by Dr M C Gupta
My interview by tm_lvn_nurse in June 2005.
|MY INTERVIEW BY tm_lvn_nurse
[My response to 10 questions about myself .]
While going through my archives, I found that I had responded to 10 questions posed by Tammy~Catchin Up~ as part of her We Want To Know You, "Invalid Item" , in which responses from 18 authors were included, all responding to the same set of questions. My responses to those questions, along with the questions themselves, are given below.
1. TELL ME ANY/EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN ABOUT YOUR SELF IN 100 WORDS OR LESS.
My first feeling on reading your question is: Why should I speak about myself. This feeling is expressed in:
I DO NOT WISH TO BE KNOWN—entry ID #357826 in "MISCELLANEA"
My second feeling is: Why reinvent the wheel? Mavis Moog has already interviewed me in "Invalid Item"
My third feeling is: After all, there may be some truth in the saying that older men hold some special charm for women? Mavis Moog’s request so thrilled that the poet in me came out with "IT HAPPENED!" . And, now, it is tm_lvn_nurse! When I was a medical student, I could never get nurses interested in me:)
Anyhow, I am 64 years, male, retired professor of medicine converted post-retirement into an attorney after getting my LL.M. Started writing poetry 3 years ago. Current score: 450 poems in English; 250 in Hindi; 50 bilingual. Specialty: English ghazal.
2. WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR WRITING? AND WHY?
The source of inspiration depends upon the type of poem. There are the following broad categories—
1. Spiritual—Obviously inspired by Him.
2. Related to my wife, now no more—Obviously inspired by her.
3. Related to women’s issues—Partly my wife [After her demise, surprisingly, while reflecting upon the past, I am able to appreciate women’s perspective better than earlier. Partly, the realization of the socio-cultural reality of women’s oppression in a male dominated world.
4. Related to US—My deep anguish at gross, blatant, naked aggression committed by US upon a sovereign state in utter violation of international law and against principles of humanity.
5. Related to science, health and law—My professional background
6. Related to love and romance—Pure imagination, the privilege of poets.
7. Miscellaneous—Writing.com, through two mechanisms. ONE, contest poetry writing; TWO, my peculiar habit of writing a poem on a particularly catchy title that I happen to spot on the site, without reading that poem at all, simply with the idea to compare the two when mine is written. When I review the poem concerned, I am then able to add: My poem with similar theme can be viewed at the following link …………….
8. Bilingual poetry-- My own Hindi poems.
9. Ghazals—My conscious endeavour to promote this genre in English poetry.
10. Poems about ageing—My age:)
11. Poems about marriage—No rewards for guessing:)
3.WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU EVER WROTE? TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT IT.
The start was unusual. As a member of a mailing list, I sometimes used to translate into English famous Hindi poems, either classical ones or those adopted in movies, for the benefit of those not knowing Hindi. This was well appreciated. Some persons remarked that my translations were, at times, even better than the original! That spurred me to do more such translations. But, then, I realized that I would never be able to publish them because of copyright issues. It was then that I realized the need to translate my own Hindi poetry or to write my own English poems. My bilingual poems can be viewed at "BILINGUAL POETRY BOOK" .
One of my earliest English poems is MY HATS in "MY POETRY BOOK" . As regards my English poetry, I decided at the very onset to meet the challenge of writing in ghazal format. For quite some time, I felt it would not be possible to do so adhering to all the rigid requirements of this form. However, with effort, I was able to write about 40. they are all in my portfolio. Some are in "MY GHAZALS IN ENGLISH" .
4.WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO WRITE; POEMS, SHORT STORIES ETC..,WHAT GENRE...??
I write only poems. However, I have written 3-4 articles also. I have not ventured into stories. I think that is too much of planned effort. A novel is like a successful marriage; stories are like a series of short lived marriages; poems are like one night stands:)
5. WHO DO YOU ADMIRE HERE AT WRITING.COM AND WHY?
It is difficult to name a single author. There is such a large number of them, all highly accomplished. I think it would be more honest to admire Storymaster himself for making it possible to bring so many talents together and create vast brain pool creativity.
However, it is easier to answer why do I admire him. After all, there is no dearth of writing sites. The basic difference between those sites and writing.com is its excellent reviewing system,
with constructive criticism; support; incentives [GP, merit badges; awardicons; community rating etc.]. As a matter of fact, this site looks to me like a giant interactive coaching class for budding writers. Whatever I have learnt about writing poetry is all through writing.com.
6. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT A REVIEW SHOULD BE GIVEN ANONYMOUSLY?
As a routine, no. But, if somebody asks me whether the facility for anonymous review should be banned, I would answer in the negative. My simple question to those who ask for ban on anonymity is: ‘When you welcome an anonymous 5 star rating and review with 500 GP, what rationale is there in opposing a low anonymous rating and review?’. In any case, we can only prevent anonymous reviews. In case of rating alone, all such rating is already anonymous. My views about it are contained in DEAR ANONYMOUS—a poem with three comments: Entry #352536 in "MISCELLANEA"
7. DO YOU HAVE ANY GRIPES ABOUT THE SITE?
A—Well. No gripes, but I would be happier if there is a paying membership category between upgraded and premium, whose limits are 250 and 1000 items respectively. The new category may have 500 limit. My 250 port is full and I find the premier membership too costly.
8. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING AND WHERE DO YOU WANT YOUR WRITING TO GO?
I have been writing for 3 years. I want it to be published in book form by a reputed publisher without paying any publication charges whatsoever, but, rather, getting royalty on the book. I think that will be possible, but would need effort and time to organize it. I am not getting time for the same.
9. WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE ITEM THAT YOU HAVE CREATED?
It is not possible to pick out a single item. It is like asking a mother—which best child have you given birth to? I have written poems of different types, many of which have their special features. All I can say by way of answer is to list certain categories of my poems which I rate higher than others:
a. Poems in Ghazal style: Links to them can be found in "WHAT IS A GHAZAL AND HOW TO WRITE IT?" .
b. Poems related to women’s issues [socio-cultural perspective; women’s rights and independence; marital problems]: These are contained in—
" WOMEN'S ISSUES IN GENERAL--poems"
c. Poems in two languages:
"BILINGUAL POETRY BOOK"
d. Poems concerning science and law:
"SCIENCE, ENVIRONMENT, MEDICAL & LEGAL"
"SCIENCE, MEDICAL, LAW, HUMOR, CHILDREN"
e. Poems concerning global issues:
"WAR POETRY--award winner"
10. WHO HERE AT WRITING.COM WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIST HERE AND GIVE THEM A LITTLE EXPOSURE?(POST 3 USER NAMES HERE.)
It is difficult to answer this question, as framed, in a proper manner. There are many good writers with extensive item list and high ratings, but they really do not need exposure, for the sake of exposure. There are others, with small portfolios, whose writings one has read with admiration, but whose names don’t quickly come to mind. I won’t attempt to answer this question.
M C Gupta
4 June 2005 [The date of answering the questions]
31 August 2008 [The date of posting this static item].