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Delhiwale: A poet’s new identity

Poet Divya Jain has dropped her takhallus ‘Iman’ in her latest collection of ghazals hoping for a new beginning.

delhi Updated: Feb 28, 2018 12:36 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Delhi poets,Divya Jain
Poet Divya Jain working on her new collection of ghazals. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Sometimes we all want to start afresh. A ghazal collection was published two years ago by a poet called Divya Jain ’Iman’. Now the same poet has sent her second collection to the press, but this time, the last part of her name is missing.

“Iman was my takhallus, my pen name,” she tells us. “It means ‘conscience’ in Urdu… but now, I have dropped it… you see, I’m beginning all over again.”

Sitting in the study of her spacious apartment in central Delhi’s Siddhartha Extension, the poet grew estranged from the identity she gave to herself because “I started feeling unsatisfied with my writing.”

A part of that reason was that she has been formally learning Urdu only since last year and feels a deeper connection with the language. Now she’s tackling it with a changed approach.

“So, I detached myself from my earlier work.” Of course, she hasn’t seceded from her original foundation in… well, science. A former microbiologist, Ms Jain feels her deep fascination with “the mysteries of science, especially astronomy, led me to the mysteries of the soul” and that “naturally” seeped her into poetry.

“Even years ago, when I would write prose pieces in Hindi, many of my themes centered on the space sciences,” she says, asserting that, in her case, science and art are two sides of the same coin.

In her late 40s, Ms Jain confesses that neither her husband nor her two daughters have shown interest in ghazals and that she often depends on an elderly scholar for guidance and feedback.

Ms Jain shares one of her new poems with us.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 10:47 IST