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  • Writer's picturetahakehar2

An unkindled flame

Nine years ago, I diddled myself into believing that I was a poet. I even churned out two poetry collections in quick succession to prove that writing verse was my forte - an elixir that allayed my deepest insecurities. I didn't realise, or chose to ignore, the fact that prose was kindling for my creative vision. Fortunately, the delusions have been shattered and I've made peace with the fact that I am more at ease writing prose.

I often fail to comprehend what it was that made me lose faith in poetry. My first novel, Of Rift and Rivalry (2014) was released soon after the second poetry collection saw the light of day. It was published by a small traditional publisher in New Delhi called Palimpsest. Unlike ORAR, my two poetry collections - Writing Words With Fire (2012) and Revolution's Child (2013) - were self-published. More often than not, writers treat their self-published works like unwanted children, secrets that are best left concealed. But I'm not embarrassed by these poetry collections. I have a nagging suspicion that I have subconsciously convinced myself that there is no market for poetry. This was, incidentally, the refrain that publishers came up with when I approached them with my poetry collections.

Nevertheless, these literary detours taught me a great deal about writing, publishing and editing, and offered useful guidelines about the nature and direction of my creative voice. The books weren't widely read. In either case, a few publications were generous enough to carry pieces about them and draw attention to poems that I can't relate to any more. I'm owe an immense debt to their curiosity about the poetry collections. Had the books languished in obscurity, I wouldn't have gained the courage to keep writing.

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