Q1. Tell us something about yourself… What does it take to be a poet.?
First of all I would like to thank Reviewstation for giving me an opportunity to interact with all,through this interview.Well,all I can say about me is that I was always a poet,since I started writing from my childhood days.Be it nature,river,clouds,humans and beauty,all used to inspire me to write something about them,some beautiful words,which can define their presence to all.My very first poems being love,relations and death.I did my schooling from St Thomas College,Dehradun one of the most prestigious institutions in india.After that I got selected for a marine academy in chennai where I received my initial training and then joined sea as deck cadet,immediately after passing out of the academy.i was 18 then and with that my journey with sea,life and nature began.12 years down the line I am a ship captain,commanding huge ships over vast oceans traversing through pirates,cyclones.But that poet was always alive in me,wherever,whenever I used to go which ultimately led to composition of poems which formed part of my book.
Poet,I believe is in all of us,only difference being some able to revive it from its shell,while some sleeping their whole life over this idea of writing.I always tell people I am a captain by profession and a poet by passion and nothing gives more satisfaction in penning down your thoughts about beauty and disgrace of things,which actually needs attention but we avoiding it just because of the lack of approach….
Q2. “Kuch Khwab Sagar se” is the name of your book.. Why did you choose this title”
Since most of the poems were written at sea and I always believe that we are in a dreamland called earth,so these dreams which have taken form of poems by the grace of almighty were named “KuchKhwabSagar Se”.Serene,calm,composed oceans are most inspiring,as its just you and your pure thoughts.Thus,slowly and steadily these dreams were plucked out of gardens of life and presented to the world,deriving its name.Infact,if you see the cover page of my book,it’s a real photograph taken while the vessel was crossing South China Sea.The ship is shown emerging out of a rainbow,that is what is “KuchKhwabSagar Se”.
Q3. Tell us something about your book”
The book is published by immortal doon publications who have many other beautiful collection of books under their belt.Preface of the book is written by famous novelist MrGurudeepKhurana while the poems are edited by famous film critic MrManmohanChaddha.There are total 27 poems which deals with different aspects and emotions in human life and after.While poems like “Mere Humdum”, ËkPremTumseKiya”, “MeriEkKahaniThi”are romantic in their true sense,poems like “Ma”, “Janani” and “Himani”is about a bond between mother and child. “SamayKaPahiya”, “Brahmaprakash” and “KyaHaiSachJeevanKa” will force you to find the true meaning of your presence while the most appreciated poem “YudhKar”inspired from Bhagwad Gita will revive that hidden warrior in you.All the poems are vernacular and readers will relate them with each poem individually.Grab a copy,sit in a shack on a sea shore and you will surely enjoy all the poems.
Q4. A merchant Navy Officer turned into a poet. Tell us your journey so far and how does it feel to be a poet?
You can take a man out of poems but never a poet out of a man.This is what I truly believed.I would like to share an incidence with you while I was sailing .Our ship got trapped between two passing cyclones and it was rolling and pitching heavily.All ship crew were running here and there,scared for their lives but I stood there on top very relaxed and composed,enjoying the battering of weather.My captain came to me and asked me why I was smiling,I said “sir,mother nature is trying to embrace us by waves and winds,and we stupid humans are tryng to save ourselves from such beauty of love”
This whole incidence describes,a difference between a Captain and a poet.Journey to this level from captain to poet,has definitely been filled with doldrums but each person,place,wrath of nature I met were all experinces which have taken form of poems and have found place in my books.Each poem is inspired from real event or people,which you can easily find out after reading the book.
Q5. How does it feel when you called by French people in France and you were awarded with prizes?
O wow,the feeling was amazing.Actually,one of my friend is in france.After I got my book published,I sent few poems to her.She translated them to French and the poems were circulated among the literary circle.All the authors were quite impressed by the spirituality and they wanted me to come to France for a literary meet.I was sponsored by this organization “House of life”for various events.I was felicitated by the organization and the rotary club for my contribution to the world peace,through my spiritual work.They decided to get my poems translated to French and get them published.Sortnow,the translation is in progress and soon we will have a French translation of my book.
On coming back to india I was felicitated by Nautical institute,London on 11th march 2014.My book is placed in SahityaAcademy,Newdelhi and Rastrapatibhawan,Library.
Q6. What type of poems you love to write? Do you have a recurring type?
Well,if you ask me what kind of poetry I write,I cover all subjects be it romance,effection,war,politics but I am mostly like writing spiritual poems,poems to discover your true self,poems about return to consciousness,poems about death and after.My upcoming English poems book “Sparrow In The Mirror” contains mostly spiritual poems dealing with our conscious discovery,what is journey after death,who we really are and finding that supreme being residing deep within us.
Q7. Do you read books and poems. Which is your favorite Author?
I love reading books and poems and I always believe that all will leave you one day but never your books since you might not have them physically but they will always be in your heat and soul,once you have read them.I wouldn’t really like to point out towards particular authors,since I love reading all but Sri Aurobindo’sSavitri has truly inspired me spiritually.I enjoy William wordsworth’s poems on nature while Keats symphony with sadness.But nothing can surpass Boris Polevoy’s novel “ The Real man” and Maxim Gorki’s “The Mother” in Literature.
Q8. What has been your inspiration?
My true inspiration has been my father who has truly inculcated that spiritual sense in me since I was very small.I always believe that it was my father who has always inspired me to write poems since he himself write poems.Andofcourse life and sea has inspired me to be one with all and ultimately be one with me.
Q9. What style of poetry do you prefer (Sonnet, rhyming, Freestyle)
Initially I started with rhyming, but slowly and gradually I realized that by trying to rhyme,I am shackling myself and preventing those beautiful thoughts from coming out.These days I am doing freestyle along with prose poetry
Q10. What has been the response of your book?
Response to my book has been remarkable not only in india but abroad as well that too when it is in hindi.My book was released by honourable speaker of VidhanSabhaMrGovind Singh Kunjwal and Spritual guru Swami Ashutosh Anand.42 newpapers and 8 news channels covered my book launch.I was interviewed by Four newspapers including likes of hindustand times and amarujala.An excellent review for the book was carried out by danikjagran.My book is available in all major websites flipcart,infibeam,bookadda and many of the book stores.I even got a call from Rastrapatibhawan asking a copy for my boo to be placed in their library.So much of love and appreciation for my first book,was truly amazing for me
Q11. How do you feel when your book was published? How was your experience with your publisher?
Getting my first book published was equivalent to geeting my first job at sea.I was completely new to the field and knew nothing about book publishing.All I knew was how to express my thoughts in form of words.Luckily,Immortaldoon publication liked my poems and decided to get them published hardbound.And so was born “KuchKhwabSagarSe”.I am relly thankful to my publisher for all the help and time he spared in crafting an idol out of a rock.
Q12. How are you promoting your book. What are your marketing strategy?
I often get interview request from newpapers.I have approached my local radio station and channels for an interview and is hopeful that soon it will be done.Than I have even applied for a dialogue at a literay event in gurgan to be held next month.There a facebook page dedicated only for my book,where keen readers can get insight into whats latest with my book and what is an upcoming event.I often request people who read my book to spare some time to review it on flipcart and infibeam.rest,all I can say if you write good,it will speak volumes in itself and will reach wider audience.
Q13. Tell us something about your next book?
My next book “Sparrow In The Mirror”is an English poetry book,which deals mostly in spirituality.Youwill find answers to all your questions be it maya,death,immortality,approach towards yourself all bringing us closer to us.This book will give deeper insight about indian spirituality and its practices to people everywhere.Tosummarise the book one of the poem says
“Wings need to be chipped, feathers need to be clipped, this pain need be taken, to steal this body from the mortal reigns
Let the body float in this thin, mystified air of lord, who picks us from this bond of death no rain will wet you, no pain will shiver you, this worldly life will be finally lost
o lord just hold me tight, let me be pulled to your land, where no wing is known, no rain to drench me, just you cuddle this bird, with so sweet your touch”
Q14. Tell us something about your book “Unanswered.”
Unanswered, I know it is quite an unusual kind of title for a book of poems barring a few articles. Before I say anything more about my book, I would like to say something about myself and my thought process. Born and brought up in Dehradun, I have always shared a close affinity with nature. I used to love, I still do, watching nature and ponder how it can be loving and cruel at the same time. I grew up with my thoughts and took to sailing, a job where I fit in perfectly. My roving mind now had more to ponder. Often have I stood alone on the deck of my ship, feeling the vibrations of a surging ocean underneath and watching the sky change its colours and mood without any indication. At times, I have been frightened bewildered mesmerized all at once. I respect nature in all its aspects…It's benevolence; It's fury, its colours, It's stillness, its suddenness, its unpredictability everything!
Then I look at us…I mean we humans…we are the most superior…the most intelligent, the most progressive of all living creatures and yet the most miserable of all living creatures so long as we are shrouded in false ego and ignorance. Nature has its laws fixed and does not discriminate. It is we who draw what we call bad luck. I quote Cassius from Julius Ceaser” fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings…”All that is required is an insight into ourselves and faith in divine providence. Here lies the crux of my book ‘unanswered’.
Unanswered is all about finding the answers that lay deeply hidden in the core of our hearts, but we fail to discover it as we are covered with fog of ego and desires. Unanswered is all about revealing those answers.
Nonfiction cum poetic novel are based on life as question and answers. Each poem is supported by an article explaining the poem and reason behind writing same.
So much of questions in me which in turn coming from this mortal world led me to find answers for same and giving solace in this terrible world.Why is there pain and sufferings, why do we die, what is morality, how can we become immortals are among those many questions that one will find answers to in my book in a very very simplified form. If my writing can bring peace into someone's life that would solve the purpose for which book was written.
"From where it came, there shall it go."
Q15. How was your experience on releasing your book on International film festival?
Reaction and response both were phenomenal to the book as all celebrated fraternities both from film and literary world liked the concept as well as heart behind the book. I got a celebrity welcome there and was introduced by festival organizers to Mr Subhash Ghai, Piyush Mishra, Sagar Sarhadi, Sudhir Mishra, Pallavi Joshi, etc. All were pretty mesmerized by the idea of a master mariner, a sailor discovering the depths of ancient scriptures in such simplified manner while taking the rolls and dips in the ocean. In fact, famous actress Pallavi Joshi upon meeting me and reading my book said, "I am pretty sure these books will never go unanswered."
Famous film director Mr Sudhir Mishra launched the book from Chameli, Hazaro Khawahisho Aisi, Jane Bhi Do Yaro Fame on 5th December at the DLF Cyber Hub in Gurgaon in international film and literary festival. Upon being invited to launch my book he readily agreed and even congratulated me on my attempt and future ventures.
Book launch was attended by all the Major celebrities followed by panel discussions with the likes of Shabana Azmi, Pallavi Joshi, Riddhima Sood(dil Dhadhkane do) and directors like Vivek Agnihotri and Ashok Purang. Book launch was moderated by famous commentator Mr M.S. Kukereja
Q16. Tell us your experience writing this book?
Once onboard and traversing vast ocean I often used to ask a lot of questions to me and tried seeking it within. Search for answers to intense sufferings leads me to Vedas and Upanishads. First Rig Veda, then Kathopnishad, Isha Upanishad and then Bhagwad Gita all helped me in discovering those deep hidden meaning behind all scriptures and finding solutions to all our mortal as well as spiritual questions.
Unanswered not only made me realize what this life is all about but also potential that each possess. It was a discovery of one’s self with the path of ancient scriptures.
Q17. What does your family think of your writing?
My family especially my wife are my biggest critics who guide me at regular intervals and even intervenes when they find some flaws in my writing. In fact, my wife is the one who assembles my poetry and the article that lie here and there on a piece of papers. There are a lot of poems which never saw daylight because my wife didn’t consider it appropriate and mature enough to get published.
My family is my biggest support and my wealth that is the most motivating factor for me to write.
Q18. What were the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
That all lies within. You should be a seeker, and all will be answered. With each poem, each article I came closer to my real self, my soul that lie in slumber, the Kshar Purusha. You need not board a rocket to explore the universe; you just need to peep into your heart to discover it. All ancient scriptures, all Vedas are a just path to the divine kingdom. You need to traverse it ultimately to explore it. And once you realize it, all pain, suffering, all doubts about life and death, all morality, all questions on immortality melts into one supreme will melt into one divine Leela, in a vast playground of Almighty, Maya.
Q19. What inspires you to write poetry?
You should be short and simple; that’s why I prefer poetry as compared to prose and prose to fiction. Poetry opens your mind to the vast universe of if’s and but’s depending on persons own interpretation and intellectuality. The poem, irrespective of fiction, let you be what you want to be rather than catching you into the web that a writer creates and make you think what he want you to think.
The world was created out of poetry, Vedas are poetry, Bhagwad Geeta, the song of Almighty is the greatest poetic adventure of all times. Thus, poetry is what brings you closest to yourself.
Q20. What message you would like to tell to aspiring Author?
Keep writing,no matter what people say or feel about you just write because you have been blessed with the gift of writing and it need to be gifted to the world in form of your writing.Write to make this better pace to live,to bring peace,love,serenity and blessings to the world.
Author can be contacted at:
Capt Kunal Narayan Uniyal
PH No: 00919897911187
All the best Kunal for your book….