Following is an interview of mine by Nainika Gautam, Gargi Publishers.
Author of “Mahlon Ko Bikte Dekha Hai”, Piyush is a research scholar working on cancer biology at present. He has always been an avid reader and writer, and he got addicted to poetry during his school days. He loves to use the name ‘Kaviraj’ when he is in his land of rhymes and rhythm and uses his blog and other websites to convey his feelings and musings. He has a love for languages, especially Hindi.
Piyush aspires to be a socio-political activist to help society. He believes that we owe so many things to the society that we can’t get rid of our responsibility of paying back/returning the favour. He, along with some like-minded friends, tries to contribute to society through social services, be it through guidance to cancer patients and their relatives, blood donations, or visiting orphanages/shelter-homes.
He can be reached at
Here we get to know him more closely:
Nainika: Hi Piyush, please tell us something about yourself.
Piyush: Hello Nainika and all the literature enthusiasts.
I am Piyush.
I am a cancer Research Fellow at Tata Memorial Centre. I have been writing poems in Hindi and English since my schools days and of late, I have also started to write short stories. I enjoy both research and literature and have published research articles as well as literary collections. I also try to help the underprivileged, cancer-patients and needy people, with the help of my friends around. We have set up an organization called ‘The Benevolent Fools’ for this purpose.
Nainika: Since you are a research scholar working in cancer biology, how do you think can your passion of writing help you there?
Piyush: My passion for research and writing complement each other and enable a mutual growth. Research not only involves experiments but also communicating our research and findings to the peer and people in the most effective way. Thus writing comes into rescue there. Science research helps us to identify problems, think logically and find the most feasible solution. This aspect has helped my writing which has become more methodical and logical with time.
Nainika: Being a social activist, how do you think can your write-ups help you to make the world best place to live in?
Piyush: I have been trying to contribute to the society in my own ways, but I need to do more to qualify as a real social activist. As I mentioned earlier, Science research helps us to identify and solve problems. But writing helps us in bringing our findings to the general public as well as the specialists. Thus I can do a better research on the problems present in our society and can collaborate with personnel who can help us solve them. Our writing skills can make people aware of the situation in the society and also brings to the light the people who have, in their own way, inspired others to make the world a better place.
Nainika: Which genre do you feel most comfortable to write?
Piyush: I feel most comfortable writing poems. It comes naturally to me. I try to write more on social aspects now.
Nainika: If you would not have been a poet, what would you have loved to be?
Piyush: I would have loved to be a musician, if I had not been a poet. Music gives me a strength which I can’t express in words.
Nainika: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Piyush: I am not sure if I have understood the question properly. I try to avoid flowery languages and complex sentence constructions so that my readers are able to understand and appreciate what I write, not how I write. And writing in a simple but lucid language is actually tough. I also find it a bit difficult to write stories and am trying to get over the problems.
Nainika: Please throw some light on your story “The Guinea Pig” in Crumpled Voices-2
Piyush: When I was told about the concept of the Anthology- Innocence lost (Crumpled Voices 2), I liked it very much. News on child mishandling and exploitations are a daily affair in the leading newspapers. Many a times, even educated parents lack the awareness on these issues. Hence stories can be a good medium to highlight such issues plaguing the society and inform people. When I heard this concept, I was reading about ‘holocaust’ and the atrocities on Jews. Thus I wrote this story to underline the ordeal children might have gone through during the Second World War. It was not a usual war where people were just killed. They were exploited even after their gruesome death. The situation of children remain same; the method of abuse changes. In a so called ‘peaceful’ society, war is replaced by other measures. We need to figure them out and act against them.
Nainika: How do you think your story can inspire society?
Piyush: ‘The Guinea Pig’ tries to tell us that children are most-affected by all the calamities. The situation worsens in case of a man-made one. Children are abused physically and emotionally. Even today, they are being used as domestic helps and child-laborers in spite of legislation against it. They need to be educated and nourished for a better future of the nations and those of us who are privileged enough have to assert our moral rights to take care of such unlucky children. We need more of the likes of Kailash Satyarthi.
Nainika: Please tell us something about the lead characters of your story.
Piyush: The lead character of the story has undergone a traumatic condition in her war affected country and suffered all sorts of weird experiments in captivity. She would have lost faith in humanity and could have died unknown. But she got the guidance of a nice lady. Thus she grew up to be a responsible person who fought for the rights of children and rehabilitated them to better conditions. Having gone through a tormented childhood, she understood what children may go through; children are meant to be loved and nurtured, not to be experimented upon. They can’t be treated as guinea pigs, lest they are scarred for the rest of their lives.
Nainika: Would you like to give any message to our readers?
Piyush: As I said, we need more of the likes of Kailash Satyarthi. But isn’t it shameful that most of us didn’t know about a person who had been working for child welfare? I am ashamed that I had not heard about him till the day Nobel Peace prize was announced last year. We try to give our own sons/daughters all the comfort while don’t even notice the rag pickers on garbage heaps, beggars on traffic signals, and waiters working for chai-wallas. Let’s be more generous. Let’s help at least one unprivileged child, other than our own and we will actually rebuild and refurbish our own future.
(This interview was taken by Nainika Gautam under the internship program by Gargi Publishers)