Actor Piyush Mishra, who wears many hats including that of a writer, has come out with his new book “Kuch Ishq Kiya Kuch Kaam Kiya”, an anthology of poems on love, work and restiveness written over a period of 20 years.
Mishra says the book, published by Rajkamal Prakashan and launched at the ongoing New Delhi Wold Book Fair, is a work of restiveness that gripped him while he worked extensively in theatre and moved in and out of love frequently.
“This work is reflective of the time when things were pretty bad with me. The time when I was an alcoholic, distraught and wanted to destroy myself. It belongs to the period when I was in theatre when I did a lot of work and engaged in love,” says Mishra, an alumnus of the National School of Drama.
“This entire book is filled with my ‘bechaini’. It is all a product of the restiveness that I was gripped in during that phase. There is no cinema, no theatre in this book. It is only the restiveness,” says Mishra, noted for his fidgety compositions in films like “Gangs of Wasseypur” and “Black Friday”.
The book, whose title Mishra admits has been “stolen” from a famous nazm of legendry Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, comprises
poems born out of his experiences with alcoholism, women and struggle in life.
“These poems are born of the spirit which Piyush Mishra has earned through my successes as well as failures,” the book notes.
Stressing that he is not some “Sahityakaar-vaahityakaar” (litterateur), Mishra says the works in this anthology was done only out of feelings, a lot of which evoked of failed relationships.
“Any relationship would be doomed even before it took off. It would be decided that the girl would not be happy with me… I was a destructive and violent person and this all is born out of that…it depicts my mental state from the year 1990 to 2010,” he says speaking about the book.
Mishra also says he has changed “a lot”
“I am a more spiritual person now. There’s a new melody in life now, thanks to Vipassana, Bhagwat Geeta and meditation. All these came in and and intoxications went out. I am not reticent to admit that there was a time when I was into inebriations, I was alcoholic. If the younger generation learns from it I would be more than happy,” he says.
Mishra, who appeared in popular films like “Rockstar” and “Tamasha”, says “if you write good, people will read it.”
When he did ‘Gulaal’, the 2009 political-drama in which he acted and wrote lyrics for, Mishra says, “I thought it would go above the head of youngsters… but it turned out that they were the ones who liked it the most and the film became popular in campuses.
“So to say, if you work good, people and the youth will listen to it, read it… else they will threaten you by walking over to watch films like ‘Masti’ and ‘Grand Masti’. When they ask for ‘Gulaal’ we should give it to them. It’s our responsibility; otherwise it means we are not working.”
About Hindi readership vis-a-vis English readers and sales of books, Mishra, whose latest would be his third book, attributed the “trend of English” to the “invasion and corporatisation” of literature.
“We do not have any self-respect. We got freedom in a very wrong way, in a haphazard manner. India and Pakistan are the two countries which do not have any self-respect. You go to Prague and speak English, they will throw you out. You go to France, they all speak in French, it is their prestige. Similarly in Italy or any other European nation. It is only in Asian countries that it’s difficult to work
without speaking English. We have lost our self-respect,” he said.
Mishra says he is not affected at all by the trend.
He is currently penning a fictional novel in Hindi which most likely is set to be published by the year end.
Among works that keep him busy besides cinema and theatre is also an upcoming musical band titled ‘Balli Maaraan’.