While most of us pursue higher education and then move to jobs, following the monotonous everyday routine, here is a journalist who in spite of having a compact schedule found time to pen down verses in his debut book, Chameleon Lights. He is Ayushman Jamwal, Senior News Editor at CNN-News18.
Oxford Bookstore Kolkata, witnessed the launch of the book Chameleon Lights by Ayushman Jamwal, grandson of famous Dogri poet, Late Group Captain Randhir Singh also known as Kunwar Viyogi in the literary circles. The launch of the book was moderated by Mr.Debashish Mandal. The book is an anthology of Ayushman’s poems written over a period of ten years capturing vivid emotions from his school days to college life. It includes even his journey in the news industry which he refers to as ‘chaos’.
Chameleon Lights has been published under the aegis of Kunwar Vijogi Memorial Trust. It is created by Kunwar Viyogi’s family to preserve the Dogri language which is at the threshold of extinction and to empower upcoming artists associated with literature and culture.
Mr.Jamwal seems to have inherited some poetry skills from his grandfather who is a Sahitya Akademi awardee.The debut poet dedicated his book to his beloved grandfather who he affectionately called ‘Tiger Nanu’ .
While studying at The Doon School, writing was the only way to vent out anger and frustration in his growing up years. Getting his short story published in the ‘The Doon School Weekly’ curated by the students, in the 10th standard emerged as his immense source of motivation.”Seeing my name in print was a drug.So I kept writing and writing,” said the 27-year- old New Delhi based journalist. The great bard of literature, William Shakespeare also inspired the poet to begin writing. According to him,“Shakespeare was very right in saying that Brevity is the soul of wit. In our age, our attention strands are coming down. If I don’t like the first five seconds of a trailer, I just move out.Same thing with verse. If you don’t find the emotional punch in the first two verses, you tend to move out. I always felt that attention span is low in our generation. So, if you want to put across a message do it in less amount of words. Secondly, verse tends to compact a huge array of emotions as committed to prose. Prose is a long drawn process.” Thus, he chose to write in verse and not in prose.
He recited his favourite poem from the book Chameleon Light which happens to be ‘Prayer to the God of Rebellion’ to the enthusiastic audience. A few lines from the poem go like this:-
“Let me not shudder at the force of blows,
Let not fear overcome my resolve,
Let not anger tempt me to take up arms,
Let faith guide me to stand my ground.”
Some of his poems talk about the political turmoil in the country while some convey the turbulent passage of love; he even has one poem written on his pet dog, Leo.
During the lively interaction between Ayushman and the audience, a few interesting facts came up. He shared his outlook towards issues like freedom of speech and expression getting curbed in India, the impact of social media not only on the young generation but also when it comes to showcase his poetry etc.He also revealed the he would like to be remembered more as journalist. He is currently working on his novel based on war.
A usually lazy Sunday evening in Kolkata ended on a good note when Mr.Surjo Bhattacharjee adapted some of Ayushman’s poem into a musical recitation.The audience was awe struck after hearing a verse turn into a musical poetry. The book is available in your nearest bookstores or can be purchased online through Amazon.
Text: Priyanka Barik