“Discuss The Poem, Not The Poet”- In Conversation With Renu Desai On Her Birthday!


RENU DESAI, This incredibly versatile woman needs no special introduction in Telugu states. She is well-known as an actress, director, costume designer, editor and also a producer. But, what many people may not know is her flair for writing poetry. For a few months, all her Instagram followers have been mesmerized by the beauty, depth and sensibilities of her poems. She is also planning to bring out her poems as a book soon. Today is her birthday. On this occasion, she has shared some exclusive and interesting things about her poetry with one of our writers Sanjith Upendra.


Sanjith: Happy birthday madam.
Renu: Thank you Sanjith.

Q: I read all your poems on Instagram. They are quite interesting. And you have an interesting pen name ‘Ray nu’. Is there any reason behind it?
Renu: There is no particular reason. I just do not like the spelling of my name Renu. So instead of having another pen name, I slightly changed my name and put it as my pen name.

Q: Can you tell me the details of your debut book?
Renu: The book is an anthology of 52 poems. All these poems are written from my soul and for my soul. The book release may be in the end of January, 2018. The poems are written on miscellaneous subjects ranging from love, philosophy to social issues.

Q: Will the poems you posted on Instagram appear again in the book? And what is the title of the book?
Renu: No, all the poems are new to the readers. And the title of the book will be a surprise.


Q: What inspired or motivated you to write poetry?
Renu: I just write because the words flow. I do not write because I want someone to read me. I just write to myself and make sense to myself. In fact, I really don’t consider myself as a poet. I always wanted to be recognized as a film director and writer.

Q: You reminded me the quote of Bob Dylan. He says, ‘I think a poet is anybody who wouldn’t call himself as a poet’. You don’t feel confident to be called a poet, but, you are planning an anthology of poems. How did you get that confidence?
Renu: Ha ha. Really I don’t feel so confident to be called a poet. When I nervously posted my poems on Instagram, there was lots of praise from many. Slowly, I became confident. Let the book be released and let my confidence be boosted a little more.


Q: A few people opine that your poems are subjective in nature. Does your poetry reflect your personal life experiences?
Renu: These are all just perceptions. The feelings that I imbue in my poetry don’t need to be my real time feelings. In fact, the poems I wrote a decade ago have been posted on Instagram recently and those poems deal with various themes like sorrow, romance, personal loss and love. This is not something new for me to write these themes. If I write an emotion, it doesn’t mean that I am going through that emotion.
When one reads a poem, the nitty-gritties of that poem has to be discussed instead of analyzing the poet’s personal life. One has to discuss the poem, not the poet.

Q: Correct me if I am wrong. To be honest, I too get a feeling that the tone of your poems is nostalgic when I read your poems like ‘Home maker’, ‘Come, Come my love’ and ‘He was not a mistake. He was an experience’.
Renu: ‘Home maker’ deals with the contrast between the life of a rich woman and that of a construction laborer.
‘Come my love’ poem is a kind of prayer to her beloved who might be at the office, out of town etc.
‘He was not a mistake. He was an experience’, these are the lines which flashed in my mind when we were discussing a movie script. Where is nostalgia in these poems? Since I write too cryptic, people may not understand the actual intention of writing it.

Q: You used the words constellation, sky and earth in a few poems. Do you consider yourself as a ‘cosmic poet’?
Renu: I don’t stick to one theme. I write sorrow, spirituality, love and romance etc. I write every kind of poetry except adult poetry. I don’t write it because my sensibilities are different. For example, in my poem ‘soft cheeks, red juicy lips’, I wrote about spirituality, and I highlighted selfishness in present day relations in ‘Evoke comfort..’, So my themes are varied.

Q: What is the process you follow to write?
Renu: I channelize my spontaneous emotions and write immediately. The words just flow from my heart.

Q: You are an avid reader. What are your favorite books?
Renu: I like many books. But, Isabella Allende books and Murakami books I like the most.


1.What is the best experience you gained through writing?

2.Your favorite poem?
There are so many poems. Pablo Neruda’s ‘Tonight I can write the saddest lines’ and ‘The moon lives in the lining of your skin’.

3.One word about your poetry?

4.Your suggestion to those who write poetry on social media platforms?
Please, do not write motivational prose and call it poetry.

5.Describe your upcoming book?
I wrote for my soul and I wrote from my soul.

6.What do you want to achieve through your poetry?
‘Peace’ for myself.

Sanjith: We wish you all the best and a very happy birthday.
Renu: Thank you so much.



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