Poems about life and letting go


After a memoir Rupali Mauzo Kirtani is all set to release her Konkani poetry collection ‘Malab Thav’ on Saturday, August 12 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. NT BUZZ speaks to the poet to find out more

Poet and author, Rupali Mauzo Kirtani has tried her hands on both, poetry as well as prose, however she considers herself more a poet rather than an author. Rupali’s first Konkani poetry book ‘Mhajyatle Hanv’ was released in 2012 comprising of 56 poems. At the release, writer Jose Lourenco also planned to release an English poetry chapbook ‘Wings’ based on Rupali’s poems.
Rupali has been living abroad after her marriage. Her life in Saudi Arabia found expression in the Konkani memoir titled ‘Souditle Te Dis’ released last year. Currently, settled at Abu Dhabi, Rupali is all set to release her new collection of poems ‘Malab Thav’ today.
Rupali shares the details of her book, and her opinions as a poet in this interview…

Q. Tell us something about your book ‘Malab Thav’.
‘Malab Thav’ is a Konkani poetry book comprising of 87 poems and ten four liners. I have created four sections in this book according to the subject matter of my poems and allotted them accordingly. These four sections include memories, relations, riddles and new direction. Being abroad I have a lot of nostalgic moments, so I write many poems on memories. I write a lot of poems on many individuals and relationships in my life, thus I have a collection of poems about different relatives. ‘Riddles’ are my personal and intrinsic emotions that are evoked according to my experiences and ‘new direction’ includes poems about the recent trends in society.

Q. What does your book title ‘Malab Thav’ mean?
‘Malab Thav’ in Konkani means ‘reach for the sky’. I penned down this poem ‘Malab Thav’ when my daughter had to stay back in Manipal, India for her further studies, while I was upset and had to cope up with the empty nest syndrome for the very first time. In this poem I am trying to tell myself to let your daughter fly high and reach the sky. It is time that I should let her live her life for herself.
Q. Last year you published your Konkani memoir ‘Souditle Te Dis’. Was it difficult to shift from being an author to a poet?
I connect myself more as a poet than as an author. In fact, I write poems more often than prose. My first book in 2012 was ‘Mhajyatle Hanv’ consisting of 56 poems, including poems that I penned down during my college days till the year 2012. ‘Malab Thav’ is however, based on the poems that I have written in last five years. The memoir was the first book I authored in prose. Besides, I write many short stories. But I consider myself a poet first and then an author.

Q. As the poems in the last book have been written over the last five years, will we see a fully matured Rupali in this new book?
Well, readers have to decide that. Once someone asked me whether I write my poems on my personal experiences; I think that poems are always written on experiences. It need not be my own. It may be someone else’s. If you are telling me your personal experience, I try to place myself in your situation to compose my poem. So, in a way you will definitely make out the changes in my poems because my thought process has changed over the years. I can feel this change because unlike before now I can place myself in someone else’s situation and still write those feelings as mine.

Q. Many poets prefer having tranquil surroundings for writing poems. Do you feel the need for such an atmosphere for writing your poems too?
Honestly, poems strike my mind on a day-to-day basis. Whether I am just sitting on a chair or I am busy working somewhere, poems flow into my mind regardless of any conditions. I quickly jot down my thoughts on a paper or my phone when they do in the form of a rhythmic poem. Later, I revise and edit them.
I remember an incident when I was supervising an exam in class at Abu Dhabi, and suddenly a beautiful poem came to my mind. I felt the urgent need to pen down my poem somewhere but I neither carried a notebook nor my phone to the class. I couldn’t even concentrate on supervising the exam at that moment, and finally I utilised a supplement and jotted down those four lines that created agony in my mind.

Q. Did you have any problem writing your poems in Konkani since you are used to speaking in English at Abu Dhabi?
No. I have made sure that we speak in Konkani at home. Hence, I still have hold on my Konkani despite staying away from Goa for so many years. Over the years, I have learnt to speak basic Marathi. Besides, I have improved my English and Hindi. So, now I write poems in Konkani as well as in Marathi and English. Sometimes, I translate my poems from one language to other to see which one sounds better.

Q. Could you choose any one poem as your favourite in this book?
‘Bavle, tu ashich raav’ is my personal favourite in this book. It literally means, ‘Oh doll, remain unchanged’. When I was young, there was a family tradition that once the girls of the house grew up, all their dolls and teddy bears would be lined up decoratively in a showcase. Recently, when I saw my doll in the showcase, the thought struck me that I had grown up from a young girl to a married woman and a mother of two, but the doll has remained unchanged. I developed this thought into a poem that I wish I had remained as eternal as a doll.

Q. Any experiments you have tried this time?
My style of writing poems is based on emotions and feelings. But in ‘Malab Thav’, I have included one poem that I have written as an experiment. It is my first and only witty poem. Normally I don’t write such light poems but this came effortlessly to me. I can say it has added to my experiment.

(Konkani poetry collection ‘Malab Thav’ by poet Rupali Mauzo Kirtani will be released on Saturday, August 12 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao at 5 p.m.)