The art of poetry is a tapestry woven from the threads of words, emotions, and imagination. Poetry has the power to evoke profound emotions, challenge perceptions, and ignite social change. From ancient epics to modern verses, poetry continues to shape cultures, preserve histories, and offer solace. 21st of March is celebrated as World Poetry Day annually. On this day, we recognize this profound art form whose impact resonates across generations, bridging gaps, and fostering empathy.

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The Social Nation team got lucky to chat with 3 prolific poets of our time – Amandeep Singh, Vanika Sangtani, and Gurpreet Saini. Read on as we dive into their world of poetry to get you some exclusive insights this World Poetry Day!

Also Read: Aimee Song And Her Successful Journey With Song of Style

Amandeep Singh

A storyteller, writer, and spoken word artist, Amandeep Singh‘s poems are loved far and wide. People appreciate the simple yet deep poetries that this YouTuber and content creator writes and performs.

World Poetry Day 2024 Amandeep Singh khayal poems writer recite performer

You narrate some beautiful stories of your past in your shows. Have you ever gone back and told those people that you shared their story with the world? If yes, how have they reacted to you telling them this?

I, in fact, tell them even before telling their stories. I take their consent and at the same time, I make sure that I never reveal their identity. Kyunki kabhi ho sakta hai upar neeche ho jaaye bolte waqt since I’m narrating from my perspective, not theirs. However, once the story is written and they’ve heard it, I’ve always gotten ‘happy strange’ reactions.

A part of them never knew that’s what had happened or that I would narrate it in this way. So, it’s always a happy feeling for them to hear me share the story or the bond that I have with them. And isn’t it amazing that it comes from this perspective that ‘aap kisi ki kahaani mein itna khubsoorat kirdar nibha rahe ho aur voh itna khush hai ke voh duniya ko bataane ke liye bejhijak aapko apni kahaani mein utaar raha hai.’

Your poems normally have a mention of love, what’s the first poem you wrote when you were in love?

Maine jo pehli kavita likhi thi 8th standard mein, voh pyaar ke around hi thi I guess. Sabhi lekhak bohot hadd take pyaar ke baare mein hi likhte hain – ya toh pyaar hone ki ya uski kami ke baare mein. The very first poem that I wrote was called “Barish“. Aur voh kuch aisi thi”

Aankhe muund jab unn barasti boondon ko mehsus kar raha hoon,

Toh lagta hai ki usne mera haath thaam rakha hai,

Iss madhmast sannate mein uski khanak goonj rahi hai,

Inn jhumte jharno ke saath voh kahi dur baithi duaen bhej rahi hai mujhe,

Dur bohot hogi voh mujhse isliye mujh tak ye namh hawayein bhej rahi hai.

Your one line “Yaar, Geet ko Aditya bhi train chutne par hi mila tha isliye kuch kaam galat hone do na” went viral. Can you tell us your thoughts on writing that?

The very simple thought behind this was that hum na apni zindagi mein har cheez ko itni zyaada ahemiyat de dete hai ki agar voh ek cheez nahi hogi toh pata nahi kitna bada bawaal ho jayega. Boards exam mein 80-90% se zyaada marks nahi aayenge toh, agar pehli job achi nahi lagi toh – but once you have lived through all of this and you reflect back, you’ll realise that isse kuch farak nahi pada jeevan mein.

You only remember the happy memories and even if there are bad ones, it’s okay you learned from them. So, in the long run, at times, jo cheese nahi hoti hai, voh zyaada khubsoorat hoti hai. Let the Universe make things happen for you. There’s a line from my favourite show ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ – “The great moments of your life won’t necessarily be the things you do, they’ll also be the things that happen to you.

So this [Geet line] was from the thought ke, at times, just let things be agar kuch nahi samajh aa raha hai. You will automatically figure it out. Itna seriously lene ki zarurat nahi hai har ek cheez ko.

What’s your favourite line from a poem that you always go back to? 

Ek kavita hai jo meine first year of college mein likhi thi aur mujhe lagta hai ki usse khubsoorat meine aaj tak kuch nahi likha.

‘Ek choti si pehchaan bane, kuch apna bhi abhiman bane,

Ek choti si pehchaan bane, kuch apna bhi abhiman bane,

Par uske naam ke saath mera naam liye, apna bhi ek makaan bane.’

Vanika Sangtani

Meet Vanika Sangtani – a poet, social worker, storyteller and content curator. Her foremost aim is to tell 10 million girls that “Tu kar legi yaar!” Vanika’s videos on Instagram and YouTube resonate with and inspire many.

World Poetry Day 2024 Vanika Sangtani poems writer recite performer

Most of your pieces beautifully represent women’s empowerment/self-love. What’s the one line/poetry that you want to dedicate to every woman reading this?

Tu kar legi yaar“✨ I want to tell every woman who is like me – somebody who is imperfect, flawed, still wants to feel beautiful, go on a journey of self-acceptance with their body, who wants to live life to the fullest and more than what is offered to her. I want to tell 10 million girls “Tu kar legi yaar – You can do it!” That is my Instagram bio and my mission as well.

You’ve spoken about red flags in men in your pieces, what’s the one thing/line you’ve heard a man say which makes you believe that “Yaar Iss umar mein bhi pyaar exist toh karta hain.”

There was this one time that I liked a boy and really wanted him to love me back. But no matter how hard I tried he just couldn’t, so that time I was very frustrated and I said ‘Just because I’m not able to love you doesn’t mean you’re unlovable. It just means ki jo meri pyaar se chahat hai aur jo tumhari hai, voh bohot alag hai. Hum dono alag cheezen dhund rahe hai but iska matlab ye kabhi nahi hai ki tum mein koi kami hai’. I think that experience made me believe that pyaar abhi bhi exist karta hai.

Are you still one of those writers who writes on paper or have we officially moved on to writing on screens?

Oh, I love writing on paper! I want to shift to screens because I feel I want to write longer stories but currently I’m a paper person. It’s just so beautiful. Journalling and writing are so important to me – it’s something that I’ve been doing since childhood. Every time I see my writings from those childhood diaries it helps me connect with younger Vanika. In the future, I want my older self also to have something to resonate with. Aur mujhe aaj kal Devnagari script mein likhne mein kaafi maza aa raha hai on paper. Having a pen with that soft flow just makes me so happy!

What’s your one piece of advice to the people who want to start their career in storytelling but are afraid of it being too risky?

Dekho there is no shortcut, haina? It’s a growing and difficult art form but to be honest, storytelling is going to be big. It’s still in the discovery phase and it needs more people like you. Kahaaniya sunana aur logon tak pohochana apni awaaz ki through is a beautiful experience.

If you fall in love with the art form, if you’re ready to put in the hard work, and be patient then I promise you, one day you’re going to be standing on the stage telling your story to more than 100 people.

They are all going to find hope and relate to the character in your story like it’s theirs. You’re going to impact people and that feeling of doing more than what you do for yourself is worth everything that you’re going to risk it for.

Gurpreet Saini

The man dons many hats. Gurpreet Saini is a poet, lyricist and actor. He is the man behind the lyrics of hit songs like Saadi Gali Aja, Atrangi Yaari, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (album), Dil Na Jaaneya, and many more. He recently featured in Disney+ Hotstar’s series called Showtime.

Poetry is always based on a story/incident that the poet has experienced or seen people around him experience. How often do you look around and come up with random yet intense poems?

I think for any poet or any artist including me, we don’t look or seek those experiences. Jab woh cheezein aapke saath hoti jaati hain toh woh aapki zehen mein baith jaati hain. When you’re open enough to understand that experience that has happened to you or you’ve seen or heard, is when it turns into poetry.

Jo mere saath cheezein hui hain chaahe woh mohabbat mein ho, kaam pe ho, zindagi mein ho, parivaar mein ho, unn cheezon ki shaayari banayi hain. Kahin baar yun hi sadak pe drive karte huye, chalte huye kuch saamne dikh gaya ya doston ke saath baat cheet karte huye bhi shaayari banayi hain. So, this is how it happens, but I don’t seek it. I just let it come to me.

|| Ishq tere mein gava di jo
Har geet mein vo jawani likhta hun

Pagal duniya ko lagta hai ki
Main mohtaaj koi kahani likhta hun ||

There’s always a popular interpretation that poets only write sad poems, what would you tell these people?

Udaasi waali baat, yeh actually sach bhi hain ki aksar udaas cheezon pe kavita likhi jaati hain, but mujhe aisa lagta hain ki any kind of pain opens your heart. You know how they say that ‘jaha se dil toot taa hain wahi se roshni andar aati hain.’ Toh jab aap udaas hote ho tab aapka dil khulta hain, tab aapko logo ki, duniya bhar ki udaasi dikhti hain. So i think, usse phir woh shaayari nikalti hain jo aksar udaas hoti hain.

Kuch log funny poetry likhte hain, inqalab likhte hain aur mohabbat bhi alag alag tareeke se likhte hain – positive bhi negative bhi. Par kahi na kahi shayar se pucho toh shayari ek udaasi se ek thes se hi shuru hoti hain.

|| Haan aksar main gham likhta hun
Khushi thodi si kamm likhta hun

Khushk dilon ki zameen par bhi bahaar aaye
To aankhon ka aasmaan zara namm likhta hun ||

Your poetry page is called “Mohtaaj“. For the readers who don’t know the meaning, can you explain the meaning of the word and also the reason for the word Mohtaaj for your poetry page?

Toh ‘Mohtaaj‘ ka jo mera takhallus i.e. mera pen name hain woh 2016 December mein mujhe ek kavita likhte waqt mila tha –

|| main jhootha
meri kalam hai sachi
eh mainu ilzaam deyo,

main shayar
lafzaan da “mohtaaj”
mainu hor na koi naam deyo ||

A liar I may be
but my pen speaks the truth
let me be blamed as such,

I am merely a poet
a “Slave” of my words
let me be named as such.

Toh yeh linein jab bani toh mujhe inmein ‘Mohtaaj‘ naam mila and I was looking for a pen name. Until then I was writing by the name Gurpreet Saini only aur takhallus har shayar ki ek need, ek desire bhi hoti hain. Ek naam jisse aap shayari mein jaane jao. Toh jab mujhe yeh kavita aayi khuda ki taraf se, ismein ‘Mohtaaj‘ likha hua mila toh maine usko apna liya and ussi takhallus se apna shayari page bhi shuru kiya.

You’re also an actor by profession, how does the skill of being a poet help you polish your skills as an actor or in real life in general?

Vaise actor mein bachpan se hoon, shayari baad mein aayi 2012 mein. Shayari ne mujhe zindagi ki gehraayi dikhaayi. Woh observation ki jo ek raah mujhe mili toh usse mujhe acting mein ek character prepare karne mein kaafi madad mili. Mujhe shayari ne bahut help kiya uss depth tak jaane mein.

Jab aap dusro ki shayari padhte ho, tab aapko unki zindagiyon ki experiences padne ko milte hain aur aapko lagta hain ki ‘mere saath jo cheezein ho rahi hain yeh sab ke saath huyi hain’. That we all humans are living the same experiences. Life is a rollercoaster and shayari mujhe life mein guide bhi karti hain bahut. Satinder Sartaj sahab, Gurdas sahab, Javed sahab, inki shayari ne mujhe bahut guide kiya hain low moments mein, to stay up and about in my life.

How beautiful was it to look at the world of poetry through the lenses of these terrific poets? They transported us to a whole different world and we’re sure you did too! Happy World Poetry Day! If you have a favourite poem or line that you wrote or heard, do mention it in the comments section below. We would love to read them all 🫶🏻