Vishü Rita Krocha

Kohima: A collection of 60 poems ‘from the broken earth’ by prominent Nagaland based journalist, author, and publisher Vishü Rita Krocha was formally released on Monday by Abu Metha, adviser to the chief minister and associate vice president of the Athletic Federation of India (AFI), at The Heritage in Kohima.

“The book contains 60 poems, each with an accompanying image and most of these poems were written during these two years of the pandemic. In a world before the coronavirus, I would never have imagined grieving the loss of a loved one from so far away,” the author said.

Expressing how the world clung to life, despite the anxiety and loneliness brought about by the pandemic, Rita said that she turned to poetry as a way of feeling better about life.

“Through the darkest days of the pandemic, I found hope in the goodness of nature and God’s divine providence. Even when everything seemed to have come to a standstill, flowers still bloomed, and seasons lived their time. The impermanence of life was made even more prominent by COVID, but I sought comfort in these unparalleled joys, and incorporated them in my writing,” she shared.

Krocha recalled the time when she was infected with COVID-19. “I had the acute realisation especially about the mental impact it could have on anybody experiencing COVID,” she said, further saying that the pandemic has unleashed the creative side in many people.

“For me, the greatest joy in writing these poems was being able to bring hope and light to somebody’s life. I’ve had people reaching out to say how they could relate to my poetry and that they also found solace and joy, and there’s nothing more that I want out of this collection,” Rita said.

Commenting on the book, Avinuo Kire, Assistant professor at Kohima College, said the book is Krocha’s “sublime lyrical rendering of life”. 

“A timely collection that reflects the mood of an age, the poet not only revisits timeless themes such as love and loss, nature and nostalgia, but there is, too, growth and maturity, as she delves into pandemic experiences, poignantly evoking a sense of city to country in through idyllic pastoral scenes and above all, exploring grief in all its raw intensity,” she commented.

She said that the book gives the readers rare glimpses of the poet’s own personal journey with much heart.

Theyiesinuo Keditsu, a feminist, poet and educator, shared how the author has blessed the readers by giving a combination of the poet’s photographs alongside the poems- telling exquisite stories.

Keditsu said that theme of the book has emerged invincible and is a culmination of the author’s exceptional skills.

Metha, who formally launched the book, said the Naga society must support art, creativity and innovation as the work of artists will tell stories even after years. In this regard, Metha urged the need to recognise art in any form, from paintings to writing.

He acknowledged Krocha as “a treasure for Nagas whose work will continue to tell stories”.

Speaking during the occasion, Metha challenged local writers to collectively brainstorm a literature festival to the historic place in Kohima. He hoped that such an a festival will bring in people from across the world and also take Nagaland to the people across the globe.

He added that such an event will also be an opportunity for writers to paint a positive image of Nagaland, a state that is often associated with insurgency. Metha assured of the government’s support if such a literature festival was to be hosted in the state.

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