Nirmika Singh's latest poem urges for immediate action to stop climate change
It’s the two strong emotions of ‘frustration’ and ‘anger’ that nudged Nirmika Singh to pen down Kuch Aise Badley Duniya, the Hindi poem that the poetess and lyricist recited at TedXGateway Climate Countdown Conference, held last month. Singh, who joined the ranks of change-makers like Chris Hemsworth, Prince William, Al Gore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Pope Francis through the conference feel strongly for the planet. Here she speaks in length about her online poetry series Aur Suno her commitment towards poetry and more. Excerpts:
When did you pen down Kuch Aise Badley Duniya (May The World Change In Such A Way)?
I had jotted down the rough thoughts for Kuch Aise Badley Duniya about a month ago when I was thinking of launching a new poetry series on the theme of a liberated, harmonious world - one that is free of the evils of inequality, injustice and all sorts of degradation. Co-incidentally or serendipitously, the TedXGateway opportunity came around the same time. So, the final poem as you see it in the video shaped up just a night before the event.
What was it that triggered it?
The poem came from a place of frustration and anger. The immediacy of the climate problem was the biggest trigger for me. While we all understand the gravity of the global climate crisis, we haven't done enough to make it an issue that demands our urgent attention. This poem articulates a simple emotion -- that we have only one home and we need to act now before it's too late.
Tell us more about the poem.
The poem Kuch Aise Badley Duniya makes a raw emotional appeal to everyone to stand up and take notice. And most importantly, to act immediately. Through my simple, humble words, I have only attempted to nudge everyone to pay heed to the breathless jungles and the biodiversity in need of protection. The poem also urges everyone to start small.
How was the experience of reciting it at TEDXGateaway Countdown?
Reciting a poem on a global platform such as TEDXGateway Countdown was a big honour for me, as an Indian, as a woman and as an artist. What made it truly special was the fact that I performed my poetry in my mother tongue - Hindi. It was my privilege to represent my language and my culture while making a global statement on the current climate crisis. I couldn't believe that I got a chance to share the platform with so many inspiring changemakers from around the world -- Al Gore, Pope Francis, Prince William, Priyanka Chopra and others. I really do hope that people around India and the world urgently and consistently act on making our environment greener and safer.
Tell us about your association with poetry.
I never intended to be a 'poet' -- it is such a loaded, hefty term! But writing is in my genes. Both my parents are poets and wrote and performed extensively in the Delhi literary circles during the revolutionary Eighties and Nineties. I grew up in a home where creativity was nurtured and encouraged. I grew up to become a journalist but my commitment to poetry really took shape when I started sharing a lot of verses on Instagram under the hashtag #AurSuno. Thanks to that outlet, I now feel complete as an artist!
Tell us about AurSuno and its journey so far.
I launched the Hindi poetry series #AurSuno on my Instagram in 2019. #AurSuno is a chronicle of my life and with this series, I am simply articulating some of my deepest, most intimate feelings about causes that matter to me – whether it's feminism, love, failing society, a broken relationship, or my own body issues. It is perhaps because my words are bare, honest and vulnerable that people can relate to them.
When we shot the first edition of #AurSuno, we didn't really have an agenda. I wanted to perform my poems in a way that I recite them in my head -- so we hired a studio, placed a chair in the middle, and rolled the camera! What you see in the final videos might best be described as a mix of spoken word with solo theatre. I am an extremely passionate person and for me, these poems are the purest form of my artistic self-expression.
The journey so far has been very rewarding and empowering. I receive so much love from women especially those in tier-2 cities who feel an urgent need to express but don't have the avenues. I am also grateful to my creative team who have helped me bring my project to life
What's next in the pipeline?
I am happy to announce that I am beginning my entrepreneurial journey this year. I have been working on a music start-up that will focus some of the most neglected aspects of the music industry -- creative development and artist branding. I will be making an official announcement soon. We are also shooting a new series for #AurSuno with a new look and theme. I am also working on my debut poetry book. There's a lot to look forward to and I am exciting for the creative months ahead.