Watch: With So Much Happening In The World, Why We Seek Small Joys

Rochelle Potkar, the author and poet behind Coins In Rivers, engaged in a cerebral conversation with SheThePeople, about the pursuit of little symbols of happiness in a world that faces one atrocity after another.

Tanya Savkoor
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rochelle potkar archana pai kulkarni

Writer Rochelle Potkar recently released her latest collection of poems, Coins In Rivers, which has been shortlisted for the coveted Beverly Poetry Award, UK, and the Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize, NewYork. The book unveils a confluence of womanly desire, intersectional feminism, art, and grief. Beyond these colossal themes, she also wrote about the mundane small joys that take us through each passing day, like perhaps eating our favourite fruit or reading an interesting book. Speaking at the Women Writers' Fest by SheThePeople, Potkar spoke about the complexities of enjoying these everyday luxuries while the world is crumbling under the wrath of sorrowful events. 


Rochelle Potkar On 'Survivor's Guilt'

In a rivetting interaction with Archana Pai Kulkarni, writer Rochelle Potkar underscored the emotional intricacies of her profession and delved into the topic of 'survivor's guilt'. She spoke about the necessity of writing about the small pleasures of our day-to-day lives despite the major life-changing events happening around us.

Recalling recent global news about wars and the pandemic, Potkar expressed, "I noticed that before you can wrap your head around one atrocity or shock, there's another one coming. What I have realised is that my coping mechanism as a poet is that I need to keep writing and writing and writing, I can't cope without writing."

The poet also highlighted the role of everyday individuals in helping those in need. Potkar believes that writing about the undemanding symbols of happiness is her way of contributing. "There will always be some conflict going on in the world but what we human beings can do is do what we can to help people."

Using the microcosm of a mango for 'happiness', Potkar said, "You cannot stop writing about a mango that brings you joy because you are not supposed to stop celebrating your life. You are supposed to share your sources of happiness and help those who can be helped. That is better than feeling guilty and not enjoying the mango yourself."

Rochelle Potkar passionately shared her views about writing as a form of resistance against despair. She urged more artists like herself to share the beauty and joy that they find in the world even amidst turmoil. Instead of feeling inadequate to help those in need, Potkar believes sharing moments of joy through her work is a way of affirming positivity and hope.

Rochelle Potkar women writers' fest small joys