Pritish Nandy has returned to poetry. One hundred and forty words at a time. On Saturday, Nandy, a journalist, filmmaker, painter and poet, launched his new book of poetry "Stuck On 1/Forty" at Crossword Bookstore at Kemp's Corner - with tweet-sized poems in the tradition of 140-character long Twitter utterances.
This is Nandy's second book of poetry since his return from a two-decade long hiatus from the form. He had released a book of poems in 2010.
"…I gave up the starkness of poetry, the frugality, the battle with words and images and switched to journalism," writes Nandy in the introduction.
Saturday's launch, with actor Ranbir Kapoor, combined moments of poetry along with hysteria in a packed room. Kapoor and Nandy read out poems from the book and later spoke about them.
"One of the great disciplines of poetry has been how to structure it," said Nandy as part of the discussion on how he wrote. "I went with the simplest possible structure of today. That was the discipline of the poetry... It's not just the words said here but what remains unsaid. That is the magic of poetry."
In a rapid fire round with Kapoor, Nandy once again said about the 140-character paradigm, that it was "liberating" and not limiting, since "brevity is always liberating."
The poems in the new collection cover a spectrum of thoughts and emotions from love and mortality to loneliness and truth.
"I try to use the simplest words," said Nandy, in response to Kapoor's question on how he moulded his thoughts into words. "The most important part of language is touching people."
And part of that endeavour is unleashing poetry from its image as being inaccessible. "The problem with literature is it is treated as something academic... something that lies in a dusty library... Poems are about reaching out, touching lives."