T M Karthik on being lovesick and his debut book of poetry
After keeping his verses under his hat for four years, theatre artiste-actor T M Karthik finally releases his poems as a compendium
T M Karthik, a familiar face on the stage and the silver screen with movies such as Life of Pi, Nanban and Indru Netru Naalai might soon find a corner in your bookshelf with his debut release Diary of the Mad Hatter, an anthology of nearly 50 poems published by Partridge, a wing of Penguin publications.
The love nucleus
The poems began to take shape in 2007 as a writing spree hit Karthik and ended abruptly in 2013 —
those poems finally saw daylight only this year. “There was no particular reason, but the anguish to write was superseded by the drive to perform on stage,” discloses Karthik, who has starred in 60 theatre productions since 1994. A lion’s share of the compilation illustrates the myriad shades of love and the maladies that come with it. “I wrote a lot on love when I was a 20-something and lovesick, but my thoughts matured as I aged,” says the former techie, co-founder of the behavioural training wing of Evam which is now popular for its performing arts stream.
The poetry was not meant to be exposed to the world reveals Karthik. “The writing was like my diary, an exposition of my feelings,” he quips. A couple of his poems shared with friends and social media caught on in the grapevine, and finally spurred him to publish them all.
Wellspring of ideas
Karthik traces his first inspirations back to Sandhya Shankar, his sister. “She is a phenomenal poet, but shied away from publishing. Her poems hit me hard as a school boy, for she could paint an
entire emotional graph in just about 16 lines,” reminisces the 48-year-old actor.
You can watch him on stage soon in It Runs in the Family, written by Ray Cooney, which will be staged by the Madras Players next month. Meanwhile, on the big screen, he will be seen in A L Vijay’s directorial venture Karu, which will star Naga Shourya and Sai Pallavi.
Diary of the Mad Hatter is available on amazon.in at Rs 199.