Say­ing It With Haiku


the sound of sweet love drowned by the fa­natic’s cries... play your flute Kr­ishna Author, columnist and film his­to­rian Di­nesh Ra­heja re­cently started a love af­fair with Haiku (the pop­u­lar Ja­panese form of poetry), as the above lines from his lat­est book 101 Haiku sug­gest. Launched in Mumbai by fire­brand di­rec­tor Meghna Gulzar, Di­nesh’s maiden ven­ture in the world of Haiku is a col­lec­tion of three-line po­ems in English. Meghna, who read out Di­nesh’s Haiku at the launch, said the lines gave her goose­flesh. “I have a soft spot for brevity. To be able to com­mu­ni­cate a thought in as lit­tle as pos­si­ble is some­thing close to my heart. Di­nesh’s haiku are light, deep, soft and yet very cruel. I found that so in­cred­i­ble that even if I were to not re­lease the book, I would come here to take a book from Di­nesh,” she said, adding, “My fa­ther (the renowned vir­tu­oso, Gulzar) has come up with a form of poetry called ‘Triveni’. It is very sim­i­lar to Haiku. The only difference is it is not bound by the five syl­la­bles seven syl­la­bles five syl­la­bles for­mat of Haiku. The first two lines are a com­plete poem in them­selves. But the third line turns the poem on its head. He calls the first two lines Ganga and Ja­muna and the third line is Saraswati, which when it makes an ap­pear­ance turns the thing around.” The author him­self had a few un­canny words to share, “I am a prag­matic person. I don’t be­lieve in mir­a­cles. But be­lieve it or not, these Haiku wrote for them­selves. The mo­ment I got up in the morn­ing, they would come tum­bling in my head one af­ter the other—I lost some be­cause I was in the bath or driv­ing be­cause there was no pen or pa­per around.” While the Fore­word to 101 Haiku has been penned by Vidya Balan, the After­word is by Na­tional Award win­ning lyri­cist Varun Grover. Apart from Meghna, there was ac­tress Zara Khan ( Au­rangzeb) and ac­tor Vi­nay Jain ( Cheeni Kum) read­ing out from the book in their silken and bari­tone voices re­spec­tively.

Meghna Gulzar and Di­nesh Ra­heja

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