Wednesday, March 09, 2011

In Laboratory of Emotions

Scientist-cum-poet Laltu rhymes it for the common man

It was, but natural, for him to turn to poetry one day. “Every Banglaspeaking has to write a poem once in life,“ says Calcutta-born poet Dr Harjinder Singh. He was in City to attend a discussion on his poetry, organised by Sahit Chintan on Sunday.
Laltu, as he is fondly known among friends and acquaintances, earlier taught Chemistry at Panjab University and is at present teaching at the International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad.
Poetry, says Laltu, is an important part of Bangla culture. He, whose thoughts first found the shape of poetry in high school, has come out with a third collection of his poems, Log Hi Chunenge Rang. “They are about our times, issues concerning us, on my understanding of women,“ he says of the anthology. “They are about as I see things, and poetry has to say what the poet feels,“ he adds.
Laltu's creative instincts aren't just limited to poetry, there's story writing, translations and yes, his famous blog – Aayeeae haath uthayein hum bhi. The blog is replete with musings, published poetry and issues of concern, from Binayak Sen to his latest post on death penalty, which he says is against his principles. When Laltu began blogging, way back in November 2004, not many people were using the medium. For Laltu, it was filling the gaps between poetry and story writing, things that did not have a platform to be said. “It was for things we can't say and don't say,“ he says. Discussing Laltu Renowned literary critic Manager Pandey spoke on Laltu's poetry and short stories at the discussion organised by Sahit Chintan at Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35, on Sunday. He said, “Laltu's poem reflect urge for democracy, honesty and open commitment for the downtrodden.“ This was followed by a question-answer session, in which academicians NK Oberoi, Akshay Kumar, Prem Singh, Manjit Singh and theatreperson Shabdeesh participated. Earlier, Satyapal Sehgal, professor of Hindi at PU, introduced Manager Pandey and Laltu.
(Story by Sarika Sharma that appeared today in Hindustan Times' HT City, Chandigarh)