Meet the very inspiring, Soumya Mohanty Vilekar. She wears many hats: poet, book author, a certified patent holder in Powder Metallurgy, ambassador for the global initiative World Pulse, is behind the initiative Revolutionary and has now turned producer with her maiden venture, the Sufi song Jogi de Naal through her newly created production company Audumbar Arts. Soumya who has released several books, including the anthology of poems, Suroor of the soul with her partner Shaheen and is a sub-editor at the Hindi quarterly magazine AkhandBharat never cease to inspire and surprise us. I can vouch for that. She has been a good friend who keeps inspiring me at every end. The Pune-based writer and owner, Proprietor who stayed in Dubai for a very long time speak to me in this interview on the Sufi song, Jogi de Naal which is making waves and what keeps us going to conquer the skies.
- Writer, poet, community champion leader and now producer of the Sufi album, Jogi de Naal. It seems that you will stop at nothing. How do you find time for limitless creativity to flow in your kitty as an artist and entrepreneur?
“As an artist, there is no end to creativity and thus no end to the journey of being creative.”
Thank you, Vishal for inviting me to have a conversation on your web blog, which talks about every aspect of life and for always supporting me.
When we let creativity flow freely it takes its own course. There is no stopping by, and one tends to be swayed by the tide. It’s a never ending passion, ceaseless and eternal. When we are passionate and enthusiastic about our work, time is managed on its own, although it is strenuous at times, but it is worth the effort.
Art has always fascinated me, whether the colours splashed on a canvas or the varied colours on sky, music of nature or instruments, dance, poetry or literature, I breathe art. Music being the most vibrant of all forms of art, it rejuvenates my existence and life.
We all wish to capture and get hold of time, but it slips away like the sand particles which can never be contained in a closed palm and ultimately, we lose. So instead “Time” should be revered, used in such a way that we never ever repent in future, about a single moment being wasted, when we look back.
2. Your new production vehicle, Audumbar Arts partnered with Zee Music for the launch of ‘Jogi de Naal.’ How did the collaboration happen and can you share with us behind the scenes as well as the idea behind the creation of the company?
While I was always interested in all the aspects of art, Shaheen, my friend had once expressed interest in making a movie with me. (The project will take time to take its real shape).
We even wrote a story for the same but had to be kept aside for a while. That was three years ago.
In 2016, when the thought struck again of doing short films / films on social issues, I came across friends who hailed from music and film background.
Before we could finalize and start the short film project, which had been already conceived and worked upon, I heard the composition of this song “Jogi De Naal” done by Vivian Vaidya. Since it is a soothing Sufi composition, it instantly clicked with me and captured my senses. It carries melodious tune and beats which would grab anyone’s attention. And thus, Audumbar Arts was formed and “Jogi De Naal” became our first project. Although it falls in the genre of Sufi fusion and not the original Sufi music which is more of a devotional and transcendental kind, I found this melody to be the perfect start as a commercially viable project.
The making, recording, mastering and the editing part took us a whole three months and I had to literally breathe “Jogi De Naal” every single moment to ensure every phase went smoothly. The field was new, there were a lot of hitches and hurdles, but I gradually overcame every hurdle.
Thanks to my team of Jogi De Naal who supported me wholeheartedly and unconditionally, we all walked together like a family supporting one another to create this video, which is more of unified team effort and work.
After the completion of the video, I approached various music companies for its release. Although several music companies cooperated with us, they were having packed schedule for the next few months and finally talks with Zee Music Company succeeded and we decided to go ahead with Zee. It is of course, a very big platform and association for Audumbar Arts, especially for its first venture. Their people were supportive and we were able to release the song on “Eid”.
The song will be soon available on different music platforms like Saavn, Gaana, I tunes and Wynk.
I am proud to present to you all the music of Jogi de Naal and you can watch the video on Zee Music’s YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/OkxJPES-2_I
The video has already crossed 20,000 plus views in 48 hrs and hope with everyone’s support, it will reach out to more and more people.
3. What can music lovers expect from Jogi de Naal and the creative vision behind it? What are the new projects Audumbar Arts plan to get into?
The song Jogi De Naal is a Punjabi Sufi song set on a contemporary musical frame with the theme of finding love and happiness.
The video on a broader perspective is a story of a man and woman searching for true love and they find it when they truly connect from the heart.
If we go in depth to comprehend the gist, it reveals: the song’s protagonist isn’t a man but a soul who wanders aimlessly in life where he/she lives, struggles, survives yet continues in the journey. In the quest to connect with the divine, the soul searches and wanders to different places of worship, religion, faith, but it fails to find the peace of divinity and ultimately discovers truth in his true self, depicted as love. The sunset represents the dusk of life and expresses how one realizes the true meaning of life, as soul and divine only in the latter stage of life.
Audumbar Arts has been conceived to highlight the real purpose, the art of music and cinema through the contemporary lens while keeping the essence of Indian art alive.
Audumbar Arts is just out of the cradle and has taken few baby steps before it actually starts walking at a faster pace. There are many plans for the future which are yet to be implemented like regional songs, Sufi albums, devotional songs, videos with social messages and short films. It also wishes to soon commence a new kind of festival which would include and combine art, music, and poetry through heritage and culture. The dreams are big and it will take some time to gradually bring all of this to reality, but the results will be seen.
4. You are also involved with ‘World Pulse’ which is a vibrant global community that believes in making a difference to humanity. So far, how World Pulse is striving to change lives, empower people and its impact on humanity?
WorldPulse is a global platform of an online community that connects more than 25,000 women from different fields belonging to 190 nations to bring a change in lives of around 2.5 billion women. World Pulse is working in partnership with Global fund for Women, Nobel Women’s Initiative, IWMF, INTEL, Global Press Institute, World Vision, Asian University for women and many such organizations to bring about the desired change in lives of women.
WorldPulse has bridged the gap of knowledge, learning, education, communication and distance through interaction, coordination and by providing opportunities, resources on this platform for innumerable women to interact, learn, share, work, collaborate, unite and empower each other with their learning, experience, and resources. The members work individually or with local organizations in many countries at the grassroots level to bring the desired change in their corner of the world.
I joined this community three years ago and since then, have found myself more evolved with the kind of interaction, opportunities and training I have gone through. I completed the role of Community Champion for a term of six months and have been continuing the same until now with equal enthusiasm. The change is visible. With support from WorldPulse, I could initiate and lead the campaign “IAM A LEADER” across the world on WorldPulse and have been actively participating in several other initiatives hosted by them.
5. You also come from the field of powder metallurgy where you hold a joint patent in the same. How were you introduced to this field and the hiccups faced on account of being a woman in this ‘male-dominated domain’?
After a long and series of interviews, I have been asked this question for the first time, which is one of my favourite topics! Thanks to you for letting me speak on one of my favourite topics!
I am in the field of Powder Metallurgy since the last twenty-two years although intermittently due to lot of responsibilities cropping up on the home front. As the work requires to be present at the place of commencing of industries at different places, I have been on and off in this field.
I started working after my graduation and got trained under my father, who is in this field by profession since the last forty years. He has several patents to his name and almost all the metal powder units running in India have been set up by him. Thus, since childhood I have been fascinated about furnaces and metal powders. The feel of working near the coal-fired furnaces always excited me and even today the fire rages in my belly to execute any such project. Although it is highly uncomfortable working in such atmospheres where the furnace temperature ranges from 400- 1800 C which is extremely hot and also the extra fine metal powders scratch and cut through the skin, this is one science which still challenges and makes me feel, that I can do it.
I didn’t actually face any kind of opposition or hiccups, as in India there are very few people who are in the technical field of P/M and rare cases who actually work in this line of setting up industries or providing technical know-how for this indigenous work, so I was rather welcomed with an awe and surprise wherever I went.
The patent I have is jointly owned by my husband and father, for the process of developing partially alloyed bronze powder for powder metallurgical applications using a reduction process.
6. Do you think powder metallurgy has the power to shape India at a time when we are speaking of ‘Make in India’ being an important global economic pillar?
While the whole of India and the new government is talking about the initiative “Make in India”, it was an important step to ensure and gather the indigenous technologies that is already in place, implement them for setting industries and to collaborate with the advanced technologies of such fields from different nations which would enhance the productivity, quality, and quantity of make in India in different sectors.
Powder Metallurgy excels over its counterpart, the method of forging and other processes in producing the smallest, minute metal parts in lesser time and more in quantity with finesse and perfection retaining the original and desired properties of the parts. This has been the basic advantage of P/M.
This science has developed in other countries to a level, which would require years and decades for us to reach that position. Nanoscience and Powder injection moulding processes are the reigning super power countries allowing them to supersede on us by being the owners of such processes.
Powder Metallurgy has the power to change the future of India and has the capability to run for several generations creating a whole new sector of indigenous science.
But, sadly, neither any attention nor any kind of support is provided to such units nor to the developers. We do not even have colleges and engineering institutions offering it as a subject, leave alone Nanoscience/Nanoengineering which is the advanced subject of technology today, which leaves the younger generation and most of our people unaware of this developed science.
7. Revolutionary Pens and sub-editor of a quarterly Hindi Magazine and book author, would you say life has come at a full circle and how do you combine everything?
Well! Life is yet to reach the full circle, although a cycle/span repeats every ten years, there are still many skies which remain untouched and I wish to soar and paint them with my dreams.
AkhandBharat, the Hindi magazine is published quarterly and of national interest highlighting current social issues and other problems of our country.
Revolutionary Pens is one such initiative which intends to connect artists across the world in a single thread of humanity. The birth of “Revolutionary Pens” is for a unified purpose to connect artists around the world to create a world free from hatred, violence, discrimination, terrorism, politicization and transform it into a peaceful and humane world. Amidst the world of chaotic noise and bouts of hatred, we the people of this world live in a cocoon to free ourselves from these pangs and detach by ignoring the situation of the world. Issues are plenty, but every problem shows the lack of inhumaneness in character and nature.
How has mankind moved in such a direction, where we forget, that we are humans and not cannibals or animals?
Art knows no language, religion, caste, discrimination and if this is used to voice strongly for humanity- hatred, violence, and inhumanity would surely vanish from the earth.
This is an effort which has just been conceived and will acquire its shape soon.
I intend to start a newsletter of Revolutionary Pens featuring artists and art from different corners of the world and from different faiths and origin, along with organizing a “Revolutionary Pens Meet” every year very soon.
8. You also published several poems such as Sludge of Politics and your works are also published in Multidisciplinary Journal of Latur University in Maharashtra. Your books ‘Life Inspiration to Spiritualism’, ‘The Mystic Journey’ and ‘Winds of Philia’ made a positive impact. When were you first drawn to poetry and what role it plays in your life?
Poetry for me is like flowing of expressions. My thoughts flow ceaselessly like a river in the form of poetry.
Poetry has the capacity to absorb and express the gigantic turbulences going on in a mind, the overwhelming emotions in a heart, to speak on behalf of the relics of heritage and history to the poignancy of expressing pitiable conditions of a destitute in society, to rise from the ashes and ablaze like a revolution against the misdeeds and inhumaneness, or to eternally keep alive the essence of life, nature and divine through mere scribbling.
In short, poetry is a reflection of self and life around us! I wrote a poem for the first time when I was in junior college, out of compulsion in my college’s spot poetry competition, but, surprisingly I was proclaimed the winner. When I was a ten-year-old girl, a short story that I penned was published in a local newspaper, Hitavada long back. Perhaps, there was already a seed sown inside, which gradually surfaced when I was doing my graduation and started writing.
There was a long gap of ten years again in between after my graduation when I stopped writing and it resurfaced when we were staying in Sharjah in 2011.Since then, not a single day has ended where I have not written anything. It gives a sense of fulfilment to my existence and somewhat calms the mind and heart after a long tiring day.
Writing poems is also a way through which I easily connect with the divine. To realize and appreciate nature, write about its selflessness makes me more introspective and let me shed all the negativities to bring me closer to myself. As a soul, I feel overwhelmed when I write about the intricacies of love, bonds, devotion and compassion.
9. ‘Suroor of the soul’, a critique was the last book which you co-authored which touched the soul and was rich with a socially relevant message. Is there any new book in the offing and plans to write a novel or another poem anthology in the near future?
Suroor of the soul was a book which described the journey in pursuit of real happiness. There are thousands of poems lying in the kitty and two novels already completed.
A poet would always wish his/her works to be published continuously as long as the ink flows and his/her pen writes, but the real essence of poetry or novel when infuses or reaches the heart of every reader brings more happiness and satisfaction. This can happen only when both poetry and novel reach to readers across the world and for this, a good publishing platform is needed.
The process of publishing through traditional, well-known publishing houses is rather slow and critical, so let’s hope those writings and thoughts will see the sunshine some day when the sun dawns.