An aim is the single life you live lifelong. Some live it to the last breath of their life. It feels amazing to smell an aim inside you.- Anuj Kumar
In the newly started Debut Author Corner we have with us the young poet Anuj Kumar, bachelors in English Literature, from Delhi College of Arts And Commerce, University of Delhi, who debuted with his recent book “Love And Other Enchantments” an anthology by The Fictitious Five.
Tell us something about yourself.
Penning down my own thoughts to satisfy myself when turned into my passion I don’t know, but I am glad I chose it. I started my career with writing poems in my personal diary. I was amazed when editors “Our Quest” consistently chose to publish my poems, “They Too” and “Sun Inside My Heart” in their two issues.
After publishing of my poems in magazines I chose to go for more a big level. I wanted myself to be named in books. “Squire: Page-A-Day-Poetry”, published in United States of America was the first book I was named in for contribution my ten poems in it. It was published internationally and poets from the whole world contributed their musings in it.
“The Significant Anthology” was another book, my poem Dry Leaf was published. It was also published internationally and is in the top list of anthologies in Amazon’s book library.
From close friends to classmates, seniors and even to teachers, everyone liked my poems. Whenever it came to poetry, to be read in public, they always took my name. Which was heart soothing to me.
Did you always wanted to be a writer?
I never knew that I am going to be a writer. It was my school days when writing came to me through guilt.
“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” – Charlie Chaplin
This line changed my life wholly and forced me to write. To give myself relief from this guilt I adopted a habit of writing some lines and later on stepped up to poetry.I was planning to get admission in Law, even had cracked the entrance too but at the last moment I changed my mind and chose BA (H) English as a subject for my further studies. I thought reading literature will help me to become a good poet, as I will have to study about the masters of literature. Eventually it really helped me.
Who is your biggest influence?
If I talk about influences, I would first like to take name of my school teacher, Reema Agarwal. My friends influenced me a lot in writing, they used to support me whenever critics commented on my works.I loved John Milton’s Paradise Lost, though I have read only book 1 and 9 of it, but I loved it. It has its own joy of reading. John Milton lost his eyes when he was writing Paradise Lost but his love and affection towards poetry gave him strength to write it. He could have written it in Latin but he chose to write it in English, because he wanted it to be read by a large audience.
I was inspired by poems of John Donne, Edmund Spencer and Thomas Gray. After reading Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, I tried to write my first long poem with a dark shade, Dead But Immortal Love. It took me 21 days to complete it but I was happy that I made it.
Tell us the challenges you faced to publish your first book Love And Other Enchantments.
The Book was published by Blue Rose Publishers, Delhi as a self-published book.It was a tough task for a beginner like me. I had zero knowledge of publishing. I started this book’s work with a friend and owner of Horseshoe books. I collected some stories but Suraj backed off and story writers started pressurizing me for publishing. Then I again managed to convince Suraj to publish my book and collected some more stories. My writers in greed of power, attention and credit started disputes and left my book. That dispute made my team part in 2 teams. Then on a suggestion of Ishan Dafaria and Tanima Kedar, co- writers in Love And Other Enchantments I gave my team a name The Fictitious Five, which is also given on the cover of the book. Handling a team is a difficult task, as everyone has their own views but they all are friends with me so finally we managed to end this work peacefully.
Tell us about your upcoming work.
My next work is an anthology of poems, titled as The Garden of Love, by 4 poets, Anuj Kumar, Maliny Mohan, Akash Deep Gupta and Abhijeet Singh Yadav. This anthology consists of poems written by poets of different cultures and places; all connected by one feeling, that being ‘love’.
We come to read poems of different forms, narrating stories of various characters, giving readers a chance to delve into the psyche and situations that these characters face in different points of their lives, running behind the same thing – love.
The themes have been adequately divided into heaven and hell. The poems under heaven deal with the mirth that love brings and hell deals with the tough times that this wonderful feeling evokes.The forte of this anthology, being that the poets write on common grounds of which all can relate. One gets to relive moments of their lives while reading these that the poets have lived and shared. Love, being a universal emotion can be savoured by the young and old alike; this being the case of our poems. With a nice choice of words and perfect display of emotions, this anthology makes for a safe spot in the good reads. This book is a blend of talents, the coming together of four poets, creating synergy. The Garden of Love is under process of publishing. I have chosen to go for traditional publishing this time.
After The Garden of Love I am working on a long poetry project. It’s also an anthology by various poets. Here at this place I would love to owe my deeply felt gratitude to Maliny Mohan, who kept her trust on me and stayed with me in each of my project without any objection.
How can our readers connect with you?
Links to my book, Love And Other Enchantments
I feel for all the wrongdoings happening in the world around, and I sometimes write on those topics too. I wrote a poem on prostitution in Hindi which was praised by most of friends and readers. I also sent it for a competition by Story Mirror. I would like to share it here-
मैं एक तवायफ
तवायफ, हाँ, यही नाम है मेरा।
बेचती हूँ खुद को, ज़िंदा रहने के लिए।
लेती हूँ मर्दो से पैसे, उनका पसीना सुंगने के लिए।
बुझाती हूँ उनकी वासना की आग, ताकि ज़िंदा रहे इस व्यापार का वजूद।
चाह कर भी नही छोड़ पाती, मेरे पुरखो का निशाँ अभी भी है मुझपर मौजूद।
कभी किसी का खिलौना, तो कभी किसी का खाना।
कभी पानी की तरह भुजाना, तो कबि आग की तरह जलाना।
कभी फूल, तो कभी काँटा, कभी खुशबु, तो कभी बदबू,
कभी जन्नत, तो कभी जहन्नुम।
रोज कुछ नया नाम मिलता है मुझे, रोज ये व्यापार खाता है मुझे।
बस कुछ बदलता नहीं, तो वो है मेरा नाम, मेरा और मेरे पुरखो का काम।
अपना लिया है मैंने अब इसे, छूट चुकी हूँ मैं खुदसे।
छोड़ दिआ है खुद को, कहीं किसी बिस्तर पर।
बस पाया है अब अपने जिस्म को किसी मर्द की बाहों में या सीने पर।
आसूं तो बह चुके है, बस पत्थर टूटना बाकी है।
मर तो चुकी हूँ, बस जिस्म का जलना बाकी है।
हो जाउंगी खत्म कुछ दिनों में, टूट जायेगा नाता मेरा दुनिया से।
पर एक चीज हमेशा ज़िंदा रहेगी, और लड़कियों की इज़्ज़त इस बाज़ार में बिकेगी,
मेरी जैसी और जाने जाएगी, ये गलियां हमेशा सजी रहेगी।
भूल जायेगे लोगमुझे, मिलेगी मेरे जैसी बहुत उन्हें।
पर में खुद को याद रखूंगी, एक तवायफ, हाँ यही नाम है मेरा।