Prolific writer Kalpesh Desai launched his much-waited and soulful writing “Jasmines In her Hair”. The immensely talented author stopped by to shed light on his passion, inspiration, and creativity. Here is how the conversation went –
Q. It is a real pleasure to get a chance to talk with you, Kalpesh Desai, and congratulations on the magnificent book. For those who are new to your writing, where are you based, and what first motivated you to write poetry?
Kalpesh: Thank you very much for having me and this opportunity to speak with you. I am an Indian and have been based out of Dubai for over 3 decades. I have always been an avid reader, and have delved into poetry from a very young age. I was in the 7th grade when my English Literature teacher at the boarding school I was at, encouraged our class to write a poem a day. I found that I was able to process my thoughts and emotions better through this medium. And as I made my way through my tech-entrepreneurial journey which has had it’s good and not-so-good moments, I found that articulating my thoughts poetically helped me distill the distinctions that I learnt through every interaction.
Q. What does “Jasmines In Her Hair” signify, and what is your biggest ambition in terms of where you hope to reach with your writing?
Kalpesh: Jasmines, in the south asian cultures, are the flowers that we use to adorn our deities. It is also a flower worn by a lot of women in our culture on celebratory occassions. The book itself speaks of a journey and explores the various facets of relationships, right from the first throes of passion, why relationships fracture, how one heal from this, and rediscover themselves and hence new possibilities. I hope the book helps couples relook at their relationships from eyes that would look upon their current and past partners with gratitude, cherish their presence and influence on one’s life, and constantly check how one can maintain a relationship with and inside of integrity.
Q. Your online persona is somewhat elusive, was there a creative reason for that, or do you just feel more comfortable focusing on the poetry and art over any of the other filler we tend to see?
Kalpesh: I do have an online presence for my business initiatives, though it seems that the feed is full of my poetic contributions off-late. Poetry has always been a hobby and the means to validate and process my own thoughts. I had set up an Instagram profile during the pandemic and over the past few years it turned out to be hugely popular. This is why I suspect you see more of my poetry at present.
Q. How do you split your time creatively as a writer, and work-wise as a CEO and entrepreneur, and what is your plan of action for 2024?
Kalpesh: My primary focus is and always has been on the busineses I am engaged with. Writing has been a creative outlet and will remain so. I do spend an hour a day engaging with my followers, and I would take out some time during the weekend to focus on my literary endeavors. In addition to running my tech firm, I am on the board of a Dubai based investment bank, as well as on the advisory board of other firms that I mentor.
Q. Your repertoire is quite extensive, what was the first poetry you ever wrote, and how much has changed about your approach since then?
Kalpesh: I believe my writing has matured over the years. My first poem would have also been an inpirational poem, and my school mates would remember a torn, hand-written notebook that I have in possession to this day, titled “Of Ink and Paper”. My poems invite the reader to explore possibilities and distinctions whether the poems are romantic in nature, or motivational and inspirational.
Q. The poetry book is gentle, authentic, and for the most part, exploring love, heartbreak, self-love, rediscovery, and many more. Do you plan to write more such poetries in the future?
Kalpesh: I have seen a lot of fractured relationships around me, and I see these instances increasing by the day. I was fortunate enought that I could maintain relationships even if the nature of relationships change. Jasmines In Her Hair is written as a guide that captures the lessons and distinctions learnt during my journey, in the hope that it helps heal and allows the reader to relook at their positions with respect to their relationships – and learn to nurture, cherish, treasure and express gratitude even whilst letting go. This is actually my second poetry book, My first book is yet to be published, and that book is very different since the focus is on entrepreneurship and leadership expressed through nuggets of wisdom aimed at making someone a better leader. I have chosen to create a fusion of prose and poetry that explore various facets of leadership, management and empowerment.
Q. What is the best way people can experience and support your writing right now?
Kalpesh: I hope that the book continues to find acceptance, as it has so far. I am truly grateful to my followers and readers. The poetry community within Instagram itself, is a very close-knit community, and their support has been overwhelming too. I would invite poetry lovers to follow this burgeoning community.
Q. What is your biggest ambition right now?
Kalpesh: My biggest ambition still remains centered around my enterprise, and the experiences in that journey are the fodder for my poetry. And my poetry helps me process thoughts where. I get stuck. Hence one leads to the other, and I suspect that someday we may see how the fusion of business and creative thinking may result in helping people find access to the ever elusive work-life balance.
Q. Does your boundless creativity manifest in any other ways?
Kalpesh: I am not sure if the creativity is boundless, but I certainly feel that my critical thinking ability has been enhanced and i am able to manifest this whilst mentoring companies. One of the distinctions I have gleaned whilst writing poetry, and a skill some of the companies I mentor will tell you, is my ability to spot patterns in processes, and hence presence the gaps. This too, is poetry.
Q. What do you want people to think of when they hear your name?
Kalpesh: I would hope to be remembered as someone who touched, moved and inspired both as an entrepreneur and leader, and as a friend and acquaintance.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you were ever given? And by whom?
Kalpesh: The best piece of advice that I have been given is by my mentor. There was an incident more than 2 decades ago, when I was driving down from Abu Dhabi to Dubai with my mentor on Sheikh Zayed Road, which permits high speeds on the highway. The axle of the car in front of us broke and it came to a sudden stop. I swerved in time and was trying to control the car, and my mentor said “leave the steering and let it land”. That has been a life-lesson. Whenever issues hit at you, let it first land rather than trying to resolve them whilst being hurled into the issue. It is only when the dust settles and you are at a pace to have control, can you truly take control. Till then, let it land.
Q. Is there anything else we should know?
Kalpesh: There is a writer in everyone, and I do encourage people to start writing down their thoughts and exploring their emotions and critical thinking through this medium. With respect to myself, I would ask my readers to follow my stories because there is another book that is ready and waiting for the right launchpad.
You can get this book at: https://elink.io/p/jasminesinherhair-9b09cb8
Vincent Delaney – Entertainment
Having won over numerous scholarships for courses based on music content development, I have been a ghostwriter for more than 6 years. Being a permanent music review writer over all the musical genres, I have learned a lot and looking forward to taking my writing career in a new direction.