I thought of writing this post in Haiku, but after staring at the screen for a few minutes trying to work out just a couple of verses, each of 3 lines with 17 syllables to get what I want to say across, I changed my mind. And now I have even more respect for the author and friend who made me an offer which I've already traded on.
The first time I met Pratish Mistry was at an "Emergency Room" party. He came as a patient with a 'knife' in his leg, and I went as the Emergency "Stretcher". A few more parties later, and Pratish has offered me two of his books for Springleap T-shirts. And before I could upload information about this offer, Roshni got wind of it and called me this morning and has made this trade happen!
Haiku is a strict Japanese form of poetry that conforms to a certain rhythm, created by the 17 syllables in the 3 lines of each verse. It forces the writer to communicate in a very few words, and each line tends to give new meaning to the entire verse. Haiku is usually written about nature. Senryu haiku is written about the human condition. And it’s the human condition that Pratish is interested in.
Here's his favourite verse:
sunshine or rain,
an inspired world
smiles upon its muse
South Park where he learnt about Haiku (who says South Park isn't educational!), and he thought it was so cool that he studied it for a few months. The art form seems to just come naturally to him, because as he went about his daily life, he found inspiration in small things like beautiful waitresses serving him cappuccinos, and he'd quickly scribble down a verse on a serviette. After a while he had quite a collection. With some encouragement from friends, he put the best of all those verses together into the book "The Universe and the Mad Butterfly".
The book has some Eastern and Buddhist philosophical undertones and is about people’s spiritual journey in this world- hence the reference to The Universe. It also talks to the butterfly effect where the effect of the smallest of things (the flap of a butterfly's wings) can influence a lot of other things that you are not aware of, that results in something big (the hurricane in another part of the world to the butterfly). And it's a "mad' butterfly because we have no idea of what the effects might be.
And if you're wondering what Pratish is working on now- he's busy writing a funny novel about a bunch of animals in a forest, and doodling cartoon style.