Interdisciplinary is one of the many words used to describe Tufts, and junior Archit Jain truly encompasses that description. Jain is majoring in computer science, minoring in economics and entrepreneurship and is on his way to publishing his third poetry book.
Jain published two poetry books during his first year of college, and after taking a break his sophomore year, he’s now back with his third book which covers different aspects of his personal life and events that he observes. Jain hopes to help others work through their emotions and views his poems as a way to do that. While the themes in Jain’s third book are similar to his previous books, it will be his first published in Hindi.
“I wrote this one in Hindi/English which means that it’s written in English script but the language itself is Hindi,” Jain said. “It has a chapter about self-motivation, about experiencing grief … about showing sympathy, empathy and compassion towards a lot of unfortunate events. There’s one poem about … people who fear society or the judgment of society so they are not able to portray their true self to society.”
Jain made the decision to take on this new project after sharing a poem in Hindi at an open mic night at Tufts. His friends fervently encouraged him to write more in Hindi more often which led him in the direction of publishing this book. He also noted that Hindi is more poetic in nature. This can make translating his work into English a little tricky.
The title of his book is “Kuch Pal Hare aur Neele,” and he explained the meaning of that title.
“‘Kuch Pal Hare aur Neele’ translates to ‘Moments Which Are Green and Blue,’ which does not really make sense if you literally translate it, but it basically means that you have moments which are happy and when you’re just on top of the world — that’s … green … And there’s one which I call blue, which is more of sadness,” Jain said. “[The book is] diving deeper into the emotions of both and trying to find balance.”
Despite not really enjoying literature as a high school student, Jain began writing poetry for himself as a way to articulate ideas and feelings that were difficult to communicate despite his expressive nature. Along with this motivation, he had a lot of encouragement and inspiration along the way from his “best friend” Saumya Mehta, a junior studying psychology.
“One inspiration has definitely been my best friend from high school, who also goes to Tufts now,” Jain said. “He used to read my poems, and he actually proofread my first book.”
The team that Jain has put together in order to publish these books has also been a vital source of support.
“Disha Narain [is] a sophomore [at Tufts], and she’s helping me with the graphics [and] book covers,” Jain said. “My publisher, who has published my previous two books — he’s from India — Jyotir Jain, my closest friend … he helped me publish the books … he helped to compile it [and] put all the pieces together.”
While Jain says that poetry has a very special place in his heart, he doesn’t plan on pursuing it as a full-time career, and he thinks that gives him more flexibility, especially if he experiences something like writer’s block.
“I just give it time … why I like to be semi-professional … is that creativity shouldn’t have boundaries, it shouldn’t have limitations,” Jain said. “I’d rather not publish than publish something that’s not of good quality or that’s something that I don’t like.”
In terms of his process, Jain has been able to find a balance between completing his schoolwork and writing his poems.
“Usually at night I write or in the evenings before I go to sleep. I play some music, and I feel like that’s the best way I tend to pursue art, like in a good, calm environment when I’m done with the day … when I’m retrospecting, introspecting. I think that’s the best time to write poems, because thoughts are right on your mind. They’re fresh, so I write then.”
The more technical side of his process includes three editing stages. Jain first writes the poem, looks over it and might make a few small changes. Then, he reads it again after a few days and makes one or two other changes. Finally, he views the poem within the larger context of the other poems that will accompany it, seeing if anything needs to be cut or if he needs to switch up the order of the book at all. He also focuses more on changes to do with grammar and vocabulary within the final edits.
Even though Jain is still finishing up his third book, he already has a vision for his next book to come. He says that it will likely talk more about injustice, as well as upcoming personal experiences.
“A sequel to this [would cover] deeper and more mature emotions,” Jain said. “I feel like even I would have grown more by then. I would … probably be close to graduation or graduated. Seeing job culture through my internship this summer … I think there’s a lot more to learn, a lot more [emotions] to dive deeper into … so it’ll definitely be along those lines.”
Jain is slated to release his third book, “Kuch Pal Hare aur Neele” on Amazon by the end of April or the start of May. His first book and second book are currently on Amazon. He also has a poetry page on Instagram, @thoughts.extended, and Disha Narain, who is responsible for the art in Jain’s book, has an art page on Instagram, @dishanarain.art.