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Modi rap... renouncing religion

Making love with words. Deriving joy, spending energy, facing moments of truth. Sanjay Trehan does all this and much more in "Appassionata", finds out ZIYA US SALAM... .

Sanjay Trehan... still creating, still penning.

Oh, it's my finest hour
Look at that beatific smile on my face
Who says it's oily can't you see
My coiffured beard
My spotless white kurta pyjama
And freshly starched conscience
Don't tell me it's got the blood of innocent
Muslim kids and pregnant women
Have you forgotten Godhra?
Naroda Patiya was not just to avenge
The train massacre and restore Hindu pride
It was the beginning
Of the final solution
Oh, it's my finest hour

-- Modi rap in Sanjay Trehan's "Appassionata".

A FEW more similar lines and Sanjay Trehan is ready to renounce religion. "I do renounce the religion that Narendra Modi identifies with. If it is Hinduism, then I am not a Hindu," says the poet who was bitten by the writing bug when still in college. "I was brought up in an environment of pluralism. I studied in a Christian college - St. Stephen's - and loved the ethos of India. What I hated about Modi was not just that he was virulent and played a devious game but that he was so unapologetic about it. It angered me. I needed to express my feelings. That's why some of the poems you see appear raw. They are spontaneous, virtually like the first draft. I have only added a bit of melodrama."

He is talking of "Apassionata", a collection of 118 poems he put together in 22 years and from which he is likely to read at Akshara Theatre this week. "The poems are the result of three creative bursts. The first one lasted from 1981 to 1986, the second one came in 1990 while the third burst came in 1998. I am happy that love for poetry is back and I am actively writing it again."

Incidentally, he got his couple of poems published on the edit page of a national daily, totally against convention, against norms. Such was the response to these two poems on Gujarat that the editor was inundated with readers' contributions. "There was a deluge," recalls Trehan.

Yet he concedes, "there are no takers for poetry among the big publishers. They are not pushing it though if you go to poetry sites on the Net you will find that there is a huge community of young Indians engaged in reading and writing poetry. Unfortunately, poetry is not properly marketed." Talking of marketing, Trehan should know a thing or two - he started his career with Lintas as a copywriter and has over the years been involved with marketing communication and Internet marketing, etc.

Yet even as he charted his course in the world of advertisements, he always longed to write poetry. "Love for writing got satiated with love for advertising. It is about juggling with ideas. It filled in the need for creative satiation. Poetry, however, remained a secret passion." A passion that comes to the fore in the book when he decides to reveal it all in the poem, "Making Love With A Poem".

"This one stemmed from alienation in a relationship," he recalls, adding, "I found it cathartic, healing."

Just the way his poetry is. Some may find in this book prose in poems, others poetry in prose but there is no way you can ignore Trehan's work. And he manages to engage your attention, at times with word play, on others with his thought.

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