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‘In all the 21 poems in my book, hope is constant’

Manas Mutneja, a class 12 student at Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg, is all excited about his newly published book of poems: After Dusk

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Having a book published at any age is a special feather in one’s cap. Imagine how it must feel to be a published author at 17 years of age. That is what Manas Mutneja, the promising poet from Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg, feels after the release of his book : After Dusk. In a special interview, the class 12 student tells readers about his book of poems, his feelings after becoming an author and experience of receiving the 21st century Emily Dickinson award in poetry.  

Tell us about your book: After Dusk?

My book consists of 21 poems. They are a journey of the poets into different kinds of worlds, realities and emotions. In some poems, the poet is happy while in some he is suffering. All the poems have different themes but there is a similarity in them. In all the poems, the readers will feel a tinge of hope. In the final poem of my book: A long way, the poet after the journey realises that he has indeed come a long way. He had to only look for what he was searching for. 

What’s the story behind your title: After Dusk?

Dusk is the time after 7:30 in the evening. It is neither night nor completely dark. There is not enough light but it is not even dark everywhere. And that symbolises that if there is light then there is also a dark path ahead; and if there is darkness right now then there is also the possibility of light nearby. 

Is your book a commercial venture or a wishlist fulfilled?

I am extremely happy with this book. It is a passion fulfilled for me as of now. It is not a commercial venture. I know that I still have to write a lot. Maybe if I write a huge volume someday, then I will think about commercialising it.

 How did you go about the publishing process?

I participated in the ’21 Writing Challenge’ organised by my publishing house. I paid the participation fees of Rs 2000 which also included printing cost. It was a competition of submitting 21 poems in 21 days. Out of 50 participants, they chose to publish the works of 30 participants. I was one of them. Then the publishing house took two more weeks, and finally my book was out. I got my author copy. It felt great. I would get an annual royalty and all the copyright of the book is with me

What role did your school Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg have in this achievement ?

My school really encouraged me a lot. I gave a copy to Principal Sir and he was very proud.  Some of my teachers were more happy about my book than me. So, that was very special. They read the book so carefully that they made notes and gave me good feedback over a session of discussion.

You have recently been awarded the 21st Century Emily Dickinson award? Your thoughts?

It is an Indie Author Award given by my publisher BookLeaf Publishing to the selected nominations from the contest. I am ecstatic after winning this award. 

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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