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You can use literature and poetry to communicate: Prachee Mashru

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You can use literature and poetry to communicate: Prachee Mashru

- Vijayalakshmi Narayanan

Prachee Mashru, a Communications student based in Mumbai is all of seventeen. But don't let her tender age deceive you. She can talk about our love for food while addressing social issues related to the LGBT community, with her power of wordplay. In this exclusive chat to us, the young poetess discusses about the joy of poetry and much more.Was poetry instinctive to you or did it stem through repeated reading and writing?Prachee: I've been an avid reader since I was a kid. My mother would tell me that I did not have to make friends as I read that much. So in school, we've always had poetry as part of our literature classes. Later, I started watching a lot of spoken word poetry. For one of my English assignments, my Sir told me that since I was so interested in poetry, why not trying writing any. And that's how I first started writing while I was in Grade XI. My Sir pushed me towards writing poetry and that's how my spoken-word journey began.Literature and poetry as a career is a dreadful thought in today's competitive world, your thoughts?Prachee: I don't think any art form or anything to do with English, could be seen as a bad career option. If you know a language that is widely spoken and with so much detail, you use literature and poetry to communicate. I am pursuing communications and anything that falls under the need to communicate, literature and poetry will give you an edge over another degree or career option as you understand people better. At the same time, in a place like India, it cannot be considered a career option as people have not realised the worth of it yet.The masses often diss the importance of poetry, popular beliefs suggesting that it is a territory for the love-struck and the heartbroken. How do you think can it be made relevant?Prachee: I haven't written a single piece till date that has anything to do with love. Most of the times, I prefer talking about social issues. Like my favourite piece is 'True Love' which talks about love for food. So I believe that there are all kinds of love. It need not necessarily be human. Hence, that is relevant to everybody. Infact, I've had people who hate poetry, come for my sessions. They would sit and listen to me recite my pieces and then they would think, 'Hey, this is not what I thought poetry was'. People have moved beyond only discussing love through poetry. They realise that there are other emotions that are far more important and need to be spoken about. And people who take to the mic realise that they've been given a platform and would want to talk about issues other than love and try and make a difference.What according to you is the most rewarding aspect of poetry?Prachee: It's the appreciation and making a difference that matters. For instance, one of my pieces 'Pride' which addresses LGBT issues just went up and it got a couple of views. I had people message me and tell me that it was exactly as they thought and it matched their views. Somebody made their mother hear it and turns out that she became more accepting towards their sexuality. Things like these touch my heart and make me realise that this is what I write poetry for. It is not for my voice to be heard but also, have reach.Your favorite written/read line?Prachee: There are two. First, 'Dreams don't work unless you do'. If you come to my room, you'll find it written in at least 15-20 places. Because everything you want, can happen if you work towards it. The second would be from one of Aranya Johar's pieces which says, 'For a glowstick to shine, it needs to break'. I think I am paraphrasing it at the moment, but it's on the same lines as my earlier quote. To reach somewhere, you need to work towards it.To listen to some of Prachee's poems, visit our podcast section here.
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