A financial advisor by profession, a dazzling poet by mistake— Vickey Uppal is a fine poet, who uses bewildering words to captivate his audience. His words are therapeutic to people who are dealing with grief. They are also a symbol of love. Vicky considers himself to be a people’s person and prefers traveling when he is not writing.
Questions and answers
Firstly, let's start by talking about your transition from an Investment Banker to a poet. Was poetry always a part of your life, or did you stumble on it by accident?
I knew that I’d experience such a phase in life, but I had no clue as to when I would be a part of it. Investment banking is my profession, but poems & quotes were something that caught my attention. I have always been fascinated by poems, verses, and couplets. I used to scribble short couplets and save them on my phone. I vividly remember that it was the 10th day of April 2018 when I decided to create a page on Instagram- ‘Poet by Mistake’ to post my poetry pieces.
What writers did you enjoy reading as a child?
I enjoyed reading novels, short stories, and comic books like TinTin in my early years. But I was never a patient reader. I would pick a book but was never able to finish it. Most of the time, I highlighted the lines that I thought were relatable. I always made it a point to jot them in my diary and save it.
Your debut collection became an instant bestseller on Amazon. What was your response to it?
I was over the moon. As a debut author, I never imagined that my book would be so well received. I was delighted when it sold out at the world book fair in New Delhi and soon found a place among the top 5 poetry books on Amazon in 2019. The love & support I received from my followers and readers was overwhelming. I will always be indebted to them.
The themes you explore range from romance to grief. Is there a reason you explore these ideas so frequently?
I have written on these themes because I have gone through these phases in my life. I also feel that it resonates with a lot of people who feel the same emotions. I constantly learn with the feedback I receive from my readers. I plan to write in-depth about the process of healing.
You said you already are working on a second book. Can you give us a little hint of what's going to be different about it?
It will be of the same genre as my previous book, titled – ‘Poet by Mistake – Stoke of Love’ but with much more emotional intensity than the former.
Do you find writing easy?
Writing is a craft that can only be mastered by continuous practice. I agree that those who have been working towards doing that for years find it easier compared to others. But you have to keep pushing yourself so that you can inspire others who have the interest to learn it.
Can you describe your typical working day?
On weekdays, I’m usually up by 8:00 AM. I prioritize tasks such as delegation, client follow-ups, reader interaction, scheduling a post for my Instagram page by allotting slots to each of them. I am back home by 7. On weekends, I love to spend time alone in a coffee shop and pen down my thoughts. Sometimes I observe the conversation between couples. I also listen to their stories and learn from their experiences.
How do your poems develop? Can you take us through the stages of building a short piece?
It’s difficult to express in words. I conceptualize my poems by pouring my feelings and converting them into a short piece. I was recently walking on my terrace at dusk, and as the sky changed its colors, I saw a bright, beautiful star which I’m guessing must be Venus. I felt it can be thought of as a metaphor for love and that’s how I came up with these lines –
“She is like the first star in the sky after the sunset.“
There are times when people feel low. What would you advise them about overcoming tough times?
People feel low when their expectations have not been met, or when they haven’t achieved something they had set out for. It can also be in the form of stress, loneliness, or self-doubt. First and foremost, one has to identify if they have brought this upon themselves or what has actually triggered this moment in their life. Acceptance is the key and, most importantly, understand that it’s a battle where you are the only soldier. Yes, there will be family and friends around to help & support you, but eventually, you have to find ways to be happy.
Focus on yourself, amplify your strengths, find a passion, spend more time with your family whose love is irreplaceable, and consistently remind yourself how strong you are. Never ever give up.
How do you manage to fit writing in your schedule?
I am writing all the time, and I feel that poems are in my subconscious. I might be working from 9-5, but my mind is always filled with ideas. It’s just that I need to take out time to put pen to paper. I pen down short poems, so, fortunately, it doesn’t take too much time. I have not assigned a particular time for writing as I believe that writing is an impulse.
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies?
I love to indulge in a game of cricket and watch football. Apart from that, I incline to travel. I feel it’s the best investment one can make. I spend quality time on Social Media and stream web series online. I also enjoy reading poems of other poets as well.
Have you ever had work rejected? Is your second book going to be self-published?
I’m my biggest critic, and I dedicate a lot of time to analyze my work. My only form of rejection is when my Instagram posts have less engagement. The like button is like an expression of appreciation for me. I evaluate my work based on their number.
Yes, I’m thinking of self-publishing it at present, but at the same time, I hope to get a positive response from a traditional publishing house.
What word of inspiration would you like to give to our young audience of arts and letters?
Words are mighty, and so is love, spend it wisely.
Who inspires you, both- as an artist and in life?
I consider myself to be a self-driven person. In fact, I aspire to inspire.
What is a quote that you live by in your life as a poet?
It is, ” Once you decide to succeed, you cannot fail.”