‘It is very important to have conversations’ – Yahya Bootwala On Love, Poetry and Honesty.

By Avilasha Sarmah in Celebrity Interviews 25/03/2019

“The major issue with our generation is that we do not have a proper perception of love.”


Spoken Word Poet and Social Media sensation, Yahya Bootwala’s poetic expressions of love and life are well-known. But when we asked him why unlike most people he chose to be openly sensitive, he said that it should rather be the most common conversation.


Talking about how it’s a lack in our generation he hints at the hook-up culture of casual dating and short-term relationships, what he calls the ‘social media love life’. In this context, love needs to be the center of the conversation, especially amongst men and by men. This is because India still retains patriarchy at the very fiber of its society. Men should know how to really love a woman. Her consent, her reciprocity needs to be understood and most often men are unaware, and hence these things need to be talked about.


The common misconception among people today is that dating is a joyride. People are reluctant to make things work. Most often when things get ugly, the first reaction is flight.


“You just can’t take the other person for granted.”


An advocate of honesty, he holds that being honest about how one feels or what one says, is very important.


The idea is to have conversations.


Bad days are just as natural and there should be nothing shameful about having a terrible day. He presses on expressing one’s feelings which should be encouraged. These are very important conversations right now, he says, because our generation is stressed out. And one of the biggest aid of even mental illness is conversations and expression. We are a generation obsessed with social media, which should be understood as only a part of our lives, not the whole picture.


“Have real conversations with utmost honesty and somewhere down the line you’ll realize, damn, my life has improved.”


In his own life, Yahya has had been authentic to his truth. He laughs when he expresses, how while at it, he has had always done those things that people say ‘you shouldn’t be doing as you might not be successful’. But he would just be like, “Let me just make one decision at a time” and he stuck to it till it turned right.


Calling acting his childhood dream, he jokes about taking up performance poetry to make up for his struggling acting career.


“I would go for an audition but the max that I’ve reached is you know, oh we have selected you but this director’s son had just walked in and we are sorry.”


But them streamlines his entire journey that made space for Yahya as the poet. Right from losing his job, to dealing with heartbreak, and family issues, the vent for all of which was writing.


He says writing has been this passion that supported him in his most crucial time.


“I wasn’t with people to sit down and have conversations and they helping me out. I was with my words.”


Poetry was his means for self-expression.


“I was just this honest chap who wanted to talk about my feelings, how I felt and then suddenly it clicked with the audience.”


But either way, he nurtures separate love stories with both (acting and poetry)!

Currently curating a creative team for Feministaa! Apart from that I am a wanderer who loves to write. Places call out to me and I enjoy making poetry out of moments. Do check out my book – “When the Cuckoo Called”.


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