Prayash Gupta “Gorkha” is an author, columnist, lyricist and singer. He was born and brought up in Pulbazar, Darjeeling. He is the author of Poetry Pilgrimage, Ishwar Pick Up the Call and The Gorkha’s Story. At present, he is working as an Assistant Professor at Sikkim Manipal University. Wandering Souls of Sikkim talked with Prayash about him, his book and his future plans.
Here’s the excerpts of the conversation:
Wandering Souls of Sikkim (WSOS): Why do you write?
Prayash Gupta “Gorkha” (PG): (Smiles) Why do we breathe or why do we eat? Writing is a must for me. It gives me utmost satisfaction. I find pleasure, happiness, peace, in fact, everything in it. I feel I’m born to write.
WSOS: Which poet do you admire?
PG: I admire all poets but my most fascinating one is Rabindranath Tagore. What I like most about him is his spiritual quest in his poetry. Others include Kamala Das, Robin. S. Ngagnom, A. K. Ramanujan, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost and the list continue.
WSOS: How did the writing journey begin?
PG: It started with Love letters (Smiles). It might turn out a bit humorous if I narrate. So, let’s keep it a secret.
WSOS: What is the source of your inspiration?
PG: Bhagwad Gita. I was bed ridden for more than three months, I still remember, as I was suffering from panic attack. I was almost shattered, so I cried a lot in silence. I then started reading Bhagwad Gita. It miraculously transformed me not only by bringing me back to life but also by giving me lot of inspiration to do many things in life. As I began to recover, I started penning down my poem. So, Lord Krishna and The Bhagwad Gita is my inspiration.
WSOS: What kind of poetic form do you write?
PG: prefer to write in free verse. Some of them are narrative while some in conversational dialogue method.
WSOS: Tell us something about your recent publication The Gorkha’s Story.
PG: Well,The Gorkha’s Story is the collection of forty narrative poems that accentuates the aspiration, endeavour and the dream of the Indian Gorkhas. The poem narrates the tale of Gorkha warriors, their culture, different phases of agitation for statehood, the power skirmish, strike, adversity and exploitation confronted by the common people.
WSOS: What do you do besides writing?
PG: (Smiles) I’m a listener. I love to listen to people’s opinion-their likes dislikes and I’m an observer. Listening and observing people and Nature helps me a lot in writing. Yes, I do read some books-spiritual and critical to be specific, I listen to music, sometimes even I attempt to sing(laughs)and I love to travel so that I can explore many new varieties of life (although I don’t get enough time for it)
WSOS: Would you recommend some books that you consider good reads for our reader?
PG: See, the only book that has changed my life and thinking drastically is The Bhagwad Gita. So, I would recommend everyone to read The Bhagwad Gita to understand the deeper meaning of life.
By recommending this book, I’m not trying or making an attempt to propagate any religion (which in fact is beyond my interest) but only suggesting the reader to read it as a text so that they can attempt to do a proper textual analysis and explore the deep psychological, philosophical, spiritual, moral aspects of life. If your interest is spirituality, read some books by Osho. If you want to know the secret of success and some of the flaws of prominent personalities, read some biography and autobiography like My Experiment with Truth or Wings of Fire. If you want to know about Indian Gorkha and their culture, read my book The Gorkha’s Story (Smiles)
WSOS: Your next step of meditation, I mean tell us something about coming work.
PG: Right now, I am contemplating some prose work, the theme of which would be varied, like child abuse, trafficking, corruption, superstition, greed and so on. After that, I would work on poetry where I would be concentrating on environment issues and a novel that would touch the lifestyle and culture of Indian Gorkha.
WSOS: Some advice for upcoming writers.
PG: Keep calm and meditate (write).No one will be at the top of Everest or an Olympic gold medalist overnight. So keep calm and write. Polish your works and work on areas you need to improve. Flower will bloom when the time will come. So keep writing.
WSOS: Your message for the young minds of Sikkim
PG: I’m also young if I’m not mistaken (Laughs) Well, when you say young-the image of vitality, power and strength comes in our mind. So, young minds have to be conscious about their vitality, power and strength so that they can do something for positive social development. Young minds have to be Global Citizen, perform selfless deeds and influence your society, place, country and even coming generations.
WSOS: Something about Wandering Souls of Sikkim
PG: Wandering Souls of Sikkim has been doing a fabulous job for the last couple of years; your activities especially The Scholastic Competition and Library up-gradation are doing wonders. I must appreciate the selfless action of Mr Pranay Khatiwara and his dedicated team for initiating this noble cause of social transformation. Many congratulations and best wishes to the dedicated team for all your future endeavours.
WSOS: Thank You So Much.
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