"Haan Main Characterless Hoon" - She's Coming to SHEROES Summit
Pooja Sachdeva is a next-gen rebel slam poet and the latest social media sensation with a number of viral poems in her name. A social media influencer who fearlessly raises important issues through her poetry. With her bold and badass words, she is breaking stereotypes with her pieces like ‘Haan Main Characterless Hun’ (watch her video at the end of this article) that talks about women safety and ‘Bloody Woman’ that unwraps the topic of periods from the black polythene to bring it out for discussion. Her poetry videos crossed millions of views with the latest one Jaadu Hum Sabke Pass Hai touching 10 million views in just a month. Here she shares the compliment she cherishes most, the experience of her first live performance and many more things.
What do you like about being a poet?
The best part of being a poet is being able to express oneself without any inhibitions. When I write I liberate a piece of myself. You need nobody if you have pen and paper. Write if you are angry, write if you are happy. It’s just like talking to your notebook and sharing whatever you feel like. When you see your thoughts taking the shape of words as a poem, it gives you a sense of contentment and power at the same time. Also in recent times I have realized the magic and competence of words. After my poem ‘Haan Main Characterless Hun’ and storytelling video ‘Jaadu hum Sabke Pass Hai’, I received thousands of messages of people telling me how just one poem changed their life. Words can heal or give someone strength. That’s incredible. Isn’t it?
Can you share the experience of your first live performance?
My first live performance actually happened by chance. So I went to attend my first ever open mic session as an audience. I thought I should see what all happens in an open-mic so that I can perform next time. I went to this café in Khar. At the end of the session, they were inviting few from the audience to come and perform. Initially I was too nervous but I couldn’t resist myself being a stage baby. So I raised my hand, went on stage. I performed too well for the first time as this is what I was told and ended up getting lot of appreciation from the already established poets. That day I realized this gives me kick. Appreciation for my words.
Who is your favorite poet? And what do you like about that poet?
I don’t generally read or listen to lot of poets. I want to become a lyricist so I follow a lot of songwriters. Piyush Mishra sahab, Gulzar Sahab, Irshad Kamil, Manoj Muntashir, Amitabh Bhattacharya are my personal favorites.
When did you write your first poem? What was it about and what was the idea/inspiration behind it?
I don’t remember about my first poem as I have been writing since my childhood when I was in ninth standard. I still have that diary which is full of songs and poems I wrote during that time. But then this took a back seat when studies and later my passion of becoming a Radio Jock took over. Last year, I again started writing and my first piece was on women safety ‘Haan Main Characterless Hun’ which got viral in no time. A lot of women could relate to it.
Can you tell us about your process, the journey of a poem from being a thought to the final version?
I never plan to write and then work on it or sit on it. I always say a poem/thought comes to me and then I develop it. I believe we don’t choose poems, they choose us. The idea can strike you anytime anywhere, while you’re traveling, cooking or sleeping. Most of my ideas struck me to sleep. I instantly get up the very moment at midnight, make a note in mobile and then it remains in my sub-conscious mind. Over the next few days, I develop it, writing two lines or a stanza daily. Some are completed in a week, other takes 15 days. An exception was one poem I created for Adidas. That I created in just a night due to the deadline we had. Once the final version created, I do a test and trial with my friends who are also my first audience, to get the honest feedback. Then go back and improvise.
Why the pen name tharki ladki? And who is a tharki ladki?
There is a story behind this name. After leaving the radio which was my passion and coming back to my hometown Delhi, I went into depression. That time I started writing a book to distract myself which was partially on me and partially a fiction. That book was named ‘Tharki Ladki’. But I had just completed a few pages when destiny called me to Mumbai and I could never go back to complete that book. So I decided to keep the same pen name so that if in future I decide to complete that book or make a movie out of it (just in case), people will be more interested. Why Tharki Ladki…? For that, you have to wait for the book.
Can you tell us about the best compliment you have received?
I get messages and mails on a daily basis that are full of praises, blessings and appreciation. One married woman shared with me how she came out of depression after her husband showed her my video and she is a completely changed woman. Then one mail where a person who was thinking of committing suicide got motivated by my story and decided to give life another shot. But still the best one, if you ask, was when someone addressed me as ‘Lady Gulzar’. Though that is far from being a reality, I can’t be one percent of what he is but that really made me happy.
Can you share something about the next poem you are working on?
I recently completed a piece on body shaming, something all can relate to especially girls. And one which talks about how we are engrossed in virtual life that is becoming so lethal.
Pooja at SHEROES Summit 2018
Did you miss the opportunity of being a part of Asia’s biggest event for women professionals last year?
No worries! This year The SHEROES Summit is back and it’s going to be much bigger and better with the theme #BuildingCommunites.
Women end up being part of multiple communities that form a core part of their day to day lives. With SHEROES Summit 2018, we open doors for such communities to the world.
We are also proud to announce our sponsor UST Global®, a leading provider of end-to-end IT services and solutions for Global 1000 companies, using a client-centric Global Engagement Model that combines local, senior, on-site resources with the cost, scale, and quality advantages of offshore operations.
We would also like to thank KLAY schools. KLAY Schools are a chain of high-end preparatory schools catering to preschoolers and providing day care and after school services. KLAY schools are set up by Founding Years – A multi platform education services organization. KLAY caters to an age group of 1-10 years.
You can listen to Pooja live at SHEROES summit 2018.
(Also Read about another speaker coming at SHEROES Summit - Ashwini Asokan Talking About AI)
Watch her "Haan Main Characterless Hoon" video here -