In September-October, 2017, Coldnoon celebrated six years of publishing, and travelling with you. To mark our anniversary, we got together with writers, intellectuals and stalwarts of the art of thinking (and travelling). Here is an interview with Kushanava Choudhury.
We believe making travel arrangements; we subconsciously tend to eliminate those possibilities which we deem unfit to perceived etiquettes, or norms or occasions. Our understanding of travel is based on premises that define what travelling is not. Is writing for you a similar activity, where you are conscious of what writing is not? If so, what according to you is not writing?
Money, mafia, moaning is not writing.
Besides writing what would you most like to be known for?
I would to be known as my late mother’s little son in my small Punjabi town. Shanti’s son.
In 1794, the French author, Xavier de Maistre, wrote the renowned book, Voyage Around my Room, during a month and a half of solitary confinement, in consequence of a duel. Besides being a satire on the contemporary literary culture of voyages and adventures of colonial sailors to prospective new worlds, the book proved to be a demonstration of how an individual is almost always travelling, but perhaps does not recognize the value of their domestic travels, mobility or even touristic acquisitions. How do you see or understand travelling? Do you think it is a necessary activity for a writer?
Traveling is most crucial elements in a writer’s life. Kabir says, I am standing on the cross roads of life, if you want to be a poet, first put your house on fire and come with me and be a poet. In my case, it was my encounter with Annapurnas that opened up my world and made me what I am today. Had I not resolved to quit my teaching stint at the Tribhuwan University to travel to the Himalayas, I wouldn’t have achieved anything substantial in my life. Most of my writing involves a celebration of the Himalayas. It’s my devotion to these magnificent daggers of snow and my tireless travels in the Himalayas that I have been able to write and travel worldwide. So, my head bows in reverence to the spirit of snow that gave me enough food to eat, enough ease to fill my mind to sing of the shimmering glaciers, a sacred mission to survive for the rest of my life.
Your favorite or most striking lines by another author; or if you will, any composed by yourself?
The kisses you refused
were the best
like the poems
on the lake I did not write (Best Poems, From Annapurna Poems)
Do respond to the following words:
“Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle.
To write you need to imagine like Alfred Hitchcock the guy standing on the other side of the shower with a knife. Or death and your demons waiting for you. So to address your demons and your society’s, you need imagination.
What do you think of Coldnoon?
Lovely magazine, so proud to be part of this grand mission. Namaste!