(தம்பியும் சக பத்திரிகையாளரும் சுற்றுச்சூழல் ஆர்வலரும் பறவையியலாளரும் ந. வினோத்குமார் 'சர்வதேச வன நாள்’, ‘சர்வதேசக் கவிதை நாள்’ ஆகியவற்றை முன்னிட்டு அவரது இண்ஸ்டாகிராம் பக்கத்தில் என்னைப் பற்றி இன்று எழுதியது!)
Environmentalists observe this day (March 21) as International Day of Forests. Incidentally, World Poetry Day is also being observed today. While, UN announced Forest Day, to protect forests, it announced Poetry Day in 1999, to 'fulfill aesthetic needs'. It says that 'poetry can meet this need if its social role of interpersonal communication is recognised and it continues to be the means of arousing and expressing awareness'. On this day, I am happy to introduce a poet who blends nature in his writings. Meet, Asaithambi of Tiruvarur district, is currently a journalist with The Hindu Tamil, Chennai.
He started penning poems at the young age. The well known poet Bharathiyar has exerted greater influence on him. During his college days, the works of poets like Manushya Puthran and Cre-A Ramakrishnan had an impact on his way of delivering thoughts. One fine day, in 2005, he was encouraged to observe a bird by Cre-A Ramakrishnan. Asai, was unable to even sight that bird. From then onwards, he developed a passion towards birdwatching. Over a period of time, he took the children from his neighbourhood for birdwatching. Their ways of expressing about a bird made him to think to write poems about nature.
In 2010, he brought out a poetry collection on birds in Tamil, titled 'Kondalathi' (Tamil for Hoopoe). It was published by Cre-A. It is the first of its kind book so far in Tamil. Most of the birds recorded in those poems are resident birds. "Those birds co-habiting with humans, developed a kind of relationship" he says. Nature writers such as Theodore Baskaran, P.Jegannathan and litterateurs like Venkat Saminathan, Sankararamasubramanian were praised that book. "Whenever speaking about nature writing, people used to mention about Sangam literatures. But in those days the life coexisted with nature. Today we started to look humans and nature seperately, so that the need for such nature related poems arises" he says.
A poem from his collection: This moment/Weighing as much as/A tailor bird/And trembling/Like the stem/After it flown away. (Translation, mine). Such kind of attempts should be welcomed, so that the planet can be embraced with more love.