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HomeEntertainmentThe Sensational "One-Minute-Poet" Of Instagram In A Candid Conversation With Us

The Sensational “One-Minute-Poet” Of Instagram In A Candid Conversation With Us

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Amidst this lockdown, we have with us the poet with a golden voice, Tushar Sen, who has turned his Instagram page into a small radio station he calls “Radioactive Tushar”.

We call him the One-Minute-Poet whose works are confined to a minute-long oration delights on the social media platform.

What makes this radio station special is that it won the hearts of innumerable listeners with such humble grounding, based solely on high quality content.

Q: Lockdown was a period where a lot of enthusiasts took up a lot of activities and the social media was suddenly flooded with content even from users who weren’t so active otherwise. But, the lockdown turned longer than expected and most of this effervescence fizzled out after the first couple of weeks. But you kept going, putting up one poem after the other, each more refined than the last one. What drives you to produce such content day after day without losing the spark?

Tushar: I second your thoughts totally, a lot of people started a lot of stuff at the onset of the lockdown and some of them I did see fizzling out, and that’s mostly because of lack of zest or the passion for the work they decided to pursue digitally. If we are trying to post for trivial things like followers or likes or views then that’s not going to work, of course it provides immense boost to our confidence to see social acceptance but then that’s a byproduct of the process. What I learnt from this process is that people reward good content, and good content needs to be contemporary and relatable to the set of audience you are reaching out to. The content that we release digitally has the power to reach every single smartphone in the world, but how many of us are able to even scratch the surface let alone reaching out to the world. It works the other way round, build on good content and let it speak for itself. Audience will catchup gradually.

Q: Our team went through all your episodes and one thing that really stands out is your diction, the right word at the right place. Urdu is not your first language so then how did you manage to get such command over this language? Also, tell us about your journey as an author, screenwriter and a poet.

Tushar singer poet

Tushar: If Urdu is not my first language, then what is? This is what I ask myself, I believe any language that we are in love with is our first language. I’m so deeply and immensely in love with this language that the mere mention of it makes go weak on my knees. Urdu is much richer than most of the other languages in the world especially in terms of diction, so much so that it seems like this was the only language that was created solely for the purpose of poetry. I’m far from having any command on the language, I’m still a student on the shore learning to swim in the shallows, someday not so distant from now I might dive into the depths of this language and may even discover some pearls for myself. My journey as a writer began pretty early, I wrote short stories that won awards, and that made me ambitious enough to write a book. And when the book was not enough I wrote a film, had it not been for the lockdown, it should have been out by now. I used to write poems in English earlier. I turned to Urdu for poems only during lockdown mostly because I wanted to reach out to a wider audience, simply because, not a lot of people enjoy poems by Shelley and Byron but then everyone enjoys the works of Gulzar Saab and Javed Saab in my country.

Q: The radio station you started would surely incur cost, software, subscriptions and hardware support, how do you manage the cost and revenue balance sheet? Our readers would also like to know about the branding you provide on your radio, Studio 3.

Tushar: Just like my radio station, Studio 3 also is a small production company label I own that produces small films (short-films). Currently there’s just cost, no revenue and therefore no balance sheet to balance. Writing poems and sticking a picture version of it on Instagram is easy and costless. Reciting those poems and posting a video version involves a little cost pertaining to software purchases, subscriptions etc. I invested in a state of the art microphone that makes me sound that good, otherwise one can hardly bear with my voice in person. Besides the monetary investment there is mental and physical investment too. My friends still feel it’s all very easy for me since I’m a writer, but then my fellow aspiring poets who message me about their poems know what goes in creating a single piece.

I would like to narrate a story here for the benefit of my readers, Picasso was waiting for his coffee at a coffee shop and to kill time he started sketching on a paper napkin. Upon finishing his coffee, he recklessly folded the napkin and kept it in his jacket pocket. A lady who was observing him came up to him and asked for that paper napkin, to which Picasso replied “that would be $100,000.” The lady was shocked she said “it took you just a few minutes to draw and you ask for $100,000!” Picasso smiled and said “it took me a few minutes because I have spent the last 40 years honing my skills.”

Q: Apart from the brilliance of the poems, the other thing that stands out in all your content is the voice modulation. Did you go through a formal training or this too is self-taught?  What does it take to get to such flawless recitation?

Tushar: Besides good genes you mean? Singing comes naturally to me, and that might be manifesting in my oration. Needless to say it takes practice, besides being comfortable with the language one needs to fully resonate with what she/he has written. If it isn’t from the depths of your heart it will show in your narration. To emote one must feel the subtlety of the character in question, the pathos of the depressed heart-broken lover for example, or the ecstasy of someone who has recently found love and so on and so forth. Unless we submit to the fabric of the poem, unless the character in the poem starts to speak with us and unless I want to express myself fully to the world good narration would continue to pose a challenge. When all else fails, practice till you make it.

Q: And why do you never cross the one-minute mark, I am sure listeners would want to hear more of you. Why have you decided to become this One-Minute-Poet on your radio station? Any plans to address a live crowd and recite your poems in your baritone voice?

Tushar: I hope I put an end to this question today, because this question haunts me in my inbox. I like the title though, “One-Minute-Poet”, sounds like a book-series I read as a management student. One minute recitations help me tackle 2 problems; first I hate the “keep watching” button that appears on Instagram after a minute, it just breaks the flow of the presentation and secondly, the attention span of today’s youth is not more than a minute. About 71% of Instagram users are below 35 years of age, and to expect them to stick around for more than a minute when I’m just starting to establish myself as a poet would be suicidal. One of my listeners in fact has booked me for a live recitation, so may be after the lockdown gets over I would get on the stage to recite for the first time ever in my life, baritone voice would totally depend on the quality of the microphone they organize for a small time poet like me.

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