Friends are aware I’ve been living alone for eight years now. Of course, I’ve a family, consisting of my wife and son. Work that I do regularly does not allow me to stay with them. I’m living in a rented apartment for all these years—writing, editing, translating, and publishing both my stuff and that of other authors. Honestly, all these works eat much time and leave no space for personal recreations. My family suffers and so do I. However, it is now a standard routine—each day being an accurate replica of the previous day. You drop by our office; you will find me either reading (manuscripts by other authors) or editing (both others’ and mine) or writing (my stuff) or translating (Bengali poems by other poets). I’m busy always. I don’t know whether “busy” is the right word; you can conveniently replace it with “engaged.” Do I sleep at all? Oh, well! I thrive on naps.
I do speak with family and friends—only a handful and Sanjeev Sethi is certainly one of them. Do you know Sethi? He is an Indian poet who surfaces on international journals, zines, and magazines every alternate day. Trust me he is that widely published. Google “Sanjeev Sethi.” Alternatively, search him on Bing to know the truth. Let me tell you, Sethi has achieved much critical acclaim with his latest book, This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury 2015).
I was speaking with Sethi the other day. In fact, I shared my private life and discussed about my son, Aishikk. I forwarded a mail Aishikk wrote to me on his aspirations. I told Sethi, “If you want to write to my son, send him a mail.”
What follows is poetry! Sethi writes a poem after knowing about my son—from the discussions we had on phone, and the passage Aishikk wrote. He names it “Pitch.”
A friend on the frontier asks me to key
an upsy-daisy to his teen. Not a parent,
this librates me: the tensity of trust. How
does one draw near a perfect stranger?
To touch his core without cloying. How
to compose the right note, the correct beat,
the faultless keystrokes on this clavier?
© Sanjeev Sethi