Vihang Naik Talks About His IRDA Winning “City Times and Other Poems”

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City Times and Other Poems was the winner in the Poetry category of the 2016 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Vihang Naik.

What is the name of the book and when was it published? 

It is my poetry collection City Times and Other Poems first published in India in 1993 by Writers’ Workshop, India which soon went out of print since the printing technology was hand printing and hand bound with sari cloth. I then, in 2014 , searched AuthorHouse to pick up my my reprints. It was republished than in 2014.

What’s the book’s first line?

The collection opens with “The Love Song of A Journeymen” with line which runs as “Your upholding/downward look.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

It is an anthology of his intuitive and philosophical poems. The Poems are divided in 6 segments i.e. “Love Song of a Journey Man” is more or less an inner travelogue, The segments, for instance, “Mirrored Man” is about the other chimeras in the city .The people in the city are capricious like the walk of a crab or the colours of a chameleon. While, “The Path of Wisdom” is about the beginning of meditation and knowledge. “At the Shore” records the poet’s sense of futility, memory, pain, exile and alienation at the shore of life. The title of this collection is also the heading for the last of its six sections, in which the city is unfolded as a market place, as a heaven for underdogs, and as a seed bed of change and is observed at evening, at mid-night, by moon light and through fog and haze.

The poem titled “Self Portrait” starts with the diagrammatic sketch with seven blank pages where the reader finds only three words at the tail-end of the page…Here “the poet envisions in an epiphanic moment, the true nature of ones self when he wakes up, ‘to see my / Self ‘ ‘discovered beyond thought’ . Between “my self” and “discovered beyond thought” are five blank pages.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

The cities that made me move. In my case the particular person is character of city which comes out from fog and haze. It is an eventful city within a city.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

I experiment with characters. I think, city comes out as distinctive character though at times, unreal. Yet you are made to see beyond the physical.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Anyone who has interest in poetry which is experimental, looking for new and at the same time intuitive insight into unreal and beyond would, I guess, certainly going though.

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