Her official website describes her as Singer/Songwriter/Performer/Software Engineer/Poet/Healer. This proves that there is no single word to encompass all that she is. So we decided to know more about Kuhoo Gupta, an IITian, a singer, a poet and a diehard fan of Gulzar in our new segment of Let’s Talk where she talks about her latest book – Zindagi Ke Martbaan Se a collection of poems
- Let’s Talk
Team WordBite (TWB): So Kuhoo, Let me clear off my curiosity first; tell me how can u adorn so many hats- Singer/Songwriter/Performer/Software Engineer/Poet/Healer?
Kuhoo Gupta (KG):What do I say, I am blessed to have the ability to multi-task. Essentially, what I do depends largely on my mood. I try to follow my own flow. Moreover, I love doing different things & it is very important for me to end a day with something substantial & satisfactory that I have done, it can be a good read, writing something, coding something good, singing or whatever. I take every day as it comes & wish to do justice to every day.
TWB: All these years, what was your sole ambition in your life? Was it being a Software Engineer or a Singer or something else?
KG: Very difficult question There have been different ambitions at different points in my life based on the priorities & circumstances I had at that time. Becoming a software engineer was not an ambition in my life. It happened because I was good at studies throughout my childhood. Our society has this norm of unconsciously directing a bright student to either engineering or medical. Though I had Maths & Biology both in 11th & 12th class, I rejected medical line because I thought I will not be able to handle suffering patients all day long. Then the option was to become an engineer. Singing came to me as a gift from God. My parents tell me that I started singing at the age of 5 & used to learn songs all by myself by listening to the tape recorder. As the years passed by, I honed my singing skills along with academics. During my college days, I participated in the prestigious Zee Saregamapa. All this opened up some new avenues in singing.
TWB: I read somewhere that the only person who inspires you is Gulzar Saab? Tell us the epilogue behind this inspiration.
KG: I think it was in 2007 when I bought Gulzar Saab’s first book. Before that I had only heard him as a lyricist & I was in awe of him already. I remember it was in Chandigarh, I was browsing in a book shop & to my surprise I found a lot of Hindi books collection there (that I did not find in Pune – my base – at that time). I was pretty excited & picked up Gulzar’s Selected Poems book. It had his Hindi poems and also English translations by Pavan Varma. On my way back home, I read a couple of poems & was just overwhelmed with their beauty. I asked my younger brother to read some poems & he said “mujhe ye kuch samajh nahi aa rahi, ye to high figh poems hain. Aapko kaise samajh aa rahi hai?” I told him they are simple!!! Just the meanings are deep & multifaceted. And that itself is the beauty in his writings, the language is not very hard but the meanings are so very deep that you want to read a poem multiple times to appreciate it from a new perspective every time. Since then, I have bought & read almost all of his poetry compilations. My next would be Pluto. I have also started with his short stories, read Dyodhi recently, equally beautiful!
Photo Credits: Kuhoo Gupta
TWB: Now coming to your book Zindagi Ke Martbaan Se, give us some insight about the book
KG: It is a poetry compilation. I should say the writings might sound very Gulzar-ish for obvious reasons. Like his writings, I have a tendency to mix Hindi with few words of English and Urdu to give it a new twist & flavor. The poems were not written with an intention to get published. They are a collection of my writings over last few years. One fine day I realized I had enough of some decent ones to put out in public.
TWB: The book seems to be written in a conversational language, mixed with hindi and English. Usually poetic books are very difficult to interpret. How is your book different?
KG: Usually poetry books are difficult to read because you need to sit with a dictionary to first understand the literal meaning of the lines. And then you delve deeper to find the hidden & deeper meanings to it. Mine is a very colloquial expression. Like you say, “yuhi baaton baaton me hi kuch gehra keh jaanaa”, while you read the poems, you will finish reading them quickly & I am sure you will be able to relate to them too, because the approach is very universal. And then you will realize, oh there seems to be a deeper meaning to these lines. And then you read them again to understand that. The poems are contemporary & introspective.
TWB: On that note, tell us something about Kuhoo Gupta the Singer and Kuhoo Gupta the Software Engineer.
KG: I am a software engineer during the day & a singer all 24 hours J I am more of a recording artist than a performer, because of the restrictions a full time job comes with. I have a home studio setup at my place & love being in my den for recordings! I have collaborated with a lot of musicians round the globe to produce over 30 original compositions. You can listen to them at my website (http://www.kuhoogupta.com) or youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/kg141083). I have also received awards for my songs by hungama.com group for independent music.
TWB: When was the last time you did something for the first time? And what was it?
KG: I try to do something new every day! Or else I do not feel I made enough of the opportunity to live for the current day. I read something new, try some new recipe in my kitchen, learn some new singing/coding/healing/blah blah technique etc.
TWB: Tell us something about your current and next project? A new book?
KG: I am working on a music project currently that is going to be a brand new genre for me, that I will be singing for the first time. I cannot spill more beans here but I am very much looking forward to it. It is an international collaboration.
Then there is the audio book version of Zindagi Ke Martbaan Se, that will hit the stands on reado.com & Audible very soon. So the audiences that are always on-the-move, will be able to listen to my poems in audio format on their cell phones. I have recited my poems with a subtle background score. Here also, my inspiration has been Gulzar, his music album Nazm has a similar setting. He recites his poetry & wow, it sounds heavenly!
A new book, I am not sure right now. I am still working towards the promotion & marketing of this book. Let us see how it goes for a new book. But having tasted the author experience once, I am not very doubtful of experiencing it more in the future J
TWB: Since you are a multi faceted personality, tell us something about the life Kuhoo Gupta lives.
KG: I start my day with a big mug of green tea with lemon. Then I do my Yoga & meditation practice. During the day, I code stuff, I read articles here & there, and of course do some facebook-ing J I go out for a walk in the evening to get some dose of fresh air. Then I cook dinner, sometimes try new recipes. All of them are quick & healthy recipes because I am always short of time! Again a mug of green tea after dinner, watch some TV at night & end my day by reading a few pages of some book.
TWB: Now some Rapid Fire Round
TWB: Your favorite Author(s)
KG: Gulzar, Osho
TWB: Your favorite Book(s)
KG: Selected Poems, pandrah paanch pachattar, dyodhi, The Book of Woman, Birth without violence, Voice Tantra Yoga Mantra, Raat Pashmine ki, pukhraaj, The secret life of the unborn child, yoga anatomy
TWB: Describe yourself in three words (finally a difficult question)
KG: I will make it just one – Seeker J
TWB: Thank You! Kuhoo, for this wonderful interview session. We wish you a very bright and happy future, ahead.