Tell us something about your journey as a poet. How did it all start and when did you decide to go professional?
I have been writing since my college days. It started as a hobby but faded away when family responsibilities piled up. However that fire was still ignited somewhere, therefore when my kids flew the nest, I decided to revive my passion. So, here I am showcasing my work on Doordarshan, Aakashwani and preparing for the launch of my first novel.
When I look back, I realize that what excited me about poetry was its capacity to soar and dive, skate and swivel, be terrestrial and aerial all at once. All those are qualities of poetry, arent they? A poem is a place where language can be unexpected and startling, where language longs to be unstarched, untethered, unbound free of the staid rhythms of everyday prose; of the tyranny of beginning, middle and end; of past, present and future; itching to defy gravity and yet capable of obeying it with a certain wonderful inevitability. Its language at its most heightened, it’s most alive. Its that mix of defiance and alignment that makes a poem what it is a buoyant compound of sound and sense and silence
What inspires you to write poetry?
My poems are usually inspired by Shringar, philosophy and ruhani aspect of poetry. I am a creative person so they are not purely realistic but calls to something spiritual within.
How much of your poetry do you receive, especially being the spiritually inclined person that you are?
I was always riveted by poetry. And so I made sure I never strayed too far from it. It was as simple as that. You merely hang around the places that excite you, isnt it? I think most of my learning in all spheres of life has been by following a hunch about where to hang out. And Ive learned best by simply being around, observing, listening, inhaling. Craft is important to me. Rewriting, reworking, forgetting, retrieving these are rhythms that matter to me. They are part of the joy of making poetry. I dont see the inspiration and the perspiration as oppositional categories. They go together.
Is your pen name Meera inspired by Meera Bai, the famous Krishna devotee?
Yes, to some extent it is. Meera bai had a supernatural relationship with Lord Krishna. She used to write as a devotee about her platonic love, she has addressed that kind of love in her poems and my poetry is somewhat in a similar genre. So, when the time came to make this decision, Meera was an obvious choice.
You express your poetry on Youtube, tell us about the response you’ve received.
The response has been tremendous! I received a lot of love for my vivid portrayal of poetry. Modern times are dominated by remixes and the beauty of poems in Bollywood and other platforms are dingy. Poems need to be respected! Meerabai’s poetry, that state of mind is above us all. So my aim was to portray poetry like it’s meant to be and that’s what I did.
You are also in works of publishing a novel. Tell us about it?
Yes, my novel Tumhari Meera is to be launched sometime in November. Actually, my father is also going to launch his novel so father-daughter duo decided to have a simultaneous launch.This is my first novel so I wanted to keep it a little personal and celebrate with family, close friends and relatives. Also, my poems are going to be launched by Nivyanku Sahitya Sabha on 9th October at the Indian Habitat Centre where I, among other poets are going to be honoured for our work.
Wat are you looking forward to in the upcoming Valley of Words Literature and Arts Festival 2018?
I wish to use this platform to talk about the vulgarity that is evident in the present time cinema. Women’s beauty was celebrated in earlier movies too, there were cabaret stars like Helen but there were no objectifying women. Today, there is no originality and although there are some original poets like Prasoon Joshi and a few others, there is lack of females and a feminine perspective, which can only be understood and narrated by a woman herself. Hence I want to utilize this huge platform to bring back the golden era of Indian poetry.
About the Interviewee: Tanuja Sharma aka Meera is a poet who writes primarily in Hindi and creates videos featuring poetry on Youtube. Her debut book Tumhari Meera will be launched in November 2018.