My poetry collection ‘Songs of Suicide’ recently got out worldwide. The collection has received a phenomenal response from audiences in all geographies, primarily in the USA. When the collection was released, I got in touch with my contacts and sent them the communication about its availability. Immediately, many of them came back to me and questioned as to why I chose this kind of outrageous subject for my poetry collection. Many of them in the first instance – I remember them telling me – felt shocked on reading the title. They found the title quite intimidating and replete with negative connotations, which could trigger a wave of suicide like the ‘Sorrows of Young Werther’. They thought that the book or the contents inside might be instigating people to commit suicide. But my argument has been pretty straight. The poems cropped out of my own observations of the society and troubled souls around.
I have written quite clearly in the introduction of the collection that the primary inspiration behind putting this book together has been my mother who suffered from a mental disease called ‘Acute Psychotic Disorder’ or APD for quite a long time. She was suicidal for almost two decades unless she had a doctor whose medication suited her well. We had tough time in looking after her and ensuring that she was safe ultimately and out of her age-old pain. Her suicidal memories had a deep influence me. And several of the poems in the collection directly point to her psychotic state and the trauma she suffered. But this is just one part.
Another major influence has been the trend of suicide in all age groups and in all social circles. I saw everyone including rich, poor, middle class, actors, artists, business people, among others. committing suicide. I tried to visualise their mental state and thought through the reasons that would have led them to take the extreme step. For example, during my travels to office through the Metro Rail, often times I experienced train delays due to people jumping on to the tracks and causing interruptions. The poem ‘Woman in the Metro’ originated through that experience alone.
I urge all of you to take time to grab a copy of the collection from the following links and share your valuable feedback. Since I’m also the editor of LiteraryYard.com, I would attribute your feedback appropriately on that website.