsa. A Delhi University student, he’s an avid blogger (makes it a point to visit my posts and offer comments and advice) and emerging poet, having been published in some cool places. Always appreciative of the fact that he drops in to this blog quite regularly, I had two surprises he had in store for me lately.
He ordered my book Footprints in the Bajra, and read it immediately. It’s a small book anyway. Next, he wrote up a brief review, an “afterthought”, again almost immediately after reading the book. Posted it on his blog for the others to see. Read it HERE. Some folks asked me what my reaction was to his point that “bajra” or millet doesn’t grow in Bihar. I think it’s a small matter. Millet does grow in Bihar, several varieties. It’s not a major millet growing state, rather, up and coming, as per agriculture experts. Fiction always does its own thing, makes thousands of elephants fly in the sky (is that what Marquez had said?)! Following that logic, If “bajra” became a character or a leitmotif for readers of my book, so be it!
True, I’ve had some awesome reviews in mainstream newspapers/journals and websites for my book. But an act of kindness always counts. From young writer friends, it means a lot. Makes me feel connected. We have this joke that I’m his virtual Creative Writing teacher! We do discuss poetry on other forums.
Speaking of poetry, what do we read tonight? It’s Friday, but quiet in Stirling. I came back early from my office to send some poems of mine to a Rutgers poet-friend who wants to read them (or one) at the 2012 MFA Graduation reading this evening. What an honor again. My own mood is that of questing; asking myself things one can know or not; about “other days … face of springtime” …, and that “we will suffer at daybreak.” Yes, I’m remembering Pavese, one of my most favorite European poets! So, we must read this:
TRANSLATED BY GEOFFREY BROCK
Cesare Pavese: 1908–1950