Writer and diplomat Abhay K, the Indian Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, who has edited the recently released ‘The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems’ that comprises verses from 28 Indian languages spanning over 3000 years, from Rigveda upto present day, insists that one always finds time for what he loves.
“Reading and writing poetry, and editing poetry anthologies are an essential part of ‘me’. In many ways, writing verse keeps me disciplined and helps me in my work as a diplomat. Also, as a poet it is easy for me to connect with people across the world. This form creates lasting bonds. My work as a poet provides synergy to my work as a diplomat and vice versa,” said Abhay whose published collections of poetry include ‘The Seduction of Delhi’, ‘The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu’, ‘The Prophecy of Brasilia’, ‘The Alphabets of Latin America’ among others.
Stressing that verse comes naturally to him, the poet, who makes it a point to read verse everyday said, “I try to get an image and then a line. More lines follow, and a poem is born. I try to see and imagine the world in a new way using varied metaphors.”
Talking about the state of poetry in India, the diplomat-poet feels that much more poetry is being written and published today, and a number of publishers are coming forward. “In fact, a number of small publishers are completely dedicated to poetry. New media like Instagram has also made it easy for the young poets to share their work directly with a large number of people.”
Abhay, who has been advocating setting up of a National Poetry Library/Centre in India and the institution of ‘Poet Laureate’ on the lines of that in the UK and the US in order to promote poetry in India recently completed translating ‘Meghaduta’ and ‘Ritusamhara of Kalidasa’.
“Meghaduta should come out early next year. I have also been working on my next poetry collection, ‘The Magic of Madagascar’, that celebrates the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar and highlights the dangers of their impending extinction.”