Traversing different cultures and capturing their essence through verses has always been a passion for Shikha Malaviya, a Bengaluru-based poetess.
She will be launching her debut collection of poetry called 'Geography of Tongues' at Atta Galatta on December 8. These poems have been praised by Sahitya Akademi Award winners like Keki N Daruwalla and K Satchidanandan.
“On reading 'Geography of Tongues', I felt I was looking at a new world. Shikha's lines bounce from the immediate reality that surrounds her," says Keki.
Shikha has been exploring different forms of art from a very young age. Being born in England and raised in US and India, helped her expand her horizons through music, poetry and novels. She had easy access to all these due to her grandfather who was also a poet. Influences and experiences she gathered in three countries helped her shape her debut collection.
“My background has made my work gain a broad yet deep perspective. The book is based on my upbringing and the exploration of ideas and identities. It tells a story almost like an autobiography and can be divided into three sections. The first section has poems about my father, grandparents and life in India. The second section is more philosophical in nature revealing different cultural backgrounds and the third segment deals with my experience in the US," says Shikha.
The poet graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in creative writing and mass communication. She also founded The Great Indian Poetry Project, an initiative to document, preserve and promote the legacy of modern Indian poetry.
“Compared to other genres of art, poetry is really neglected. It has a reputation of being abstract and obtuse, which it isn't. Even in schools, students read poetry which belongs to the 19th century. Something they can barely relate to. Hence, I started some the initiative to spread awareness about poetry and end the debate on what it is and isn't," says a reflective Shikha.
She is currently working on her second collection of poetry which will release next year and is also working on her debut novel simultaneously....