Biography of Geet Chaturvedi
Geet Chaturvedi (Hindi: गीत चतुर्वेदी) is a well-known Hindi poet, short story author and journalist. He was awarded the prestigious Bharat Bhooshan Award for poetry in 2007.
Geet was born on 27 November 1977 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He lives in Bhopal, India. He is one of the few writers of his generation who is skillful in both verse and prose- both as a fiction writer and critic. He has been named one of the 'Ten Best Writers' of India by esteemed English daily The Indian Express.
Geet Chaturvedi is the author of five books including two translations of Pablo Neruda and Charlie Chaplin. He published three books in 2010, a book of poetry Aalaap mein girah, and two collections of stories Savant Auntie ki Larkiyan and Pink Slip Daddy. His stories are quite longer in their length and he insists to call them novella, as he says in an interview, there is no synonym for longer short stories in Hindi and novella is the best word to name this form of writing.
His stories Savant Auntie ki Larkiyan, Sahib Hai Rangrez and Gomootra are widely talked about. His novella Pink Slip Daddy (2009) was considered as one of the best works of fiction in recent year's Hindi writing by noted literary periodical Kathadesh.
Once wanted to be a rockstar, Geet Chaturvedi is deeply influenced by world literature, world cinema and western classical music. He is a Post-Modern writer and his major themes are alienation, homogenization, betrayal in love and corporate life, emotions of economic under-development and life in the provincial landscapes of Mumbai. His hometown Mumbai, often, comes as a character rather than a city, like the novels of Orhan Pamuk.
His prose and poetry are distinct combination of eastern and western world. It makes him to be considered as one of the few truly urban writers of Hindi. His major influences are Veda Vyasa, Shankaracharya, Homer, Kalidasa, Dante along with the post-modern giants of twentieth century like Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Orhan Pamuk.
In an interview, Geet says, "(After reading Borges and Shankaracharya) I find that a writer lives in the 25th hour of the watch. This is not independent of the 24 hours (of a day). It's (about) residing in the absent. When you do so, you participate in all other presences of the cosmos."
He employs multi-layered narratives into his fiction and looks at the cinema to get his creative fodders. He uses cinematic techniques of master filmmakers in his fiction. Krzysztof Kieslowski, for instance, tell him how a frame can swiftly carry a couple of overlapping or independent tales, the secondary characters emerging as primary ones in the next. While he can appreciate Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki's minimalism, his fiction weaves a complex structure of incidents and characters.
His long poem Ubhaychar (The amphibian), published in 2010, is also taken as one of his major achievements.
Chaturvedi was awarded the Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Award in 2007 for his poem Mother India appeared in the October 2006 issue of journal Vagarth. His poetry has been translated into more than eight languages.
Many senior writers and literary journals consider him one of the best writers in India. Legendary critic Namvar Singh has named him as one of the best poets and novelists of the first decade of the 21st century. While internationally acclaimed poet-critic Ashok Vajpai, in an interview, says, "Geet Chaturvedi has shown a truly avant-garde spirit in his fiction and poetry. He brings his vast reading, unusual for his generation, to bear effortlessly on his writing, which is innovative in language and style. He has an evolving vision, which is not bogged down by cliches or clutches of current ideological stances."
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Geet Chaturvedi Poems
Saare Sikandar Ghar Lautne Se Pahle Hi M...
Manthartaa Se Thakaan
Aansu Chaand Ki Aankho Se Nahi, Uske Tha...
THE FIVE ELEMENTS
From my body, take earth and sprinkle on barren lands From my body, take water and bestrew the desert with streams From my body, take the sky and build roofs for the homeless From my body, take air and purify the breath of factories From my body, take fire, your heart is frightfully cold
A MOVING SONG OF THE MIDDLE CLASS
This is one of the rhymes Taught in Shri Guru Gobind Singh Hindi Primary School One of the quavering anthems of olden days sung by those Now addressed as ma-baba-grandma It is someone's idea of fun or pastime, rhythm-non-rhythm-marching-rhythm Oh look, the vermilion-anointed forehead of the Queen is still the same Or to all of history it shows the power of the power game. This is the broad formula of Eastern metaphysics - That everyone has to die one day. Oops! In the rhyme-story invoked at the end, No one among the three died dawdling, they died Doing their work, hup ho! they died fighting their war, bravo! Why isn't there a word like martyr for them - bearing such a placard Was the man who just passed by me, named Swami Varg-Chaitanya Kirti-Akankshi 1008¹ Like our tribal poet, Bhujang Meshram² I too had asked innocently About Sivakasi³ the city that makes firecrackers - Why doesn't its childhood ever go away? The less the IQ, the better the poem would be; life too. I say, wherever you have to live, take retirement from there; In so doing, you'd derive the pleasure of a duplex house :-) Dear me, no! This is not a classroom struggle between Class 1-A and 1-B This struggle is intricate, as cryptic as my class-map. To present anything the way it is, would be against our customs So the way I've come to office in my Bermudas and t-shirt (I warned you this would happen) The same way in this preshentation I päshte A moving song of my middle class, read carefully: The King died in the war he fought The Queen died in the cooking pot The Children died studying a lot . . .
I'm not mine, but someone else's politics. I'm someone else's hidden agenda. By my very being, if someone reaped his well-being That would only be my misfortune. I'm not mine But someone else's name. For a citizenship of Hell I had not made any request But was despatched here On someone else's ticket.
(OTHER) WORLDLY FOLK TALE
Once upon a time, there was a Seed. It had an Earth. They both loved each other. The Seed rollicked and rolled in the lap of the Earth, and wanted to remain there forever. The Earth kept it secure within her arms and would repeatedly urge it to sprout. The Seed was reluctant. The Earth thirsted in fecund heat. One day, it rained and the Seed could not defer its sprouting. Half-heartedly, it put forth shoots and soon thereafter became delightfully absorbed in growing. Mental abstraction is a delightful idyll too. It grew a good deal and rose to a great height. The earth does not grow in height but spreads out. Much as a tree may expand by spreading out, its upward growth is its identity. They both grew apart. The roots stayed in the ground, so to speak, but to date, who has ever regarded roots as trees? A tree is that which furthers itself away from the earth. If it remained glued, it would be grass. The Tree wishes to go back being a Seed again. The Earth wishes to take back her blessing. It saddens the Tree that it can never again become that single Seed. However, it would certainly turn into a thousand seeds. The Earth would never be able to feel the soft touch of that very same Seed. For her, the Tree would merely be a shadow. Every single thing in life does not have an obverse to it. Night is not a dark Day, and Day is not a bright Night. Moon not a cold Sun, and Sun not a hot Moon. The Earth and the Sky meet nowhere. Nowhere at all. I go and stand very near the Tree and whisper, You hear me, you are Seed even now. That very same Seed. Don't let height intoxicate you. Even now you are not grown. You are merely Earth's imagination. All trees grow in imagination. In memory, they always remain seeds.
Tutkar Bhi Tani Hui