A former advertising professional, Sanket Mhatre has literally seen both sides of the grass. But no matter whether he was representing an agency or being the client himself, the pen has always been his best friend.
Radio City Freedom caught up with the young poet ahead of the Free Verse Sessions, scheduled to be held at Fun Republic Social, Andheri on June 30th, 2018.
When did you first feel the germ of words and verses?
Sanket: There's a brilliant poem by Pablo Neruda that explains just this:
And it was at that age poetry arrived in search of me. I don't know where it came from. But there it was and it touched me.
It's very difficult to ascertain the right moment when you think of a poem. More so, when it's the first time. Poems, कविता or काव्य was forever taking shape in my mind right since I was a child. I only realized what a poem is much later.
I guess it was poetry who has chosen me and not otherwise. I was 13 when I wrote my first Marathi poem. It was about darkness. It was appreciated by poets then and I have been writing ever since. However, performing a poem has been happening over the past 4-5 years.
How would you look at Freedom of Speech today?
Sanket: In every age, whenever there is a movement, there's always a counter movement too. In this age, our systems and larger powers that are trying to monitor and influence our rights and our freedom, is under constant watch.
The good part is poetry is slowly rising as a counter movement to this. It is urging people to think freely and speak freely. It rightly should. That's how you move forward. This generation is finding its voice. I'm glad it's through words and verses as much as through movies and music.
You first have to experience freedom in your mind and freedom of speech will follow.
Your literary inspirations? (favorite poets and writers)
Sanket: Wow! I could talk about it the whole night. You never find one teacher but many. So is it with poets and writers. But let me put it down:
जी. ए. कुलकर्णी, कमल देसाई, कवी ग्रेस, विंदा करंदीकर, इंदिरा संत, मंगेश पाडगावकर, सुरेश भट. In today's age, I love अशोक नायगावकर and नलेश पाटील.
In Urdu poetry, it was बशीर बद्र, फैज अहमद फैझ, राहत इंदोरी, et all.
In English, it was Stephen King, W.Somerset Maugham, P.G. Wodehouse and almost all of Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz and Ernesto Cardenal.
In advertising, David Ogilvy and Neil French. I love those guys.
However, there’s more than meets the eye.
A memorable line you’ve read that has stayed with you
Sanket: Wait. Again there are so many:
Master Oogway: “Yesterday was history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today, today is a gift. That's why, we call it present.”
Obi Wan Kenobi: “May the Force Be With You.”
The Secret: “Thoughts Become Things.”
Catch Sanket Mhatre performing live at the Free Verse Sessions, this Saturday. Click here for event details.