Published: 27th July 2021
This Sacred Heart College student's book of poems is out. Here's why you should give it a shot
Ganga Jayakumar is a master's student who has published her first book "Hidden from the World"
For better or verse. Ganga Jayakumar lives by this dictum in more ways than one. A final-year master's student in cinema and television at Sacred Heart College in Thevara, Kochi, she just published her book of poems, titled Hidden from the World. We caught up with her to understand her writing process and how she juggles academics and the verse within. Excerpts:
You're obviously very artistically inclined. How did writing and poetry happen?
When I was young, I would come up with Malayalam lines on my own and my parents would listen to it and encourage me to go on. Then during what I think was my fourth grade, I wrote a Malayalam poem and showed it to my Malayalam teacher. She then got it published in the school magazine which, for the first time, gave me validation from a third party outside of my family. Then I began writing for the school magazine. But I was never a regular writer. I would often write only when the time to submit was closing in. This changed when I was pursuing my bachelors' degree. I would write more often.
After I graduated from St Teresa's College, Kochi, I worked as a teacher and also volunteered at an NGO called U&I. I love watching coming-of-age movies and books, especially ones by Preeti Shenoy. My favourite one is Life Is What You Make It. I have an emotional connection with that one.
Did your college experiences contribute to your wanting to become a writer?
I took up commerce in my UG since I did not want to change streams from school. So that was a natural transition for me. But after my degree I came to realise that I was not fit for a desk job. So I took a year's break and took up teaching English and History.
At Sacred Heart College, during the interview, they suggested that I take up cinema and television. I had an interest in it since childhood but I did not take it seriously because of the stigma associated with it in society.
THE WRITER IN HER: Ganga with her book "Hidden from the World"
So when did you first realise you had a book in you?
Every time someone asked me what I wanted to be, I would confidently tell them that I wanted to leave a mark in the world. But I never knew which way to go. During my undergraduate studies, I created a blog where I would write poems but even then I didn't have the guts to make it public. When I finally started my graduate studies, I realised that I have enough material to publish a book. That was when I got the idea.
Tell me more about the book. What should readers expect from it?
Hidden from the World contains 55 poems and six short essays on topics that I felt writing about. There are a lot of emotions that they talk about like love and hatred. Some poems are about imagery that I have in my head. I also feel that I am not very direct when writing about emotions. There is an abstract sense to it, I feel. I am a very organic writer in the sense that I would write only when I feel something which is worth writing about.
Obviously your writing has changed over the years. How do you reflect on that?
I think that when I was a child I would write only when thoughts came to my mind. I would not consider my feelings as sources of inspiration to write about. But now I hold my feelings in much higher stead. I write now to vent my feelings.