Interviews

‘When My Mind Vociferates, Poetry Comforts Me’

Poet Nirmal Parashar’s writing journey began with a quote he had read in the book ‘The Light of Asia’: Leave love for love of lovers. ‘This powerful quote has only remained etched on my mind since I read it,’ says the poet, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. He tells us that because he was an introvert, he used to spend more time with books than with friends during his school and college days. ‘Nonetheless, during adolescence, the curiosity to understand the word “love” became intense,’ he states with a smile, adding, ‘And although I was hardly familiar with this, I was curious to know how it feels to love and be loved.’

Nirmal Parashar

Letting Emotions Flow

We learn the Indian poet, based in the city of Kaunch in Uttar Pradesh, eventually came upon a person who changed his life drastically. ‘I loved being loved and ended up having oodles of agonies as a souvenir of love. And since my love remained unrequited, I was hidden under the veneer of introversion. I was flooded with inexpressible emotions, my heart used to yell, and it demanded to be written. So I held a pen and let all the emotions seep out through my words. That’s how my writing journey began,’ he explains.

Talking to us about his published works, the twenty-four-year-old, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Science and a diploma in Elementary Education, says that in 2018, after months of toiling to pour his heart on the pages, he completed writing Unzipped Lies. ‘It’s a poetry collection about shattered hopes, unfathomable emptiness, sugar-coated lies and healing,’ he tells us. ‘It was published by a fledgeling publishing house. Since within a short period it became highly admired by my readers, I decided to write more books.’

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Hope, Solace, and All That Jazz

Therefore, last year, after wading through all the agonies that love had gifted him, he came up with his second book Cigarettes and Lies. ‘This book, which is about how difficult it seems to overcome a toxic relationship, too received a satisfactory response from the readers,’ states Mr Parashar. He goes on to say that although the book deals with how a toxic relationship can sabotage a person both mentally and physically, it throws light on the fact that there is still something in each of our lives that helps us climb out of the abyss. ‘It is called hope. It shows us that after the darkest night, comes the brightest sun,’ he stresses with a smile.  

On being asked what inspires him to write poetry, the poet, who often tends to write during daytime, tells us that poetry is unequivocally an oasis of tranquillity for him. ‘When the mind and the heart vociferate, blaming me for all the wounds and emotional chaos, it is poetry that comforts me,’ he declares. ‘Moreover, when I see someone facing what I have already experienced, something within pushes me to help them with my words because the tender touch which every soul needs lies in poetry. Thus, what inspires me to write poetry is an insurmountable urge to write the unwritten, the unheard and the unspoken which people want to read because it solaces them, intertwining them with the emotions they attempt to bury inside them to purport to be strong,’ he says.  

ENGAGE WITH EXPRESS: Fancy reading Nirmal Parashar? Well, you can buy yourself his books right off the bat by clicking on the books’ cover images underneath.

‘The World Is Beautiful Only If…’

And does he have any authors who inspire him? ‘Yes! When I was living under the sheets of introversion and shyness, I was scared of the world. My confidence was in shambles. A good Facebook friend coincidentally shared a post of a book, which instantly drew my attention. It was from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma,’ Mr Parashar shares with us, adding, ‘I don’t think someone or something else could have done what this book did to me. It wonderfully changed my perspective towards life and the world with its magical words and lessons and replenished me with confidence and spunk to confront obstacles.’

The author, for whom poetry has always been a means of escape, also lets us know that it is Charles Bukowski who happens to be his favourite poet. ‘The reason why I love his work is that his poetry is so realistic. He didn’t write anything intertwining emotions with fancy words, and his words have always inspired me to write realistically and discover what we people find difficult to emote. So, while Robin Sharma inspires me to find the light when I am in the abyss of darkness, Bukowski brings me back to everything that is seemingly real,’ he explains. He adds, ‘No matter what happens, I can receive abuses hurled at me like a bouquet from a stranger with an endearing smile. The world is beautiful only if we intend to see its elegance.’ 

Poetry to the Rescue

Conceding that he happens to be a big procrastinator when it comes to writing daily, he says he writes whenever he feels he is brimming with words interlaced with feelings. ‘If I feel I need to vent my emotions, I grab a pen and start spilling what I have inside my head. Nonetheless, I generally take a break from writing when I feel I am running out of words. I don’t bother much though,’ he lets on, stating that he tends to read when he is short of ideas. ‘Within days, however, I am back with my pen to pen down what I see and feel. An urge can be suppressed, but when the heart demands it to be written, I can’t do anything else but write.’ 

Letting on that he had not consciously wanted to become a poet, Mr Parashar says that when he had his first heartbreak, it was nothing except poetry that came to his rescue. ‘So I thought to write without any idea of how it feels like to be a poet. At the time, all I wanted undoubtedly was to soothe my quivering heart and wipe all the pain off it,’ he says. ‘I kept writing whatever I felt. Days became months, and scribbled letters became poems. And within a year, my diary became a book. It happened like it was meant to happen. Earlier I wrote as a heartbroken person, but now when I write, I feel like a poet within me is following his passion with the fragments of the broken person who he was years ago,’ he shares.  

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‘I Might Be a Full-Fledged Author in My Forties’

When asked about his works in progress, Mr Parashar says he is currently working on two poetry collections. ‘Both are about love and its ecstatic journey,’ he tells us. He also lets us know that this is the first time he has kept his bad experiences aside and dabbled into the romance genre. ‘These collections will make the lives of my readers more exquisite than what it already is, I feel,’ he avers.

Be that as it may, does he plan on becoming a full-fledged author? ‘I have never wanted to become a full-fledged author as writing is just my passion, and logically, passion demands financial help to thrive. At this age, I am only curious to explore the world and learn more so that I may have lots of things to write about. Perhaps in my forties, I will be a full-fledged poet,’ he says. 

The Final Word

When we ask the author if he has got any advice for budding poets, he says he would like to tell them to remember why they write. ‘What makes them hold a pen, that is. If they have the answer to the question, they will never lose motivation,’ he pronounces, going on to add that the first step is the hardest as the hurricane of doubts hovers around when someone decides to turn something like scribbled poems into a book. ‘And when it’s published, you realize how beautiful it is to hold your own book in your hands,’ he tells us with a smile. ‘So I want them to understand no matter what the response they get from readers for their books, they shouldn’t be despondent, as it’s a long journey.’ 

Notwithstanding, is there a thing that he would want to change in the world of ours? ‘Well, if I could change one thing in this world, I would definitely eliminate religious hatred which is at the core of many larger problems. It does divide and fill people with the unbridled fire of hatred for one other and begets religious snobbery amongst communities, thereby leading to social tensions. It also abets people to commit heinous crimes against women of other communities,’ he says, thus signing off on a powerful note. 

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