All great poets succeed in creating euphony; Sanjeev Sethi isn’t an exception. He is an exceptional wordsmith with a profound consciousness of letters. The following poem opens with the title itself: a practice Sethi commonly employs, and integral to the stylistics of his works.

Inducement | Sanjeev Sethi

Instructions are installed
in our core:
there’s no toggle to turn.
Happiness is a wallet
I left at a lover’s vault.

Cheerlessness is my chaperon.
What’s my catalyst
to keep on truckin’?
His omnipresence.
He erases the offensive.

Source: Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower
Edited by Kiriti Sengupta | Anu Majumdar | Dustin Pickering
Hawakal May 2020

The first stanza is dark, embellished with sequins: “Happiness is a wallet / I left at a lover’s vault.” Sethi turns melancholic as he moves further: “Cheerlessness is my chaperon.” Sorrow cannot hold him back for long. Crumb’s proverbial maxim becomes his mantra for life: Keep on truckin’. As the Urban Dictionary suggests, this “extremely popular 1960’s hippie saying” encouraged people “to feel confident about staying true to their own chosen life path and not allowing the outside world to get them down or force them to change who they wanted to be.”

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door—Sethi marks devotion as the gateway to optimism. Colin Powell says, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” Ignoring low spirits is grueling if not defended. Faith uncomplicates life. Sethi does not endorse the Almighty. He upholds his belief in God’s omnipresence to remain positive: “He erases the offensive.” Thus, Sethi evolves as an optimist. Khalil Gibran once remarked, “The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns.” One doesn’t need to be a believer to appreciate Sethi’s “Inducement.” We need to cultivate positivity in the unprecedented events in life. — Kiriti Sengupta