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Interview – Rahul Yadav (Kaavi)

“Hi! My name is Rahul (Naam toh suna hoga!) And yes, I am a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan. I am the writer of Kaavi and it is my first book. By the day, I am Project Manager with an IT firm, managing banking projects. And yes, that does pay my bills. For whatever remains of this life, I am a feeler, thinker, and aspiring writer. One of my most favorite subject back in school was Hindi. Despite being in the corporate rut for almost over a decade, conversing day in & out in English, my love for the language Hindi didn’t die. And so when the feeler and thinker in me tried his hands at writing, I couldn’t write in any other language, other than Hindi. I come from a defense family, my father being in Indian Air Force (now retired) and I have spent a major part of my life at Lucknow, of course contributing towards interlacing my Hindi with the beauty of Urdu.”
This is how Rahul Yadav introduces himself to me. Interesting, right!? Read on to find out more about his journey of writing.

Q: How did writing happen?
A: I have been staying alone in Gurgaon for almost 12 years now, shifting houses and locations. Along the way, I met many people and understood a whole lot of human emotions. Feeling the lives of so many people around me made me think through their thoughts. A lot was buzzing in my head and eventually, I took to writing to pour out everything that I felt and thought.

Q: What inspires you to write?
A: Human emotions; sometimes, some interactions directly or indirectly with people; mostly feelings drive me to write.

Q: Your first book of poetry is in Hindi. Did you not ever feel how would you approach the market, when with each passing day people are turning more to the English language?
A: While a lot is being written in English, I always felt that Hindi is a language that expresses our emotions and feelings in the closest possible way. When I want to say that I am drawn towards you in a passionate way, the words that come to my mind are – तेरे पास की तलब से वाक़िफ़ हुआ मैंThis beautiful characterization of thoughts, I am not sure if it’s possible in English. Maybe, it can be done. But I am not the guy to do it. So, yes, maybe, writing in Hindi may not be as commercially viable. But it makes me feel good about writing in a language I was born with and I love.

Q: Kaavi – what an unusual name. I’ve heard of Kavi, but never Kaavi. What does it actually mean?
A: Kaavi is a combination of initials of names of my parents. Kaashi and Vina. So, for me, Kaavi is my creator.

Q: Your poems are based on very regular yet different topics. How did you choose them?
A: These 26 poems have been written over a period of almost 8-10 months. Each one of them was written as I felt an emotion so strong and deep within me that I couldn’t stop myself from putting that into words. So, I didn’t really choose these topics. They chose me.

Q: How was your journey from the first draft to published work?
A: Actually not very hard. It just took a few iterations to mainly rectify a few spellings here & there. When something is written straight from the heart, one generally doesn’t tend to change it for the sake of something not felt from the heart.

Q: What’s next in the pipeline?
A: I am still thinking and feeling and in the process, working on a few short stories of love & various other emotions. I am also trying to adapt to the famous “Madhushala” format for creating a series of verses. A lot happening and buzzing inside my mind & heart. What comes first is a mystery still!

Q: A poet whom you idolize, and why?
A: There is no one poet or form that I idolize and maybe this is the reason that all 26 poems of Kaavi are so different. From Premchand Ji to Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan. In fact some of the lyricists in Bollywood like Irshad Kaamil and Javed Akhtar Sahab. They all are feelers and they all inspire me.

Q: A message for all those poetry lovers.
AThere is something in poetry for everyone and the best part is, you don’t have to find it. It will find you and once it finds you, you will get to know a very different side of yours. Someone who feels. Poetry is all about feeling. Feel who you are and perhaps, it may lead to answer the biggest question for you – Why?

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