“Just Ashish, without mister nor sir, just Ashish,” he said when he introduced himself to Kover. This friendly and humble guy invited Kover to his beautiful home on Sunday, 16th September 2019, for a brief yet pleasant chat over some Indian delicacy tea and cookies.
Ashish Sharma was born in Patiala in the state of Punjab, India. After completing all his academic years both in Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical and M.B.A. Operations as Major & Marketing as Minor (University Topper), Ashish worked for various multinational companies in India. 16 years later a job offer brought him to Medan in November 2012. Working as General Manager in PT Oleochem & Soap Industri for 7 years in Medan now has made him and his family feel at home. Ashish and his wife Yogita, are blessed with two children, Apurva and Abhilaksh.
In 2016, Ashish, with the support of the Consulate General of India, started Indian Expatriates Association Medan (IEAM). In his leadership as the President of this association, IEAM has carried out various cultural and charity events, and annual cricket competitions in Medan. “We try to support the Indian Consulate in various events, in whatever ways we could everytime the Consulate holds an event in Medan,” he admitted.
“The number of IEAM members is fluctuating, expatriates keep coming and going, but generally at any given point of time, we have 80 to 100 members in Medan and 20-30 in Batam, all working in various fields, such as oil refinery company, glove-making company, soap industry, agribusiness and many more,” Ashish added.
“Honestly, Medan is a magnet, but with somewhat slow magnetic field. For expatriates, the city could give you a set back in the beginning, but gradually, you will start loving Medan. Once it embraces you, it will be hard for you to leave Medan. More entertainment in Medan would be a huge game changer.” he said.
That evening, Ashish gave us his 3 autographed books: PEARLS from the Ocean of Heart, released in 2014, DIAMONDS from the Mine of Mind, released in 2015 and the most recent one EMERALDS Carved with Thoughts, released in 2019.
His love for Ghazal, an Indian classical art form, that drove him into expressing his thoughts and feelings into song lyrics and poems. In between learning activities back then, Ashish began scribbling lyrics and poems, which out of his youthful mind, were mostly about love. But gradually these scribbles became something that he was keen into very much, and Ashish’ focus began to shift to more realistic issues in human life.
In 2012 Ashish managed to compile a good stock of poems that were previously scattered throughout the years, he began to think about publishing a poetry book. However, in the same year he moved to Medan. Only in 2014, with the help of his wife as a translator, the first book, “Pearls from the Ocean of Heart”, was successfully published.
The translation process was not easy, because the deep meaning in the mind of the writer might not be captured by the translator. But the process became a beautiful routine activity for the married couple. Every Sunday they would sit together to get an english translation that truly understood the meaning of the poems. Getting familiar with all the process, “Diamonds from the Mine of Mind” was released in 2015 with a much smoother process.
“Emeralds Carved with Thoughts” was released on 19 June 2019 at Chandigarh, and like the previous 2 books, were also released by Mrs. Savita Bhatti, A Noted Actor, Socialite & wife of the Legendary Comedian, Noted Actor & Film Producer Late Mr.Jaspal Bhatti. In this book, he has also written poems in the honour of some great personalities like Prime Minister of India Mr.Narendra Modi, a great poet and former Prime Minister of India late Mr.Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the king of meaningful comedy late Mr.Jaspal Bhatti, a great philanthropist and businessman late Mr.Hayel Saeed Anam, and his parents Prof.Harinder Sharma & Mrs.Uttra Sharma. The book also has a featured a poem to commemorate the 70 Years of friendship of two great nations India & Indonesia.
“I want to change the way readers think, I want to pass on good thoughts, so readers could see the goodness of the world,” Ashish answered when asked about his goals. “Let’s Plant a Tree”, for example, from the book Diamonds has a very beautiful message to encourage the readers to plant a tree as an “oxygen insurance” everytime a child is born.
We were stunned as we listened to Ashish describing several more poems that really touched on important issues in human life. It was interesting to read how a complex problem can be beautifully stripped down into composition of words, how thoughts and feelings towards the reality of life can be transformed into a piece of art.
Quoted from the ending part of the poem My Stubborn Passion from the book Emeralds:
“The ones who are jealous to see my heights,
I pray to The God,
that He gives them also a pair of wings,”
has a humbling message that we can definitely use in our everyday life.
Stay positive. Stay grateful.
Penulis: Elsa Malona, Fotografer: Vicky