ABP- Thank you for taking this interview Akshaya. Back in January of this year, ABP was lucky enough to have the opportunity to publish your poetry collection “The Falling In & The Falling Out”. What can you tell us about this book?
AP- First of all thank you so much for the feature. Coming to the book, this poems are not essentially written over the last year but more so in 2019. They cover this whole gamut of emotions that one goes through. They are about mothers, about poetry, about lovers about how one is not good enough, as also about how one is good enough and such vacillations. I did not sit down with the thought of writing a particular book but as I was writing, the poems just felt connected and intertwined and hence the collection.
ABP- What do you have planned creatively for later in 2021? Are you currently writing anything? Do you have any other published works that you would like to mention?
AP- As I am a full time doctor practicing in Goa I can only return to poetry on my days off and last year was quite harrowing and all-consuming being on the frontline. So this year I plan on writing whenever and wherever I can, merely for the joy of it and also to continue publishing in various journals. Another poetry chapbook is also in the pipeline.
To quote Vincent Van Gogh, ‘I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.’
ABP- What is the poetry/ art & lit scene like in Ponda, Goa India?
AP- I think poetry doesn’t sell in India but that doesn’t hold the poets back. Poets are on the rise not to mention poetry on Instagram. In the recent time, COVID has moved it to a virtual platform. Poetry readings and open mics are happening but I have unfortunately not tried my hand at it, that’s on my next to do list. In Goa, Konkani is the native tongue and poets have been writing in Konkani and Marathi language with several Konkani poetry festivals and readings taking place whereas contemporary English poetry is still in a fledgling stage.
ABP- Who is your favorite writer? What is your favorite book?
AP- I cannot name one name. There was an Enid Blyton phase, then came Agatha Christie and simultaneously Jane Austen. Then there was a Fitzgerald phase, then the Leo Tolstoy and currently Dostoevsky and I have definitely missed out many. So honestly I think choosing one will be difficult for me. As to favorite books, to name a few are Anna Karenina, Crime and punishment and Khalil Gibran’s ‘The prophet’.
ABP- Can you share a poem with us?
AP-sure. This is one of the poems from the chapbook
Journey and the pit stops
If you start walking fast enough, you can easily walk
yourself out of any situation,
a race, a war, a marriage, guilt, grief, joy.
For the flat earther’s even its edge.
Breathing is motion
Living is motion.
Motion is change.
Contrast it with inertia,
if you remain still enough you can still the mind
into thinking life thrives on pauses.
A hermit, a tree, a wall, the silence before
a baby’s first shrill cry,
the lull of winter
before the hustle of spring.
Timelessness of an old photograph,
The slow Chant of Om, aligning
with frequency of nature.
The stillness, the movement
A clasped hand.
ABP- Thanks again for participating in this feature, Akshaya. If there is anything else that you would like to mention that we did not cover, please do.
AP- I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for publishing my chapbook. It was a dream come true. Here I would like to tell the readers and aspiring poets that ABP is a really author friendly press and made the book publishing a cake walk for me though I was totally new to this. You are really doing a great job in furthering the poets and poetry world over and for that we are really grateful.