Harnidh Kaur was always an imaginative child. Creating worlds out of nothing and weaving intricate stories to her fancy. Her passion for writing, expressing and creating only grew with age; allowing Harnidh to blossom into a powerful writer. Her pieces are just the right amount of delicate yet powerful, intricate yet unique, lively yet dark.
When asked how she would describe her work, Harnidh calls her poetry Personal, Political and Angry, claiming a lot her work to have a strong undercurrent of anger.
“A lot of my work has been super angry. It’s levelling out now, becoming nuanced, getting some depth. The anger was needed, I suppose, to give me the momentum,” says Harnidh.
This undercurrent in her writing is clear even at a first glance of her poetry. This is a poet who does not shy away from raw self-expression. Something other may poets cloak, for fear of intimidating their readers.
The following is 2 of 3 poems written exclusively for Foreground titled, Drowning.
Hold me down in water,
just six inches is enough to drag
me away, and two feet would
wash away my car, but you knew
that since the moment you pressed
your palm against the curve of my
neck and pushed down, carefully,
with deliberation, and held me
with your fingertips, just so afraid of
water splashing back at you in the
off chance that I struggled against
the force of my lungs trying to heave
me upwards, arching, trying to sluice
through the rushing grey, the spots in
my eyes telling me that just a little
push will make everything okay, but
I don’t, I don’t fight away, I stay, stay
under your palm, feeling water rip
through my nose and into the alveoli
unequipped to handle the deluge, just
like I am unequipped to handle your
ministrations, and suddenly, the
pressure is gone, and I gasp up,
sputtering, coughing, sucking in air
like a greedy glutton, after years of
unwarranted starving, and you peer
down at me, the cuffs of your shirt
wet, and my first reaction is to say
sorry, for the unfortunate inconvenience.
While Harnidh’s creative endeavors have garnered an extremely positive response, Harnidh is sincerely surprised. Calling herself haplessly individualistic, this poet considers her success to be a small miracle, since people often find it very hard to like her as person.
“The fact that people like what I write is a small miracle, because people often find it very hard to like me.”
When asked about how writing itself came about, Harnidh’s answer is accompanied by an unrestrained laugh.
“It came about like a fluke. I think in short, clipped sentences. They turned out as pretty poetry! My schoolteachers and my mom, let me write as much as I wished to,”says Harnidh.
Fluke or not, Harnidh’s skills when it comes to poetry led to the publication of her very first book, earlier this year. Titled The Inability of Words this book is a collection of poems that showcase immense diversity in thought with an overall theme of reclamation. Reclaiming that, which a reader may perceive to be lost.
Despite all her success as a writer, Harnidh believes there are still a few areas she needs to work on. “My grammar isn’t too good and I can’t spell to save my life. I need to really work on that,” says Harnidh.
While she is ready and willing to constantly evolve, Harnidh’s advice to other budding writers is along the same lines as well.
“Write a lot. Write every day. Write when you feel like you can’t and read at least 3 times more than you write,” she advises.
With her second book already commissioned, it seems like there is no stopping Harnidh Kaur. Whatever the future holds for this poet and student of Public Policy, she is certain of one thing – no matter what happens, she will always write.