Nandini Sahu (born 23 July 1973) is an Indian poet. writer and critic. She is also associate professor of English at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India. She has written several books including poetry in English. She is an acclaimed poet Her poetry is widely circulated in India, US, UK, Africa and Pakistan. She has won two gold medals in English literature and also the award of All India Poetry Contest and Shiksha Ratna Purashkar. She is also editor inchief of Interdisciplinary Journal of Literature and Language.
Sahu was born on 23 July 1973 in G. Udayagiri in Orissa, India. Her parents were teachers in Indian local schools. She and her five sisters grew up in an obedience life. She received her PhD degree on Indian English poetry under the guidance of prof Niranjan Mohanty. She is also obtaining D.Litt, on Native American Literature. She is serving as an associate professor of English language at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. She has also attended national seminars.
Santanu Haldar: Dr. Sahu, please tell us something about your childhood.
Nandini Sahu: Simple days spent in an idyllic pastoral Odisha village, G. Ugayagiri. My parents were both teachers in local schools and we were a family of 6 daughters, being brought up in a disciplined life as would befit the hinterland of India in the 1970s and 80s. The love of books and passion for reading enormously was always there as early in my life as I can recall. In fact, long spells of time I’d spend with Baba on Sundays, working at his school library in arranging and cataloguing books, and laying my hands on all sorts of books, from literature, science to homeopathy! I vividly recall how I’d look forward to this all through the week. I loved my studies, scored well every time and nurtured a nascent dream of becoming what I have really become today. In that sense, my childhood continues to be with me both in nostalgia and in reality!
SH: Tell us a bit about your little son Parthasarathi who is reading in class eight and writing poems as well.
NS: Oh yes..my son Parthasarathi Sahu (Sonu) is God’s choicest blessing for me. He is an intelligent, simple and sensitive child. He is creative; keeps writing stories, poems, diary and publishes in NBT, CBT journals and bolokids. He is a typical Delhite, which I could never become!! He is my dream come true, he makes me proud every single day.
SH: How do you define poetry?
NS: Santanu, your question makes me recall T.S Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent, in the sense that even a definition in ‘my own words’ will virtually mean all that has shaped me into the poet that I am today. Well, to put it in simplest terms, poetry to me is an expression of the incipient self …both an introspection and a liberation, an expression that is wily nilly shaped by a very intricate study of literature and musings on the journey of life–both aspects that I’ve always been very passionate about.
NS: I would quote a few Haikus:
LifeI am the wind to blow the light off
but I am the sturdy flame too,
I see and don’t see my body parts.
I flow down and undo the dichotomy
keep hanging and smiling
between the perished and the perennial.
Sandwiched between verbs
I am the subject at the core of being.
Whirling water, clean and clear
you assemble the broken pieces
in your graceful curves.
Tears theorize with condensed waters
and close accounts with history.
Tears burst a sovereign destiny to time.
He is nowhere here or anywhere.
Very much there in
the spirit sans love.
My sleep and sleeplessness
Is someone awake in me?
SH: Would you mention some of your poems which will establish your identity as a poet?
NS: There are many that I find close to my heart. Mostly from my first collection The Other Voice and the forthcoming one, Sukamaa and Other Poems.
SH: Thank you Dr. Sahu, for sparing your valuable time and sharing wonderful thoughts with me.