Alumni Connect: I genuinely enjoy research, teaching and poetry, says Chandrakant Redican
My sister and I began our own organisation - Bullock Cart Poetry - where we want to create, curate and present great poetry for people to watch, read and enjoy.pune Updated: Feb 15, 2018 23:31 IST
ChandrakantRedican, an alumni junior research fellow of the 2010-2011 batch ofthe Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, has done it all.
Believing that one is not bound by strict conventions of academic disciplines, his life has been an example of interdisciplinary discourse.
From a scientist to a teacher to a poet and storyteller, Redican shared his story with HT.
Tell us about your educational background?
I did my bachelor’s degree in Microbiology after which I went on to do my masters in Zoology from Savitribai Phule Pune University.
I managed to qualify my masters with specialisation in Molecular Biology which only eight people get every year.
Coming to marks, throughout in my graduation and postgraduation I was an average student, but I was good at entrance exams which enabled me to qualify for good institutes.
I have also cleared my NET examination in Life Sciences which makes me eligible to be a lecturer at any Indian college. I also won a junior research fellowship which allowed me to carry out full-time research for a few years.
Tell us about your journey after graduation?
After finishing masters, I was a research student at IISER-Pune.
It was a great experience but I was not really cut out for research of that intensity.
I loved the subject but not the long hours that it took and the focus on a single problem.
After a year at IISER, I moved on to the teaching profession as my personal life took a really bad hit.
I quit my job and got into full time teaching at Vishwa Nirmala Vidya Pratishtan school in Jejuri - a village near Pune where I taught secondary section students in the subject of Science.
Later, I also took over as a sports coach and trained the tribal school girls in softball and baseball games to participate in Zilla Parishad tournaments.
This provided me with an idea on things I wanted to do in society.
I returned to Pune and started working as a lecturer teaching Food Science and Technology subject - not my area of specialisation at Prof. Ramakrishna More Arts, Commerce & Science College (RMC), Pune.
Later on, after an experience of about three years, I became the head of the department for the same branch.
Presently, I am working as a guest faculty at Symbiosis Center for Liberal Arts where I teach Bio-Cultural Diversity and parallelly have enrolled myself for PhD in Zoology, which I am aiming to complete in the next few years.
What made you change paths to poetry from science and teaching?
I have always enjoyed writing, it was an inherent part of me. I remember watching spoken word poetry on YouTube with my sister during my college days.
When Sarah Kay (international poet) came to Pune in 2012 we went to see her. And I still remember she said to me after the programme, “you know, we can do this.”
My sister,Priyam Redican ended up being one of the first slam poets to go viral in the country.
I grew my base in Pune.I tried to merge my science and story-telling through my poems.
During the weekdays, my job keeps me busy, while on weekends I am a full-time poet.
My sister and I began our own organisation - Bullock Cart Poetry - where we want to create, curate and present great poetry for people to watch, read and enjoy.
I never really changed paths, poetry slam happened to me and was incorporated into my life. I genuinely enjoy all research, teaching and poetry.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
My current project is to take Bullock Cart Poetry ahead and make it completely gig oriented.
I believe spoken word poetry can be as entertaining as stand-up comedy and I am working with musicians, my beatboxer friend Parag Bhide and other fellow poets to make gigs that people can enjoy.
What does the future look like?
It looks hopeful. I have curated my first set of the new year, called ‘The Chill Sutras’ which is a set of poems that anyone can enjoy while on a night out with their friends.
I will keep on doing such experiments in the future. I want people to come to poetry events like they would go to a stand-up comedy show or a music gig.
First Published: Feb 15, 2018 23:31 IST