Posted On : October 18 2019
Writer : Gunjan Joshi
About Sarah Berry: Her repertoire of writings range across a myriad of domains: social causes, culture, diplomacy, management, education, and many more. Her pieces have found prominent visibility in publications like The Hindu, Tribune, The Statesman, The Sunday Guardian, Assam Tribune, Navodya Times, Terra Green, Business World (Education), India Today, Education World, People and Management, The Diplomatist, The Patriot and others. Diverse online portals like The Dialogue, The Logical Indian, CSR/NGO Box, Rural Marketing, News Nation, to name a few, have also seen her articles feature in them.
Sarah’s encounter with poetry began at the age of six, when she penned her first poem. This collection, spread over many years, was published in her first book of poetry: The Awakening, in 2011. Thereafter, she has published three books, the most recent being Kasturi – The Journey Within.
About the book: Kasturi – The Journey Within is a book that encompasses the journey of life through the wonderful medium of poetry. Its strength lies in the deep bond it forms with the reader due to the fact that it is relatable and easy to understand. The poems reflect a plethora of emotions: hope, despair, love, loss, and so much more. This work serves as an excellent medium for retrospection and introspection, encouraging the reader to discover the world within.
Here is an excerpt of Gunjan Joshi’s conversation with Sarah Berry…
What should one decipher from the title of your debut book ‘Kasturi’?
The title refers, metaphorically, to introspection. In today’s fast paced times, the self has been buried in a cocoon amidst layers of materialistic endeavours. The name of the book ‘Kasturi’, subtitled ‘A Journey Within’, hopes to kindle the spirit of introspection and reflection – essential for the growth and development of an individual. The poems are life-centric, relatable and understandable.
Indian English poetry has rudiments from verses of Kalidasa and Ghalib. Being bilingual, is your book also an allegory of Indian pluralism?
I hail from a multicultural background – something that has helped colour my roots in different hues. I feel that just as my self reflects an amalgamation of east meets west, the media of my expressions portray the same too, and that includes poetry. For me, inclusion of languages encourages diverse thinking, essential for intercultural intelligence. After all, the world is one family – more so now than ever before.
Poems such as Questions in Transit and The Awakening depict our sentient non-acceptance towards change in our lives. What do you have to say about it?
Change is the only constant in life. The journey, we call life, portrays this heavily. However, it may well be that at any instance in life, the will and/or capability to change lies in a state of inertia. Acceptance and surrender to a higher force form the crux of life, ultimately. This is something we all face at some point or the other.
Do you think every adult suffers from the nostalgia pertaining to long forgotten things and times as depicted in your poems Windows and Memories of Another Day in Time?
Yes. I feel so, though the degree of déjà vu varies. I think ‘suffer’ may be a strong word to use; experience could be a more apt word in this context. Memories are part of everyone’s life; they serve as building blocks, sometimes as support systems, and sometimes as regrets. Important is to move on, relishing, and not regretting the past.
Are women poets and authors such as Mahadevi Verma and Amrita Pritam, who also wrote about strife in routine life, feminism, and lost love, become a representation of rebellion against patriarchy?
Feminism is a term that conjures many emotions, thanks to varying perceptions. Contemporary poets have portrayed their journeys, whenever they have in their writings, with poignancy and candour. What may be an expression by one demanding acceptance may be coined as rebellion by another. The crux remains that poetry has and will always be a powerful medium of expression – no matter the barriers, including gender.
Which contemporary women poet do you admire most and why?
There a number, but two names come to my mind spontaneously: Kamala Das and Maya Angelou – both for their undying spirit and belief in living life to the fullest, no matter what challenges life throws, no matter the highs, and no matter the lows.
About the poet: Sarah Berry hails from a multicultural background, her roots influenced by western and eastern cultures. She brings with her 24 years of professional experience ranging from aviation, tourism, and training to public diplomacy, public relations and writing.
Bookaholicanonymous thanks Gunjan Joshi for her support and Sarah Berry for taking out time for this conversation.