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Dr. Arbind Kumar Choudhary interviews Professor R.K.Singh Rangachahi College, Majuli, JORHAT (ASSAM) 1. h! "o !

ou write#

$asicall! % a& a 'oet an" % write when % a& &ove" (! certain thought, i"ea, )eeling, e&otion, or e*'erience. An! sensor!, intellectual or s'iritual e*'erience &a! arouse &e to articulate a live" or e*'erience" &o&ent. % write (ecause % want to )eel lighter, li(erate" or re)reshe" within. % write to see+ a release )ro& &!sel) as &uch as )ro& others, to )eel )ree (! un(ur"ening &!sel) in verses, to e*'erience an inner (alance, )eeling, 'ro(ing, sensing, recalling, or whatever. %) it turns out to (e a goo" 'oe&, it has (eaut! an" &eaning create" out o) a 'ressing sense o) inner e&'tiness or 'ur'oselessness o) e*istence. -. ill !ou 'lease tell us so&ething a(out !our chil"hoo" &e&ories# How was !our 'arentage an" (ringing u' all a(out# as there con"itions con"ucive to )lower !our genius# % co&e )ro& a hu&(le )a&il! o) .aranasi. /or generations &! )ore)athers ha" live" in the narrow lanes o) 0ashi, 'arta+ing o) a culture which )lourishe" on the (an+ o) the 1anges that still attracts ever!one, though the uni2ueness % e*'erience" in the 1345s an" 1365s is gone. % was (orn, (rought u' an" e"ucate" there, (eginning )ro& the School nearest to our resi"ence, to high school, inter&e"iate, an" gra"uation (1375) )ro& Harish Chan"ra 8egree College, to M.A. (137-) )ro& $H9, an" :h.8. (13;1) )ro& 0ashi .i"!a'ith. As &! gran")ather was a )ree"o& )ighter, )re2uentl! i&'risone" along with other Congress lea"ers in $anaras, &! )ather coul" not have )or&al e"ucation. He learnt to survive (! hi&sel), an" learnt to rea" an" write an" "i" 'ett! jo(s (e)ore he coul" settle "own in li)e, as he tol" &e once. % a& the el"est o) his eight chil"ren who are all 'ostgra"uates an"<or "octorates an" )iercel! in"e'en"ent in their views an" thin+ing. % a& 'rou" to sa! that we all grew u' in a secular environ&ent with )ree"o& to thin+, rea" an" e*'ress our views. =. How woul" !ou "e)ine a goo" 'oe&# A goo" 'oe& generates so&e 'h!sical, e&otional or 's!chose*ual sensation, sti&ulates so&e sensuous, s'iritual or e*alte" 'leasure, or 'rovo+es so&e i"eas. % have no taste )or "i"acticis& in 'oetr!. % love (revit!, rh!th&, an" colouring o) hu&an 'assion, 'ersonal, l!rical, honest an" )ree e*'ression, with seriousness in re)lection an" inter'retation. :oetr! lies in creating the i&age (li+e the 'ainter who cele(rates sensualit!), an" in ca'turing &o&entness o) a &o&ent,

which stirs the &in". >. How have !our writings (een receive"# :erha's, with a sense o) "i))erence, or &a!(e, in"i))erence# The esta(lishe" aca"e&ia an" the &e"ia have ignore" &e, as % have (een writing )ro& the &argin, )ro& a s&all cit!, where creativit! in ?nglish is si&'l! not (othere". A han")ul o) )rien"s an" rea"ers have, however, (een ver! encouraging an" enthusiastic a(out &! 'oetr!, (oo+ reviews, an" articles. 4. ho "i" hel' an" ins'ire !ou the &ost in writings#

Hel'# % "ou(t an!(o"! hel'e" &e in &! writings. $ut % "i" learn the art o) e"iting (&! 'oetr!) )ro& &! 'oet@'ro)essor )rien", A!le 1laBier (9SA). He hel'e" &e e"it &! )irst two collections, M! Silence (13;4) an" Music Must Soun" (1335). He was a ver! 'ositive rea"er o) &! verses an" he ins'ire" &e &ost in the 1375s with his li(eral co&&ents an"<or suggestions. 6. hat is !our &aster'iece#

%t is "i))icult to sa! which o) &! twelve collections is a &aster'iece. :erha's the (est is !et to co&e out. However, the )irst collection, M! Silence (13;4), is a signi)icant volu&e just as &! latest collection, The River Returns (-556), shoul" (e a &ilestone in &! 'oetic career. 7. Tell so&ething a(out !our &aster'iece. M! Silence &a! (e treate" as a &ini@e'ic, with silence as the co&&on threa". The ;5 'oe&s in the volu&e (ear no titles, titles tell too &uch. $ut here one &a! "iscover &! )or&al taste, 'ersonal vision, an" se*ual orientation roote" in :urush@:ra+riti union. %t is signi)icant )or o'en eroticis&, seriousness, can"or, an" e*altation o) Rati to a 'lane where the a''arent gla&our o) the )lesh &erges into a universal 'rinci'le o) creation, to 2uote R.S. Tiwar!. ;. hat is !our 'hilosho'! o) li)e#

% (elieve in unit! o) &an+in" an" e2ualit! o) se*es, an" a& secular an" non@&oral in &! attitu"e an" values. % recogniBe the worl" as one earth, one nation, one countr! just as % love all the races, tri(es, nationalities, religious, an" languages. % acce't the s'iritual oneness o) 'eo'le an" &! concerns cut across national (oun"aries. % (elieve in living without 'reju"ices as &an (elonging to the whole worl", honest to &! sel). %n creative writing, % trust the autono&! o) rea"ers who &ust rea" an" recreate a 'oe&Cs &eaning accor"ing to their own intellectual 'otenc!, taste, an" sensi(ilit!

without an! suggestions or co&&ents )ro& the 'oet (or critic). % love &! 'oe& e*'osure to "i))erent +in"s<levels o) &eaning. 3. hich o) !our 'oe&s<stories are s'eci)iciall! auto(iogra'hical in nature#

Though &ost o) &! 'oe&s &a! have one or the other 'ersonal ele&ents to re)er to, % woul" not li+e the& to (e e*'lore" in ter&s o) auto(iogra'h!, )or )acts an" )iction are so )use" in &! (rie) 'ersonal l!rics<'oe&s, hai+u, senr!u, an" tan+a, one woul" succee" onl! in "istorting an" reaching the wrong conclusions. 15. hat, in general, are the the&es o) !our writings@@'oe&s an" stories#

% a& realistic an" tr! to 'resent )acts. Ma!(e, so&eti&es % a& not 'alata(le (ut % "onCt thin+ the aesthetic a''eal is re"uce". The the&es o) s'iritual search, an atte&'t to un"erstan" &!sel) an" the worl" aroun" &e, social injustice an" "isintegration, hu&an su))ering, "egra"ation o) relationshi', 'olitical corru'tion, )un"a&entalis&, hollowness o) ur(an li)e an" its )alse values, 'reju"ices, loneliness, se*, love, iron!, intolerance etc are 'ro&inent. %n &! hai+u<senr!u there is a "ee'er un"erstan"ing o) the 2uoti"ian as well as things in their co&'le* si&'licit!. 11. Tell so&e &e&ora(le instances that have &oul"e" !our writings. M! chance encounter in 1371@7- with the 'oetr! o) A!le 1laBier )or writing the M.A. "issertation 'rove" a strong e))ect on &! 'oetic sensi(ilit!. %t see&s it &ature" with 'ersonal corres'on"ence (etween :ro)essor 1laBier an" &!sel) on our 'oetr!. /urther, the &ore % su))ere" rejection sli's, the &ore "eter&ine" % (eca&e to 'rove &!sel), es'eciall! in 'oetr!. % have 'rove" &! "istractors wrong, whether the! recogniBe &e or reject &e. % also learnt the art o) criticis& in the learne" co&'an! o) &! teacher, the late 8r. $. Cha+rovert!, a Tagore Scholar an" critic. %t was "uring the 'erio" % was jo(less that 8r. Cha+rovert! &oul"e" &! literar! an" critical sense. Aater, interaction with 'oet )rien"s li+e O.:. $hatnagar, %.0. Shar&a, %.H. RiBvi, 0rishna Srinivas, D.S. Rajan, Eiranjan Mohant! an" others has also (e &e&ora(le. 1-. ill !ou tell so&ething a(out !our visualiBation o) the )uturistic societ! an" ethos to e&erge as 'ortra!e" in !our (oo+s# The ethos &! 'oetr! 'rojects is characteriBe" (! &utual love an" res'ect )or others, tolerance o) social, se*ual, 'olitical, religious, an" linguistic "i))erence, an" cultural "ialogue an" assi&ilation. % visualiBe a &ore li(eral an" tolerant &in", a &ore creative,

&ore assi&ilative, &ore s+ille", &ore aware, with a sense o) caring an" sharing, societ!. % see a )uture which is conscious o) &utualit! o) concern an" action, which is &ore integrate" into glo(al tren"s, which is &ore international, intercultural, nature@ conscious, an" internall! s'iritual. 1=. %s it not "rea& woul" o) !our (oo+s in which a thought o) har&oniBation sur)aces a&i"st aw)ul con)licts an" co&'etitions# As a (eliever in the unit! o) hu&anit!, % value the s'iritual oneness o) 'eo'le an" see+ har&onious relationshi'. The "rea& worl" o) &! 'oetr! is ver! &uch real, e*'osing social attitu"e, &oralit!, h!'ocris!, the socio@se*ual stan"ar"s that "eter&ine civiliBe" nor&s, that "iscri&inate, enchain, an" "e(ase honest as'irations as lust or vulgarit!. The ver! e*'osure is an act o) criticis&. The lies are reveale" to stri+e a (alance an" har&on! in relationshi'. 1>. Are !ou a satis)ie" 'erson vis@F @vis !our literar! an" aca"e&ic 'ursuits# Eo. /ran+l!, % )eel sa" that "es'ite =- (oo+s, inclu"ing 1- 'oetr! collections, a(out 145 aca"e&ic articles, an" &ore than 165 (oo+ reviews to &! cre"it, % get little attention. The &ainstrea& aca"e&ia "o not recogniBe &! contri(utions as an %n"ian ?nglish 'oet nor "o the! e*'lore &! 'oetr! )or "octoral "issertation. Eo (ig 'ress has 'u(lishe" &e !et. Though there see&s a 'eculiar a'ath!<in"i))erence all aroun", % a& ha''! % have not waste" &! ti&e an" "one whatever coul" (e 'ossi(le within the constraints o) &! situation. % have (een su''orte" an" sustaine" (! s&all 'ress all these !ears, an" to that e*tent, % a& ver! satis)ie". 14. 8o !ou want to give an! &essage to the rea"ers# %t will serve the cause o) %n"ian ?nglish riting well i) !ou coul" rea" the new, un+nown 'oets<writers seriousl! an" criticall!, an" then, i) !ou thin+ so, "u&' the&, instea" or rejecting the& without even loo+ing at the&. A change in aca"e&ics attitu"e is essential. An", 'lease su''ort the s&all 'ress, Bines, an" journalsG R.0.Singh < interviews