It is somewhat difficult for a fickle human mind to make a connection between an actor – with the typical, clichéd demeanor of a Hindi movie villain – and a sensitive poet. But, as actor Naseeruddin Shah states on the cover of the book, Unsung, it’s actually true that actor Arunoday Singh’s “formidable physique” harbors “a gift for words.” However, the 39-year-old stands for poetry over prose, to share his musings with the world.
“Having the Persona” [I have] doesn’t mean I can’t have a sensitive soul. That has nothing to do with how you look or how people think you are. That’s who you are… I think there’s a little bit of a poet in everyone, no matter where they come from,” says Singh, a former literature student. Excited to invade the poetry space and show his prowess, in his recently released debut collection of poems, he almost swears not to write a memoir; despite the fact that many young actors have already walked that path. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever write my memoirs! I do not need; I leave poetry. I’m too young to even think about [writing a memoir]† My life has been very exciting. I’ve had a great life. But I think you should skip the memoir unless you’ve had a life of a certain momentum or that has impacted the world. Nobody needs to know anything about my life (laughs). If they care enough about you, they know about you. I don’t need to write anything more, and you don’t need to know anything more about me than what I write. All the personal details of my life are mine,” says Singh, who candidly reveals in this work how he first found his muse in a girl during his days at the boarding school.
Singh has been part of movies such as Mohenjo Daro (2016), Blackmail (2018) and the web show Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein, and at heart is a compulsive writer of poetry. He says he can “write anywhere,” even mentioning in the book, “I stopped making love, to write something down before I lost it.”
However, there is no reference to the time periods in which he wrote these now published poems, but some are his “version of a quarantine poem”. Referring to one of them, he shares how he wrote it during the “first lockdown”, explaining: “I got divorced a few months ago; otherwise I would have spent the lockdown with my wife (Lee Elton). When I wrote that me ‘learning to dance, the year they banned the music’ meant that now I was free again, and ready to be clear and clean and on my own terms, and then there was a lockdown So that’s my metaphor for being in quarantine… That’s what I like about poetry, it has nothing to do with how I felt when I wrote it The point is, how you feel, that’s why I never mention them, because I don’t want to at all that you have an idea of what to think. Just read it and some of it will be terrible and some of it will be sweet, and somewhere in between is OK.”
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