Rohini Kejriwal: A Daughter of Verse
Bangalore based Rohini Kejriwal is the founder of The Alipore Post; birthed in 2015 within Calcutta, her brainchild, now a popular literary directory, curates a multiplicity of newsletters, stimulating poetry by the layman (and herself), engaging challenges, and a spectrum of eloquent diversities. Rohini strives to highlight ‘independent creators to showcase their work’ in a generation often disregarding the integrity of literature; incessantly reimagining ‘what poetry can be rather than what we study at school’, her approaches have tirelessly amassed a ‘community space online’ committed to the individuality of others.
During her schooling in Andhra Pradesh, Rohini ‘fell in love with learning and poetry, while also developing my curiosity’. A phenomenal woman of articulation, the poetess soon possessed a flair for swindling the words of today in a manner often unmatched within the dome. ‘I’ve always been someone who’s smitten with words, and I enjoy how playful they can be and how much can be conveyed through so little. I’m quite happy I’ve left that conventional newspaper approach behind’ reasons Rohini concerning her initial venture in the landscape of literature. Inspired by a ‘senior of mine who used to run a poetry newsletter herself’, she realised ‘a lot of people shared a love for poetry and that led to the blossoming of my Instagram page’. Over time, The Alipore Post strode into the creation of offline events, workshops, and a celebratory space for like-minded individuals, where passionate writers can work in an undisturbed environment of originality and erudite. ‘I get to enjoy and consume art, and I tend to interview everyone and anyone who has inspired me in some way’, relishes Rohini of her work.
Coupled with her distinctive talent to weave words as we come to admire them, Rohini is additionally a gifted artist who often divulges into the enlightening art of doodling. ‘I am constantly being inspired by the world at large, it allows me to have a conversation with myself’, as such, her virtuosity has embedded a conscious awareness of the present times within her whilst, permitting her to showcase, and aid, various causes through the pieces she presents and highlights. Strolling through the spiritual connection Rohini feels with poetry, she patiently explains how she visualises the ‘world in a certain way which can be conveyed through poetry; the compactness of it is very likable, with short poems and free verse particularly speaking to me’.
‘I want to do long-form writing, I want to be known for that. I’ve always known I want to write’, voices Rohini. In a resilient bid to depict the fruits of writing, Chitthi Exchange was founded by the curator a short while after The Alipore Post. ‘I’ve grown addicted to letter-writing through boarding school; I have a pen pal since grade six and we connect so beautifully’, wishing to share the same with fellow enthusiasts, Chitthi Exchange connects people from across the globe with one another through the essence of writing letters. Rather than engaging in digitised communication, Rohini is an adamant believer in ‘experiencing the anticipation of sending a letter, even though a lot of my followers have never done so before. We’re all so busy with our lives during the pandemic, it’s made us all slow down. I want people to enjoy the joy of anticipation’. Committed and laced with fervor, Rohini does ‘the pairing myself’.
When questioned what The Alipore Post stands for, the poetess replies almost instantly, ‘creativity in any form, a sense of beauty, a sense of awe and wonder for the world. It’s my corner of the Internet where I invite others to feel something’. A stern believer in broadcasting the many wonders of poetry, Rohini reckons ‘if poetry hadn’t happened the way it did for me, I wouldn’t be spearheading a movement making it accessible for everyone’. Ultimately, wishing to ignite the everyday man’s interest in writing, she advises ‘consistency in writing, it’s about reading, reading, and reading a lot, and always being curious. Figure out which voices appeal to you, and please let go of the judgment, we really don’t need to see ourselves in comparison to others’.
Every time I visit home,
The dreadful parting awaits.
Each time, the bond is stronger than ever before
The laughter shared between us louder,
The silliness amplified,
The flying kisses more constant.
How is a fragile being like myself
Who has just been reminded what being human is all about
Supposed to leave those badaami eyes
Brimming of old wisdom and young curiosity?
In addition to her many platforms, Rohini engaged in making a few of her own e-books. A very stimulating one of these is a book of poems, photographs, and illustrations made during her 10-day stay in poet/novelist Tishani Doshi’s home in Paramankeni, a coastal village in Tamil Nadu. The book is titled ‘Paramankeni Dreaming‘, alongside some of her other works including a photobook on Ladakh ‘I dream of Ladakh‘, and ‘Crown Shyness‘, showcasing her illustrations parallel to The Alipore Post Poetry Month.