Devika Sajeev, a literature teacher from Cochin, has been engrossed in books ever since she was a child. She actively searches for new ways to express herself with all the words she has yet to write and say. Recently, she joined ‘Busking Kochi’ as a poetry busker – where she writes poetry about strangers and passerby’s.
“In a world that is too busy running, buskers take time to stop, sit around, speak to people and remind them of the power of conversation”, she says. Learn more about Devika, poetry busker and her love for literature as we chat with her.
Hey! Thank you so much for taking out time for us. Firstly, say hi to our readers!
Hi. My name is Devika Sajeev! I live in the beautiful city of Kochi and work as a professor of literature at St. Albert’s College, Ernakulam. I’m a teacher yet I’am still a student of literature. I grew up in a world of stories and storytelling. My mother would tell me a story each night without fail – I remember falling asleep to her voice. I also recall gazing at the photographs that my father took with immense fascination, imagining the stories behind them.
“Things that pass on from one generation to the next have something very special about them. That which is passed on, takes with itself a part of each person who held it with them. And every receiver gets a gush of familiarity and belonging, while clutching to it. I was blessed with something like that too. The love for reading.” – a passage from my blog.
It never feels tiresome to pursue any avenue that helps me listen to more stories. They flow into one another with ease. As a branch of the literary tree, is writing poetry about passerby’s at Busking Kochi events.
Introduce us to poetry busking and what you do in Busking Kochi?
I joined Busking Kochi when a friend asked me to turn up for one of their events. It was purely being at the right place at the right time, yet it moved me greatly. In a world that is too busy running, buskers take time to stop, sit around, speak to people and remind them of the power of conversation. We have voices, and we mustn’t forget what they sound like.
What do you hope people take away from your stories and poetry?
One very impactful moment in my life is when I lost my father a year back. He was the most jovial and humble individual I’d ever seen. A sportsman, photographer and lover of all art, he was an incredible man. The loss was almost too much to bear for my family.
But soldiering on and passing through the various stages of healing, I realized I wasn’t the only one coping with loss and trying to build myself back from rubble. This was the push I needed to begin my blog, to write, to share my thoughts, and journey. I found that in any story fiction or otherwise, neither us, nor characters escape the inevitability of loss.
I hope people realize that they aren’t the only ones feeling what they’re feeling. Our vulnerabilities and pain – breaks us but make us more human, more capable of love, and reminds us of our capacities for kindness and goodness.
How would you describe your creative philosophy?
I’ve always shared stories, poetry and ideas that felt deeply personal and intimate – something honest. My writing philosophy is quite simple, I try to remind people of the little things in life. Things the world’s race can make you forget. And through reminding you, I try to remind myself. I wish they remember to look around and see joy in little things.
Why do you busk? What value does it bring to you and to others?
After my first experience busking, I realized I was going to keep doing it. Nothing is more humbling, fulfilling, and awakening like sitting down with someone and absorbing their story. Buskers have the power to ask someone for their stories, to ask someone for their time, to ask someone to sit down, talk and walk away with art.
Busking reminded me that our world has infinite space for stories, thoughts. Busking taught me that no matter how long the time, I’ll still have stories to listen to. For people we talk to, busking tells them that their stories are beautiful, valid and worth listening to. That there will always be someone who wants to listen. Always.
Tell us a little bit about your process.
With my blog, I write about anything that comes to me. A dialogue, an image, a smell or a snippet of a thought. With my Instagram page, I take photographs and whatever I feel when I see them – I write in quite a stream-of-consciousness way of expression. Without further edits, I post them. As for busking, it’s all about the conversation and what I feel highlights them as a person, or about their way of talking or being, and also any important things that they mention that I would remember forever. Its even more instant that Instagram but the human conversation takes patience, an open heart, and empathy.
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