Lily Swarn recipient of numerous awards
THIS is your book more than mine: this largely sums up Lily
Swarn’s journey as a writer. Dedicated to her 23-year-old son Gobind Shahbaaz Singh, A Trellis of Ecstasy is the grieving mother’s debut rendition of her feelings.
As dew clings to the slippery leaf
Cinnamon silently flavoursthe pie
Your eyes follow my every move
Watching whether I live or die…
(Epitome of Friendship)
“Nada Sahib se minnaten karke liya tha, vahin chhod diya,” whispers Lily, her eyes moist as she recalls the day of her son’s bhog and daughter’s wedding. A Chandigarh girl, she loved roses drooping through the trellises in the Rose Garden. It was only on her first appointment as a lecturer in Dalhousie that she got to know what trellis is — a framework of light wooden or metal bars used as a support for creepers. “Life is also like that.”
After losing her son, Lily took to writing on the notepad of her mobile phone, and posted some of it on Facebook where she found her readers and mentors. Titles poured in as did awards, Reuel International poetry 2016, one among many. She wanted to keep herself busy, and online competitions gave her just that. Reuel required her to post a poem a day for the month of April — the poetry month — and she wrote more. “I was writing like a maniac,” she says.
Through Facebook she found a friend who helped her collect, classify and publish her poems. Her publisher demands a book on poetry every year, and that’s what she finds totally doable.
“Writing gives me a purpose,” says this Army officer’s wife, penning down her thoughts as she cooks or walks around. “I can write on anything I want to.” Her ‘My First Cellphone’ talks about her first rather ugly handset that she fixed with a spectacle glasses. Nature and love intertwine in her poems… “Either nature is love or love flows from nature,” Lily is yet to figure that out. Her first collection is neatly divided into — award winning poems, Conversations with My Soul, Nature Poetry, Love and Spontaneous Ponderings, Portraits and Alliterations. Mostly in free verse, she uses lots of repetitions as if to tease the reader.
Her young son also left her with a ‘mountain load of friends’ who try to step into Gobind Shahbaaz Singh’s shoes on social media. “Was it not for the online community I wouldn’t have had the recognition, love and guidance of so many people,” says the author. Her poems have made it to many online forums and magazines.
The next is going to be a collection of essays that she wrote soon after losing Gobind in 2013 and another poetry collection next.
Her first literary influence is Gurbani, a part and parcel of her growing-up years when she lived next to the Gurdwara in Sector 8. Her father encouraged her to memorise the best of Ghalib and Faiz Ahmad Faiz and some of the best from English literature that she studied and taught. — Mona.