Bipin Nayak bags the Orissa Sahitya Akademi award for his anthology of poems Swarachitra (2014) announced this week, thanks to his versatility and vivid imagery. Tall in stature, shy and soft-spoken, the poet interacts with Ramesh Patnaik about the various nuances of his work of art and the guiding Spirit behind:
Q- How do you see the award coming your way after retirement from government service?
A This is just fallout of several years of creative workmanship. It has come naturally. There is no pretension. I have not submitted the book to the Akademi. Frankly, I am elated by the award. But this is not the end result of my creative journey.
Q- Did poetry come to Bipin Nayak spontaneously or with effort? n It comes to me spontaneously. But my first book Padasabda was printed when I was a 43 year-old. Writing as a creative process is different from coming to limelight. I have written good, bad and mediocre poems. By publishing a poem you expose yourself as a person before your readers who may judge your weaknesses too. Once a wrong poem gets into print, you cannot take it back. Thankfully, my readers have accepted me along with my vulnerabilities.
Q- You were known for your lyrical structure with modern outlook. n The rhythm behind my words manifests my poetic years of hibernation subconsciously.
Readers have accepted me as I am. I have not written anything which I did not experience. The seeds of my poems are deeply ingrained in the psyche. Sanatan, the farmer in my vil
lage, lurks in my poetry: Sanatana is singing a pastoral elegy Somewhere from pristine darkness After sunset at the burial ground, Through his porous bones
On river bank singing Hymns or draining grain…
Q- How did you choose your genre? n I enjoy writing poetry. The genre came to me on its own from my adolescence. Words which are vehicles of expression need not be read through their surface meaning. Poetry is an expression of ideas from the subconscious and the subtle mind.
Q- How do you distinguish between life and death? n Life is the sum total of human emotions, experience from the physical, mental and psychic realms. In death, we experience nothing. No one can experience or visualise death. The poet loves and celebrates life, not death.
Q- What does love stand for in the poet’s life? n It’s an ideal I cherish to live with. It is not attainable. You may call it Platonic or anything for that matter. When I knock at my beloved’s door, I realise I am at the Singhadwar of Srimandir, my pilgrimage….