A Break From Poetry

As a child, I was sickly and weak. For some reason or the other, I had been through several different schools, though not due to misbehavior (!) All this made me an introvert and books were my best friends. At that age I simply knew I wanted to be an author like Enid Blyton. If only we had WordPress in them days, but the writing buzz fizzled out very fast. I kept up with reading but once I was over my “keeping a diary” phase, I never even thought of writing nor desired to write all these (many, many) years.

So when Sreejit’s prompt (and I tried so hard to ignore) prodded me to write about stepping out of my comfort zone, I got thinking about the few times I have managed to do just that.

An avid reader though I admit I never actually sat to read much poetry. Perhaps only what I was forced to digest in school. It is only now that I perceive poetry to be everywhere. And in as much as my written words tend to favour the Sufi thinking, I had not before read or even come across Iqbal, Rumi, Attar, Ghalib, Rabia al-Basri etc all the while. And then I heard some music by the Pakistani band Junoon. Even more than the music itself, it was the lyrics which were in Urdu or Punjabi and I must stress I did NOT understand them, but they touched me (if you can figure that one out, you deserve a medal). Little did I realise that I was listening to Iqbal’s and Baba Bulleh Shah’s words! Well, that certainly caused some sort of shift in my mind and it still took a while but from then my journey into poetry took its first steps.

To actually sit and write took guts and yes I did think I was a little (a lot!) crazy to write a… gosh!…poem. But I went ahead. It was because my elder daughter wrote so beautifully that I pushed myself to write. The subject of my initial piece was my younger daughter. It wasn’t like the words came rushing out or anything like that afterwards. Still took a long while before I came to a place where I started to write regularly. To share my poetry took even more courage. I will never get over the reactions I received when I nervously shared this poem which was definitely a far throw from my writing comfort zone. It was then that I felt the power that poetry potentially possesses...couldn’t resist that one hehe. Best advice I received was “If you write it, they will read”… and they did indeed read…some rhyming there too :)

When I was in boarding school, the girls used to keep a Remembrance Book where all our friends would write something like a short memoir. Recently, I dug my book out and was surprised to read that one of my friends wrote she was so sure that in years to come I would be a famous poet! That really stunned me. I may not be famous but I can heartily describe myself as a poet.

Music has always been a source of comfort. But I have never been able to play any musical instrument. I was content only to hear others play and sing. All that changed very much late in my life. Our music teacher kept encouraging me to play, but really it seemed like gobbledygook to me, I just couldn’t get the hang of it. One day I went for a Kriya meditation session and at night I didn’t feel the need to sleep. I decided to give playing music one more shot. And guess what!!…It was still like dancing letters and made no sense to me (haha). But here’s the thing, I didn’t despair and give up. I kept at it till I could actually see through my fingers, and was thrilled when I could recognise that it was surely a melody I was playing. I have a long way to go, but here is a taste of me practising my newly found talent :)

And finally, I need to thank Karuna for giving me a brilliant idea to take my poetry slightly further. I had considered it before, kept thinking it was a corny idea, but she dispelled my doubts when she herself told me she would frame one of my poems and hang it up at home. Even then it took me months to actually go ahead, but here is my first framed poem as a personal wedding gift for a special couple…

IMG_20151011_113320

Oh sorry, one more thing…writing directly about myself in prose form…I never thought I could do it. This one is for you Sreejit, this one’s for all of you who have directly or subtly encouraged me.

In Gratitude…

25 thoughts on “A Break From Poetry

  1. I’m so glad you shared about yourself in this way. You discovered another new found talent! Thanks for letting me know that my telling you how moved I was by your poem resulted in you deciding to go deeper with poetry. That is awesome.

    1. Thanks Karuna. Sreejit’s prompts have certainly helped me scrutinize thoughts that I was afraid to explore. I know they say true confidence is when others’ opinions don’t matter. But I guess we all need a bit of encouragement now and again, and I appreciate your part in this :)

      1. Sreejit’s prompts have added so much depth to my blog. When I read them I almost always think that I can’t do it and then I do! And I agree, we all need encouragement!

  2. That was one amazing post,your journey from your childhood dreams that were somehow left buried and forgotten reached you at the right time,it was great to know you and that poetry that is framed,now that’s quite an achievement! And yes music is the universal language and you get connected to it, feel it and then decipher it in your own wayss:)love to read more about you,keep blogging:)

  3. Dear Sonya,

    Thank you for sharing with us this self-revelatory post wherein you so well highlight the language of the heart. This language – which is just as literally real as other languages – requires no verbalization.

    I have known, since first discovering your writings, that you are an innately gifted poet. Like other poets, famous or not, your life has likely taken you, and likely continues to take you, through circuitous paths of peaks and valleys.

    Your inspiration from the Sufis is a gift. Please keep being a thoroughfare through which they may influence this world.

    All good wishes,

    robert

  4. Yey! Love this post. We learned so much about you. Music is very much the Universal tongue. When it’s directed towards God it has an undeniable power. I don’t understand the bhajans that Amma sings but it can move me to tears. I saw Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan back in 1992, and I didn’t know who he was, a friend that was working with him brought me to his show. It was amazing. He sang in Punjabi and Urdu, and I didn’t know a word of it, but it had the power to change the way that I thought about music altogether. Glad you’re sticking with the harmonium!

    1. I’m glad that I relate with what you have experienced. It took many revisions until I finally posted this. Yey! that I took time and effort to write it. Felt good to do something different :)

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