Interview: Anil Kumar Panda
Anil Kumar Panda belongs to a very simple family. Though academically he was doing well, due to financial constraint he could not go ahead much and had to start earning early in life. At present working as a mine surveyor, enjoying the hardships and challenges of a mining life. He has been a keen reader since his school days and loved to scribble down his thoughts on a piece paper whenever alone.
What made you to write this collection of poems, ‘Melody of Love’? Who or what was your inspiration?
As I go through my routine job, I keep a watch on people and their activities, especially when they fall in love and how their attitude to life changes for good or bad. That is a very interesting topic for me. Even young lovers in and around my locality can’t escape my prying eyes.
How was your process of writing poems alongside your busy schedule of work?
It has always been very tough. Mining profession itself is very risky and demands hard work. But the process of weaving words to make a poem goes on in me like a never ending tide. I enjoy it and try to keep a balance.
What are the various themes you have tried to explore in the poems?
Simply love, romance and beauty.
What according to you is poetry?
It’s the spontaneous outpouring of thoughts. It is the sweetest expression of one’s imagination. When you can hold no longer what you like to say to the world in your style.
The major theme that runs through these poems is love and your previous work too has this as the main theme. Could you explain to us why you chose this theme most often?
There are so many themes that I have explored before like, poverty, injustice, cruelty, violence, and many more. But love is the theme that I feel comfortable with. It is the theme that makes my thought process continually going most of the time. There is a natural flow of idea on this theme in me.
What according to you must a budding poet keep in mind, with regard to writing poetry?
When you start be simple and natural. Develop your own style that suits you and you feel comfortable with.
Name one of your favourite poets and what you liked in his or her poetry:
Can’t single out one. There are many like Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Charles Bukowski, Maya Angelou and many more. They have got an awesome integrity and sincerity in telling stories. Like Khalil Gibran, Roald Dahl too.
Name your favourite poem that you have loved so far:
“If you Forget Me” By Pablo Neruda. Like to read it again and again.
Would you like to share with us your next venture?
Yeah. It’s again a collection of love poems. But will be a little different. Working on it and won’t disclose now.
Your advice to aspiring poets:
As has told earlier, keep simple and original. Try to jot down your story in your own style. Don’t stop. It takes long to get recognized.