A poet and an author. And a good thinker, too, I should add, Sanjiv Bhatla’s books have been great reads for me. His thoughts and ideas penned on paper makes you stop and look at issues and themes differently.
– Shana Susan Ninan
SSN: Let’s start with your latest book. How are the two long poems you’ve published different, in terms of plot, pace and poignancy?
Sanjiv Bhatla: A Sinner Says tries to postulate what basic ingredients went into the very creation of Human Nature. Why human beings behave and feel the way they do. What constitutes their emotions and aspirations. How God-created Human Nature prompted man to create human society.
Ninmah’s Lonely Man picks up from where A Sinner Says leaves off – its third and last sections presents the situation of “one such human being” embedded in the man-made society. First section of NLM extends this situation. It once again returns to it in the fourth and last section of NLM.
The running themes of these composite four parts are twofold: one, that God is omnipresent and all powerful, in full control of his entire creation, two, that God is in a love-hate relationship with his son – the living human being.
SSN: Did you experience some of the situations and events mentioned in ‘Ninmah’s Lonely Man’, yourself?
SB: As said before, I try to understand myself through my writings. I may not have experienced EXACT SAME situations, but SIMILAR. In few cases I have also IMAGINED them, but in such a way that they This is a sleight of hand which a writer of Realism should be able to pull through.
SSN: God, or rather his absence, has a large presence in your works. Is that a conscious effort in the writing of the books?
SB: I am a staunch believer, Shana. God’s omni-presence looms very large in my conscious mind. And therefore his omni-absence also looms very large in my conscious mind. The former causes elation and assurance, and the latter, desperation and dejection. Both these contra-set of emotions are more vividly espoused in Ninmah’s Lonely Man than in my other long poem, A Sinner Says. I won’t be surprised if you detect such tug of war of Belief-related contrasting emotions in my other books as well.