I remember that my friendship with words is as old as my memory. There were days when I found my self very lonely in my childhood; even in those days words used to flutter within my closed fist. As soon as I opened my fist, they used to fly towards the sky shining like glowworms. I used to sadly watch them go far away, thinking “Why did I open my fist? If I had not, the glowworms would not have flown away.” One thing I could never understand, whether I saw words or pictures? Some say that we see pictures in the shape of words. But can we really? Pictures usually take shape in the mind on recalling seen things. But I have perceived a number of unseen things in my mind. Anyhow, words or pictures were my friends those days, and the strange thing was that my words were mostly colorful. They had some colours on their black bodies.
In those days during the summer holidays, we used to sprinkle water in our courtyard to make it cool. Then we would put our wooden charpai – beds covered with snow-white sheets in the courtyard. Whenever I sat on the bed with its snow-white bed sheet, a dark shadow of loneliness used to envelop me, its claws hurting my chest. It would be difficult to breathe. Then a number of words used to come to my rescue. They used to play around me like juggler’s balls. I could perceive that words also have colours. Moreover they have wings, they can take us anywhere, and anywhere we want to go. Only thing is that we have to learn to keep them under our command.
Words are very clever and understanding, they change colours according to the occasion. When our heart is sad, they dress in dark colours and when the heart is happy, they take all the colours of the rainbow and seem to outshine the rainbow. Sometimes they are as pale as death and at other times they are as dark as a night without moon.
Those days my eyes used to be glued to words just as ants stick to sugar. Words could attract me any time; even while sweeping if I happened to come across a torn piece of paper with words, dust was free to enter the house as my eyes would be busy reading those words. Then came a time when words started flying off from my mouth. I could use them like a vendor selling tooth powder. After that I entered a world where words used to come like a marriage procession and returned without the bride. In that world words used to stick on the dress like dead butterflies. Words would blow up like balloons and burst noisily. I used to yearn that the words would freeze in my mouth. But shamelessly enough, as soon as they could get the warmth of feeling, they used to melt. I was exhausted washing them. Now they were my worst enemy. They haunted me like ghosts. I was a prisoner of my own words. How can I explain, how much they troubled me? How much clatter was there in my mind? They even disturbed my sleep. Than I learned that like a horse trainer who tamed even the wildest of horses, I would have to command my words, make them run on my signal. Then once again they would become cloud or sunshine or bird or smell for me. Sometimes they tunneled into the earth like earth worms, and sometime they would tunnel into my mind like mice.
I do not know how my control over words transformed them into poetry. At the time of conception a poet never thinks about poetry. Thoughts take place after creation. That is mostly not from the creator but from the creation. I do not know whether Poetry indulges in the same thoughts as ours - who we are, from where we come or where our journey will end. We know that these questions are worthless as the answers narrow the depth of curiosity, still we ask ourselves. At the time of conception a poet never thinks about poetry. Thoughts take place after creation. That is mostly not from the creator but from the creation. I do not know whether Poetry indulges in the same thoughts as ours - who we are, from where we come or where our journey will end. We know that these questions are worthless as the answers narrow the depth of curiosity, still we ask ourselves..