What began as a keen-interest for a 19-year-old is now becoming a passion-project and an important part of expressing himself. In our series of Q&A’s with budding artists, here’s exploring the life of Akhilesh Mishra who recently launched his first book ‘Hoor Ki Pari’.
Akhilesh Mishra is a product of urban culture, so goes his pen name- Gen X Kavi and this is a story of a person who loves to write, rap, perform and most importantly RELATE!
It all started when he was acquainted with one of his friend’s poems and thought were very cool and wanted to give writing a shot. He reminisces sitting with another friend one day as she narrated her heartbreak to him. After translating her story into a short poem and reading it to her, surprisingly so, there were tears. She actually felt every word and being astonished he kept wondering how this could affect someone so much. That’s when it hit him! Writing that relates and resonates with people is something he would love to do.
When it comes to his journey so far he says “I performed in college fests and on inter-college scale, I rapped covers, I wrote poems. And now, I’ll be a bit more candid about the grind that takes over your life when you start working in a creative industry. One thing I have to say to young creative minds out there is follow your passion, sure, but don’t fail to understand the logistics of such a career trajectory. While it’s very true you need to give it all, you also need to make sure you fund yourselves well enough to get started. I work in IT and there’s no denying it helps me with all my creative investments. While a story that begins with ‘I had nothing back then and now I have it all’ sounds very inspiring, the reality check is a little different. In a sense, I’ve also seen people give up because they wear out too soon. And that’s why be patient with your journey and think logically.”
When he suggested having a parallel job helps, the new author also weighed in on time management. “You want your creative work to be known, you better be ready to log off your work laptop at 8 in the evening and open your personal one so you can start writing, recording, or whatever it is that you wish to pursue one day. What keeps me going is that imagery of performing in front of a crowd who are there to see me perform because they love my work.”
All between amateur writing to writing more often to collaborating with friends who are artists to having a joint venture with the government of Madhya Pradesh for a rap gig, writing has been a 9-year long, steady and satisfying journey for the poet aka rapper. He published his first book this year called ‘Hoor Ki Pari’.
One constant factor that delights him to write about the most is LOVE! Because of course there’s no denying it’s the most relatable thing to everybody. You love your parents, your siblings, your friends, your partner. Some love, some grow in love, some fall out of love. It’s beautiful and the simplest yet complex relatability factor that gels everyone in a way.
Mishra’s book Hoor Ki Pari is inspired by Love. It was a process and practice of shaping each draft of the book with new ideas and new representations. The book is an ode to ‘That One’ woman who is revolutionary in her own way. She’s this epitome of liveliness, love, courage, strength, and all of which leads onto better things in one’s life.
Reflecting on the volume of work that goes behind making a song, the Gen X Kavi lastly says he is grateful to have this gift that is capable of moving people.
“I would like to use this space to encourage creative artists to keep going and for the audience to support creativity in any form. Because art takes courage and in today’s world a lot many artists are emerging and it’s important that their talent is acknowledged and appreciated.
My message to everyone is – Be inspired. Be vocal. Be true!”