Many times when we see any artist on stage, all we see is his/her popularity, fan following and success made by him/her, neglecting the journey and struggles behind that success. Because, most of the time, that journey or struggles are untold or people just ask them about their success and not the failures! So, here is the journey of Arpan Khosla- The emerging Pomedian and Founder of one-step content-tech platform Rhymly, who has shared with us not just his success but also his failures:
1) How the idea/passion for poetry came to you?
It all started when there was an English Poetry Competition happening in school when I was in class
8th. I randomly participated & loved writing my piece. My teachers also told that I have a good
thought process for poems. So, I started writing on a regular basis. Like everyone, I explored the
concepts of real & fictitious heart breaks & other social impact topics. I started maintaining a blog
& One of my poems got featured in HT School times. I felt terrific about it.
I was being known as a poet in my standard & was loving the whole persona that was coming with it.
After school, I felt that English was not the language that I think in & probably I express better
in Hindi perhaps. We went to a Goa trip and there I wrote my first legitimate Hindi poem on the
Candolim beach because the cosmos scenery was such that the moon was perfectly aligned
between two stars. The title of my story was “ Iss samandar se Aaj ye dil Kuch kehta hai.” which is loved by everyone. In college, I joined the Street Play Society and wrote a lot of scripts & jingles not
realizing that poetry and creative writing were becoming a lot more than a passion. I won some inter-college competitions, started writing about mature topics & eventually started seeking a career in it.
I received a lot of flak at home for acting in street plays &doing poetry because everyone felt that in
India you can’t do these things full-time. They thought I am just ruining my Engineering degree from a good college.
I fought for it at my home because I always dreamt of becoming a stage performer and not just a
writer. I started writing comedy too & today have made my name somewhat as a POMEDIAN ( Poet
+ Comedian ) Arpan Khosla ; did 400+ stage events under the brand name of KHOSLA KA HAUSLA.
As far as my entrepreneurial stint goes, I was working ( or you can say struggling ) with Airtel
straight out of college, worked there for 20 months & then left it because I wanted to do something
more, more defining and of course more creative. I was working on another startup idea when the will
to execute the idea of “Rhymly” came to me.
I have been a poet cum creative writer for almost 10 years now and the only thing I have learned is that if you want to earn bread in this field, You should have considered two main things i.e Less Time and More Creativity.
Initially, I used to write only once or twice a month due to the lack of vocabulary or the next rhyming word, because of which I had a lot of incomplete poems
which I eventually left as there was no thought process after that.
I could see a lot of fellow writers struggling with the same issue.
I came to a conclusion that if more people have to make a more sustainable career in
creative writing, then they can’t be limited by both mood & vocabulary. Also, there was no resource on
Google to search for rhymes of a certain Hindi/Hindustani word & the market of Hindi writers is
pretty large. There are such resources for English but none for Hindi. I used to crib all the time
because of this and wasted a lot of time thinking of rhymes of words in my brain ( shona, kona,
corona, etc. ).
I used to write a lot of funny parodies and jingles for my street theatre group in college but felt that
this wasn’t the most efficient way of writing as I could see a lot of time wasted in this.
I didn’t have an entrepreneurial attitude then, but poetry was still my unsaid venture.
I was already working with the right team has the same belief & decided to make something that
wouldn’t just help me but all Hindi/Hindustani writers at their biggest pain point: Vocabulary.
A poem or a song can be without end rhymes also, but even those writers use a lot of internal
rhymes if not end rhymes.
Our unique proposition is that we cover the entire process of short content rhyming, writing, storing, sharing and discovering on a single platform “Rhymly” and thus a creative writer doesn’t need to go to multiple platforms for all these things.
I have personally built the database which contains Hindi words which are the most commonly used in daily life. The best part is that this online resource is completely FREE. We thus launched “Rhymly” which is a one-stop content tech platform that helps budding creative writers search rhymes, meanings of Hindi words, create original couplets while rhyming on the fly, discover kickass content and also get themselves featured on the app every day.
2) What were the initial struggles or failure you have faced in this industry?
Lots of struggles that every artist does face. Monetization has been the most constant of them as
no one ( particularly in Delhi ) is willing to pay for poetry. Also nepotism, as a lot of good
performance stages end up being with average performers because they have better contacts. Then
the poor outlook of poetry as being assumed sad and not entertaining because of a lot of average
content getting millions of views on the Internet.
While I have had a lot of good shows being offered to me but due to a sudden change of minds, a lot of them have
got canceled too. I have been self-employed for a year and a half. It’s really difficult sustaining
your livelihood with poetry. Overall, it’s a difficult industry to be in but that’s what I like about it. The
struggle is real; it’s making me tougher and a nonquitter. I hope it reaps great fruit in the future.
3) How will you define Arpan Khosla in present?
Currently, Arpan Khosla is an office dropout, an improving entrepreneur, and a seasoned artist. I am performing at esteemed places such as Akshara Theatre, Prithvi Theatre, Pearey Lal Bhawan, Piano Man Jazz Club, Social Offline, American Center, Indian International Center, Indian Habitat Center and have won competitions at Canvas Laugh Club.
I have also performed & hosted for various corporates/startups like Wittyfeed, Tinder, Bharti Airtel, Xiaomi, CoHo, The Hosteller, MooDe, YourQuote, Nojoto and Womenite. I have featured on TV via MH1 News Channel & in online newspapers like TOI, Hindustan Times, Sahara Samay, Loofre, YourQuote, News NCR, Nav Bharat Times, Jagran News Faridabad. I have also performed in poetry festivals like the Contemporary Arts Week, Jashn-e-Rekhta, the Delhi Poetry Festival & for UNESCO events.
Today, Arpan Khosla is one of the few poets in Delhi who has staged multiple ticketed poetry shows in the city (all sellouts)
Also, our startup Rhymly has been running really good with about 12,000 odd unique users who
have joined us on our website and app. The Rhymly community is growing bigger every day.
4) What are your Future Aspirations?
I will be too modest and also lie if I say that I don’t want to become a celebrity artist one day. I wish
to continue doing poetry which is funny, bold, rib-tickling as well as ready for mass entertainment.
My aim is to entertain people through intellectual content, create a sustainable model of
monetization of poetry in India, and I want to make our startup Rhymly; the best short content
platform in India that will eventually help people create more, a better quality of content and making money.
5) What was your source of inspiration in your tough time or any inspirational message you would like to share?
My source of inspiration has always been the thought that I’m here to make my legacy and not
merely survive. I’ve faced tough times because of my dreams and decisions, but I do have
developed a never quitting attitude in times of hardships. There is a poem of mine in Hindi which I
would like to share, which keeps me afloat when I think I’m drowning in helpless waters.
“Chaahe toot ke aa pade tuj pe
museebat kitne hi bade paimaane pe
madad ki apeksha mat kar tu
ek inch farak nai padega zamaane pe
mat le imtehaan aansuon ka apne
naa gaa baar baar kismat ka rona
bachpan nai hai dost ab ye
sirf ungli rakhne se naa milega khilona
rukh se karvate aise chupaale
ki dhongipane ka puraskaar mile
mann mein seenchle pathar ki deewarein
ki dhundne par bhi na koi daraar mile
tujko to bsss suraj ki parchaai banke
nayi roshni ki or chalna hai
shaam ke andhere to dastak dete rahengay
par tujko kabhi naa dhalna hai
tujko kabhi naa dhalna hai!”
Author’s Point of View:
There are many people like Arpan Khosla who are struggling in their life to achieve something, might be you are one of them. But always remember, the only thing that will help you to be successful is your Will to become successful and your never give up attitude. Keep Hustling!
Divya is a skilled business developer and the conceptual mind behind bold and bright ideas. She has an eye for the smallest detail which defines her work. She can reflect and analyze work like nobody else and never lets the bigger picture escape from sight. Sometimes she says – Let’s do it all over again!