Interview with Alka Narula
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
- T.S. Eliot
In conversation with Karunesh Kumar Agrawal, Managing Editor, Cyberwit.net, Alka Narula tells us about her success as a writer.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Tell us about you and your background.
Alka Narula: I hail from a small sleepy town called Jammu. School books never interested me, was always a back bencher, a black sheep never could score well neither was I favourite in family for the same reason, severe punishment was a part of my daily diet. A sports person. Though am a post grad in business studies but creativity comes naturally to me. I started painting at very young age. Like most creative people I am sensitive and emotional. I draw a lot of energy from animals ,am a hard core dog lover .
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: What inspires you to write poetry?
Alka Narula: It’s a very difficult question to answer, I mostly draw inspiration from my surroundings, nature, the day to day events in my life, my true feelings for others myself, my thoughts, my dreams I pour out in the form of poetry.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: When did you start writing poetry?
Alka Narula: I started writing around the age of 12, I started writing in Urdu it being state language in J&K and still have the diary where I penned my first few lines.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: You are an Interior Designer by profession. Do you get enough time to write poems?
Alka Narula: Well, interior designing is a very personalized job I rarely get time for myself but nights are all mine at times I end up sleeping at wee hours once I start writing. Its all about creating time and one can do it, all that one needs is passion and drive.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Do you believe that poetry can make changes in the world?
Alka Narula: Honestly speaking poetry is a very sensitive subject for me, one has to feel it before one writes. When it comes to changing the world it can happen only if the readers feel the sensitivity of the writer who tries to touch the chords through words.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: What is the measure of success as a poet?
Alka Narula: The day a poet feels that he/she has been able to connect with the audience through his or her medium that I would term as measure of true success as a poet.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: What advice do you have for aspiring poets and writers?
Alka Narula: Just don’t write for the sake of writing, you have to be yourself and feel each and every word before you pen it down. You cannot express anguish or mirth in words if you don’t feel it and poetry is all about feelings.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Which earlier poets most attracted you?
Alka Narula: It will have to be William Wordsworth, Omar Khayyam and Daag Dehlvi, I feel some kind of connection with their work.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Which contemporary poets do you most admire?
Alka Narula: Hmmm a difficult question, well I would like to name Sohrab Sepehri.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Have you ever experienced a period when you were blocked, when you couldn't write? If so, what caused this?
Alka Narula: Fortunately not till now.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Your experience of working with 7 poets in “Rousing Cadence”.
Alka Narula: I would term it as a wonderful experience, I have always believed one plus one makes it eleven and we are seventy seven.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Please share something about your forthcoming novel ‘Sexual Encounters’.
Alka Narula: Sexual encounters is a true story of a woman who undergoes several sexual assaults and is abused repeatedly as a child, its about the fear the trauma a child undergoes but never shares.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: A personal question. You belong to Jammu, please share your journey to New Delhi?
Alka Narula: Well it was matrimony that brought me to Delhi. Fortunately it did not last else I wouldn’t have been what I am today.
Karunesh Kumar Agrawal: Thank you very much Alka.
Alka Narula: The pleasure is all mine sir.
Alka Narula - An Interior Designer by profession, Alka is a poet who portrays emotions connecting it with the threads of nature. A former model, she has also composed lyrics for an upcoming Bollywood movie. Alka is the author of soon-to-be released book, ‘Sexual Encounters’ which is based on the true story of child sexual abuse.
This interview was conducted via a series of e-mails in July 2012.