Delhiwale: The village’s resident poet

Pratyush Pushkar reads Anna Akhmatova’s poetry, dabbles in photography, holds soirees with theatre actors and appears to be obsessed with the idea of ‘deconstruction’.

delhi Updated: Jul 26, 2017 14:26 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhiwale,Hauz Khas Village
Pratyush Pushkar in Hauz Khas Village.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

His father’s language is Maithili. His mother’s is Bengali. He himself thinks and writes in Hindi. But pray, what language is this, tattooed on his arm?

“You mean ‘Espejo’,” he says proudly. “This word appears in the last line of (Gabriel Garcia) Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and means mirror in Spanish.”

It turns out he knows Spanish, too.

We meet Pratyush Pushkar in Hauz Khas Village. We are sitting in a French café where he spends almost all his waking hours. His rented apartment is just round the corner. Mr Pushkar reads Anna Akhmatova’s Russian poetry (English translation), dabbles in photography, holds soirees with theatre actors and appears to be obsessed with the idea of ‘deconstruction’, a theme that is the driving force behind his Hindi poems.

Chatting with us, he says, “In my poems, I deconstruct individuals to a level where they stand one-on-one with their primitive state.” Momentarily pausing to sip his French Press coffee, he adds, “That enables my characters to understand their truest fears and feelings.”

Mr Pushkar shares his poem with us.

THE WORLD OF GUITAR

Listen! For I, in the world of guitar, there are three people most important
First who made the guitar
No one knows what they exactly saw
A woman?
A man, who at night, queerly, wore his wife’s clothes and viewed himself in the mirror?
Or a Pargrahi? Alien?
Whose mouth had six strings instead of one tongue?
When they spoke, you could sing along?
Second, they who invented the guitar pick
This small piece of wood, plastic
brought us standing one step ahead of our ancestors
(Most of us behave like our ancestors when handed a guitar)
Third, who refused the pick again Groomed their nails
And made their five fingers The most organic pick in the world of guitar
Invented the finger style
(There are others too) **In the world of guitar Paco-de-lucia is god.

(translated by Riya Ragini)

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 14:26 IST