// My interests remain eclectic and wide-ranging and I don’t expect to be restricted by theme or genre in my writing. //

In this feature I attempt to coherently explore my writing paths and my life trajectories.

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The Whole Kahani of Kavita A. Jindal on not being a muse

Published on:
22 Sep, 2021, 12:29 pm

When it comes to writing, there are poets you love for their choice of words and a muse at their creativity and self.

Kavita A. Jindal is very incisive about what goes on a paper. Even the lyrical nature of the prose in her outing as a novelist is captivating with its eloquence. Having kept pace with her writing, I have noticed a poet constantly scoring over her fresh crossbars. What impresses me about her life and struggle is the realism found in her optimism, aptly captured in this minuscule poem.

For the business leaders, it offers the picture of a froth of expectations and perception over any corporate lunch, where everyone dreams and expects everything knowing that small talks are the preparations for a hard bargain later on.

Kavita A. Jindal is an award-winning poet, novelist and essayist. Her novel ‘Manual For A Decent Life’ won the Brighthorse Prize and the ‘Eastern Eye’ Award for Literature. Her poetry collections are ‘Patina’, ‘Raincheck Renewed’ and ‘Raincheck Accepted’. Selected poems have been translated into several European languages. She is the co-founder of The Whole Kahani writers’ collective.

Poet’s helping hand:

Historically, women were less visible than men as ‘creators’; they were also less able to be creators, although generally, the ‘muse’ was female. As was the supportive structure. I was commissioned to write a poem on the subject, and this tripped off my tongue. The speaker insists she can perform all the arts. She wants to retain the credit for her original ideas. I read it once a year as a rousing reminder that we are all capable of doing everything we wish to do, health, time management and sleep permitting, of course.

Your earlier ‘Raincheck’ collections have a less noise of day-to-day narratives and images, while your last pamphlet, ‘Patina’, is relaxed about familiar contexts. A range of content is also eclectic. They are more narrative-rich to fit the prevailing trend. What brought this change to your approach? Where next from here?

Raincheck Renewed’ was more meditative because I wrote it in snippets and snatched quiet moments in the midst of child-rearing, freelance editing, and busy timetables. I was also writing just to write and not to publish, although obviously later the poems came together into a second collection. By the time I collated a selection of poems for ‘Patina’, I had been back in London for some years, and in a new writing phase, and I was publishing regularly.

You’re right that the trend is for a narrative; editors seem to like poems that have recognisable subjects and explain themselves subtly within the poem. But perhaps more importantly, I felt able to speak out more and voice my opinions, even if unpopular, as I had begun to think, ‘If not now, then when?’

My interests remain eclectic and wide-ranging, and I don’t expect to be restricted by theme or genre in my writing. I still do like to write abstract poems and shorter reflective pieces. Future poems will continue with freedom of thought and expression in varying styles and I aim to practise greater devotion to precision in craft, whatever the content or form.

Tell us more about your recent award-winning novel and how it is different.

Read more.