12 August 2023
“Poetry is said to be the only form of literature that reunites one with his or her soul. Honestly, I look at it differently. To me, poetry is always a medium of escape from reality, where anyone can feel what they want to and be who they want to,” said sixteen -year-old poet Nikasha Luthra during the unveiling of her maiden English poetry book ‘Dark Tulips’ here.
‘Dark Tulips’ – a collection of 33 poems penned by Vivek High School, Chandigarh’s, Class 10student Nikasha Luthra is about human emotions. Like the title of the book – the poems tell the readers to find the darkest part of their soul and grow flowers in them.
In the book, the teen poet has highlighted the battle that we all endure with ourselves in our daily lives. She has also touched upon societal issues like – rape, domestic violence, problems of the LGBTQIA+ community, the ongoing Russian and Ukrainian war, etc.
On being asked the reasons for picking up societal issues in her poetry, Nikasha elucidated, “I personally feel that as artists, poets, writers, we all have a responsibility on our shoulders to bring change and spread awareness in society. The overhyped subjects are very easy to talk about but to find a topic which is so emotionally charged up that it gives a shiver down people’s spine, is something really challenging!”
Nikasha said that an American poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe, is her all-time favourite and that she draws inspiration from him. Nikasha feels that though she has been able to publish her works due to parental support and the right professional guidance many young talented writers are not able to do so. This has propelled her to set up ‘Young Adult Literary Society’ that will provide a 360-degree support in publishing of young writers’ deserving works.
Meanwhile, the book does talk about grey shades of love – darkness, destruction and despair, but Nikasha added, “Through my poems, my sole purpose is to give readers a positive message – that all is not dark and depressing but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel.”
It is imperative to mention that, before launching the book in India, Nikasha has showcased her poetry book, ‘Dark Tulips’ at three places in Ireland – Embassy of India, Ireland; Griffith College, Ireland; and Writers Club of Drogheda recently. She received huge appreciation from eminent writers in Ireland. It is noteworthy that Nikasha before her poetry collection has also written a play which has been published as a book – ‘Flowers in Her Room’.
The media interaction was followed by ‘A poetic recitation and Art-Lit Adaptation’ ‘Discovering Devi’ – Hastinapur Se Manipur directed by Nisha Luthra was staged at the Mini Auditorium of Tagore Theatre. It was based on one of Nikasha’s poems. Nikasha also performed a small act on stage in the performed poetry presentation.
A short film directed by Nisha Luthra based on Nikasha’s poem ‘Outside The Safehouse’ was also screened. A formal unveiling of the book by eminent personalities that included guests – Dhananjay Chauhan, Transgender Rights Activist, Ms Gulshan Kaur, Principal, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula, Ms. Sinead Gilmartin, Embassy of Ireland, and Mr. Michale George Calegari, Embassy of the United States of America also took place.
Another highlight of the event was a panel discussion that saw prominent poets and literary bigwigs interacting with the teen poetess Nikasha. Shweta Malhotra, Suneet Madan, Sonika Sethi and Roopam Singh engaged Niskasha in an interesting conversation about her book. The discussion was conducted by Sonia Chauhan. The event’s master of ceremonies was Balpreet Kaur, a journalist, screenplay writer and filmmaker.