I have been in India several times and was grateful for the sponsorship that I had to go there with WAI. One time I went to Bangalore to do a poetry reading organized by the British Council and then to the Hay Festival in Kerala, as part of a panel of poets (among them Satchidanadan – a poet I greatly admired and whose poetry I had the pleasure of reading and translating into Welsh from Maylalam through the Wales Literature Exchange. Since then, we have kept in touch and I had another invite to Mumbai a year or two ago by the country's Academy of writers, but I could not go because of other trips I had planned.
A coincidence was that I was invited to go to the Great Kritya Festival about three years ago organized by the poet Rati Saxena. I'm proud to say that she admired my work and as a result published a volume of mine, ‘Perffaith Nam’ in Hindi. It was launched last year in London as I could not make it to India to launch it; once again, due to pressure of other projects and my workload.
Travelling to such an immense country always brings satisfaction and excitement and the country’s colourfulness always inspires a poet. I hope that the link between us will continue. In fact, I was invited again to go there at the end of this year! We'll see if it is possible for me to accept that invitation.
Listen to the poet Rati Saxena reading one of Menna’s poems in Hindi: Rati Saxena - Menna Elfyn