INTRODUCTION:- Hindi poet Mrs. Asha Purkayastha was born and bred in Shillong, Meghalaya. Since her childhood, she was interested in learning the national language and because of her constant effort, she now has expert command over the language and has regularly written Hindi poems and performs in various platforms.
1) Q:-How did you develop interest in the Hindi language being a lady of North East where people speak less Hindi?
Ans:- Since Hindi is our national language, I was curious to understand and learn the language even though it has not been widely spoken in our state. I took special interest in learning it during my growing days in school. I tried to understand the depth of the language and learnt more to express myself better through quotations, phrases, poems etc.
2) Q:-Who inspired you to learn Hindi ?
Ans: I would say the beauty of the language itself inspired me to take that amount of interest to learn the language. In this process many inspired and guided me.
3) Q:-Would you please let us know as to how you started studying Hindi ?
Ans;- Well, in school I had Hindi as a subject which introduced me to the language but gradually my own interest intrigued me to further my knowledge. I studied in Northeast’s Shillong, where usage of Hindi language is minimal, hence it had to be my own effort to find ways to learn it and keep myself associated with it through different ways and platforms. After completing graduation in humanities, I did my masters in Hindi language, the knowledge which I later used to teach in a college and shared it with other Hindi language enthusiasts.
4) Q:-Did study in any Hindi School during your childhood ?
Ans: No, I studied in an English medium school but had Hindi as a subject which was my basic introduction to the language. Later, I found ways to learn it from different sources.
5) Q:- Since when you started to write Hindi Poetry as to whether anybody guided you or it is your own effort ?
Ans- Writing poetry has been a recent development. It is since 2017 that I developed interest in writing Hindi poems. The nascent stage was my own learning but now I have people who always guide me. Someone who has always inspired and helped me professionally in different stages is Dr Akela Bhai, a senior officer in All India Radio, Shillong, who himself had represented India in Maldives for Hindi Poetry summits. The other person whom I would like to thank is for the opportunities I got from Mr AK Mathur, IPS (Retd.) the then Director of North Eastern Police Academy, also YPS Chauhan a senior BSF officer who constantly inspires me to write and improve. Someone who stood by me is my husband who told me age is no bar and supported me through whatever way he could, so my family has been my backbone in this journey.
6) Q:-It is learnt that you had attended so many Hindi poetry competitions that you even achieved some prestigious award . Can you brief us about your achievement?
Ans:- In the year 2017 I joined an organization known as Purvottar Hindi Academy where I had the privilege to participate in several Hindi poetry competitions for which I was recognized, rewarded by experts and dignitaries.
7) Q:- Which are the places you had attended such Hindi poetry competition. Kindly let us know about your experiences .
Ans:- I performed in various states like Shillong, Assam’s Shivsagar , Guwahati and in Delhi too. Every event was such an enriching experience. I participated along with many distinguished Hindi poets. I was nervous to engage myself with such experienced people of the industry but gradually gained confidence and started enjoying the process which gave me the confidence to present it well.
8) Q:- You being a Bengali woman and being a inhabitant of Shillong where Hindi languages are not much prominent but you managed to complete your MA slandered Hindi degree, and what are the difficulties you faced ?
Ans:- There wasn’t any difficulty but the challenge was fewer platforms in my state to learn the language. I took personal interest to find platforms, organizations and places which can enhance my restricted learning, once I found it, I kept learning and then it is a never-ending process. Where there is a will, there is always a way.
9) Q:- What is your observation as to how the people of North East are interested to learn Hindi , and as to how Govt. of India taking effort to encourage people to learn Hindi since it is our national language ?
Ans:- According to me the interest wasn’t there much to learn the language in the North eastern side of the country but now the scenario has changed. People now have an inclination to learn it as it is our national language. Government, different NGOs have introduced various schemes and programs to encourage more and more people to learn the language.
10) Q:- Do you have any interest in encouraging people to learn Hindi and till date any such attempt you made ?
Ans- Yes, I try to encourage people through whatever little way I can, like conversing more in Hindi, write more in Hindi, to express emotions in Hindi language while I am myself learning and developing the command in this language. I respect all the languages in our country but Hindi being our national language we all should learn the minimum.