Published: 27th July 2021
This brother-sister duo from Hyderabad came out with a poetry book that will fill you with hope
Called Verses and Strokes, Prisha and Shaurya Gupta have penned 80 poems for this book that are all centred around four life-affirming themes. They started writing way back in December 2020
Hope is a thing with feathers that has proved to be more and more elusive, especially since the Coronavirus descended upon us in full force. But this brother-sister duo found hope in writing poems. And they are passing it on to us via their collection of poems, Verses and Strokes, launched just last month.
The look and feel of the book
In many ways, hope, meaning poetry, has been passed down to them — from their grandmother, who is a Hindi poet, to their mother, who has two poetry books to her credit. Now, Prisha (13) and Shaurya Gupta (9) are carrying forward the legacy and it was in December 2020 that they decided to shoulder this responsibility. "Books are important, I have been reading since I was in class IV. We want to contribute to literature," says Prisha. With this motivation driving the Gupta children, they penned 80 poems in free verse style that centred around four themes, which Shaurya terms as the building blocks of life — elements, virtues, colours and flowers. "We also tend to take them for granted and the pandemic has helped us rediscover them," says Shaurya who is now in class IV. Each of the four themes has ten topics explored via two poems, explored separately by the duo, adding up to 80 poems.
There are 65 pages in the book and has a forward by writer Anupama Dalmia and special words by writer Ramendra Kumar
If you manage to get your hands on the book, published by Prisha Publications (owned by a friend of their mother's), the very first thing you'll notice is the watercolour artwork that accompanies every poem, all painted by Prisha herself. When it comes to the poems, every topic required some amount of Google research, but more than that, it was about self-reflection. While Prisha thought long and hard about what the topics meant to her, Shaurya also went down the path of looking at it through a deeply personal lens. Take, for example, the first poem Sky from the theme 'Element'. "The changing colours of the sky have always intrigued and enraptured me. That's why some of the lines in the poem go pink and gold/steely grey/cornflower blue/inky black," explains Prisha.
Few of the many readers
While Prisha had her creative cap on, it was Shaurya who was the technical go-to person. In fact, it is he who designed the Kindle version of the book on Kindle Create (a formatting tool for books). He is even learning Python and HTML currently. Overall, Prisha lets us know that though it required a lot of patience, this book has been a great experience, mostly because they did not bind themselves to a timetable so that they could ensure that the verses were as free-flowing as their thoughts.
What they mean when they say that they had to Google for research is, for example, while writing a poem on a rose, they Googled images, the origin of the name and so on
Apart from baking delicious chocolate tarts and banana bread to sweeten the otherwise bitter lockdown and the plethora of online classes it brought along, it was poetry that the students of Delhi Public School, Hyderabad, found hope in when they were stuck within the four walls of their house. "In this context, it became all the more important for us to express ourselves creatively, we need to say out loud what we feel," says Shaurya, sounding mature beyond his years. Just like his and his sister's poetry does.
it could be furious
or deep scarlet
it makes us blind
but it helps us see, too
so opposite in nature
what is this colour
or even roses
the heart of a heart
expressing good and bad
yes, it is red
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