Monday, October 09, 2006

The Poet's Tale

Train travel is a fascinating experience. I commute to office everyday by local train and meet many interesting characters. On Saturday while returning home I met a middle-aged man. He was sitting next to me and was trying to look at the cover of the book I was reading.

He wanted to speak to me but was hesitant, he finally found courage to speak and introduced himself. I am quoting his words here-"Hello sir, I am Kumar. I am a poet." He glanced at the novel I was reading and said-"Sir, I have written three books all of them are poetry collections, I am struggling to find an agent to sell my books. I have approached shops like Landmark and Bookpoint but they are politely trying to avoid me, can you help me sir. I have put in my life's savings and printed these books. All of them are examples of Tamil Pudhu Kavithai-New age Tamil Poetry." I said to him-"I do not know how to read Tamil but I will try to help you."

He then spoke of his family. His wife worked as a clerk in the collectorate and he had a son who studied in third standard. He spoke of his troubles, how his relatives thought his literary pursuits to be a waste of time and labelled him as an "irresponsible house-holder."

He said that his wife was extremely supportive and encouraged him to write. I guess he is a lucky man to have got such an understanding and caring wife. He gave me his address and asked me to visit his house. He even made me an offer and asked me to translate his poems into English.

Who knows? Maybe I will visit him this Sunday.

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