Poet and filmmaker Lavlin Thadani’s new collection of Hindustani poems explores the realm of the human condition
There isn’t much that Lavlin Thadani hasn’t accomplished in her chosen fields and the renowned poet and filmmaker only strives harder every day to push the envelope with her creativity.Her new collection of poems written in Hindustani was launched recently and sees Thadani once again experiment and express herself through verse and stanza. Titled Meri Zameen Mera Aasmaan and published by Rajkamal Prakashan, it is a seamless combination of personal reflections and social commentary.
Your repertoire is noticeably varied, from films and documentaries to books in Hindi and English. What made you write the poems in this collection?
I think it has to come from within. It’s really about whatever strikes and motivates you at that time, and figuring out which medium gives shape to that creativity inside you. I have written this collection in Hindustani, a language that seemed to best express what I was trying to say in my poems. A combination of Hindi and Urdu, Hindustani allows you to use both languages in a beautiful, fitting way. Also, almost every poem in this collection has been published as it was in the first draft. I have not reworked them or changed them in any way and the flow of the first thought has been preserved.
Has each poem been written specifically for this collection, or was writing them a spontaneous, unplanned process, as writing poetry can sometimes be?
It’s a very personal, creative process. You can’t plan poetry the way you can books. Each poem is a reflection of what I was feeling and thinking about at the time of writing it. The poems can channel your inner turmoil and give it voice, sometimes better than prose can. There are poems in this book that are also on social evils that we see and experience every day, and that is also a reflection of the human condition.
In times when readers for Hindustani as well as poetry are a select few, do you find that your book might have a narrower reach?
Actually, while Iwould think that my launch would have a few loyal readers and poetry enthusiasts, I was heartened and gratified to see a few hundred people there (at the launch). The audience was of all ages, from youngsters to the older crowd, all genuinely interested. There are still people out there who read and love poetry. I think it’s only increasing, and there is hope for the language and the literary form.
What is the next project you are working on?
I am working on a collection of English poems, as well as a book of fables. The fables are interesting and I am very excited about them because the stories in this book are all original, instead of the usual reworking from existing legends or myths of any culture or country. I am also working on a film project on women’s issues.