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Language of expression

chandigarh Updated: Dec 25, 2013 10:34 IST
Navleen Kaur Lakhi

Though she hails from Lucknow, Hindi and Urdu are not her medium of choice. It was only about four years ago that she got inclined towards her native languages to express herself through poetry.


Bureaucrat Sumita Misra, secretary and director general for Haryana Tourism and Hospitality and managing director of Haryana Tourism Corporation, celebrates her newly found love with her third poetry book, Zara Si Dhoop, written in Hindi and Urdu.

The book, which was released recently by renowned Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi, is a collection of 75 poems that Sumita has penned over the past few years. Talking about her book she says, “The poems revolve around my experiences, moods, social issues, spiritual and political, inequality as well as the recent Nirbhaya incident. Hence, it is various subjects encapsulated into one.”

Ask her why she chose Hindi and Urdu and not English, and she says, "Kuch baatien aap apni bhasha mein hi keh sakte hain (certain things you can only express in your native language)."

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The list of her favorites include Ashok Vajpeyi, Neeraj, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and Robert Graves.

After Zara Si Dhoop, the poetess is waiting on the release of her next, a book on Hindustani poetry. She shares, “A book on English haiku is also in its final stages. Let’s see when it materialises.”

Sumita, who had two books to her credit — A Life of Light, a book of English poetry that has a foreword by Khushwant Singh, and Hindi poetry book Kadmon Ki Laya — is also the founder chairperson of Chandigarh Literary Society. This year, Sumita played a crucial role in organising the Chandigarh Lit Fest, Literati, as well.

You wonder how she finds the time to write, given her commitments, to which she says, “I’m a night person. I often write at night. Ullu hone ka kuch toh fayda hota hai!” laughs she.