The internet can be all kinds of things. If you find vibrancy somewhere, you will find darkness elsewhere. If you meet someone that you connect with, you may meet someone else with a cringe-worthy outlook. It is as simple as saying that the internet resonates with life; you meet all kinds of people who show you a different side of their reality.
Much like The Alipore Post, that a friend told me about weeks ago. I wondered why I hadn’t known about it all this while. With everything that’s happening around the world currently, the internet is nothing but a mirror of people’s minds. But The Alipore Post is a breath of fresh air in this cloud of gloom that leaves you feeling comforted.
The Alipore Post is the brainchild of Rohini Kejriwal, who curates newsletters and shares daily art, poetry and music from hidden corners of the internet. This journal is very close to her heart as she always wanted to create a community of like-minded people who would come forward to share their collective love for poetry and everything art.
What we loved about this weekly newsletter is the Instagram page that forms a haven for artists and dreamers. Illustrations, paintings, sketches, poems, photography and short anecdotes, the page has an endearing personality of its own. It made us feel that a quite creative space exists, where everyone is welcome.
With an army of 45,000 followers, The Alipore Post has quite the popularity. The website takes you through weekly blogs filled with artworks and poetry, past events, a virtual shop and a submission section for anyone who wishes to collaborate.
Rohini Kejriwal was just a call away, and we spoke about her little discovery that has now bloomed beautifully.
Tell us a little about yourself, Rohini.
I grew up in Calcutta and studied at a boarding school at the age of 13. I later shifted to Pune to pursue higher education and eventually started working in Bangalore. I worked as a journalist for Deccan Herald for about 2 years.
What gave rise to The Alipore Post?
I had an affinity with writing poems and drawing illustrations. I was highly inspired by my senior in college who goes by the name Raeesa Vakil. She maintained a newsletter called Ottity&Light, and I really liked her work.
While I was living in Calcutta for a year, I actively blogged about poetry. I was always interested in artworks, poetry, illustrations and everything that screamed art. I would email newsletters to family and friends while working a full-time job.
These emails would go to barely 30 people and this was very personal. That’s how The Alipore Post came to life.
You started another initiative called Chitthi Exchange. Tell us more about it.
Chitthi exchange is a product of the age-old pen pal tradition. This idea came to me during the lockdown and also from my own memories of writing letters to my pen pal when I was in boarding school.
So many people have never had a pen pal. To me, the lockdown was a point where strangers could connect with each other and share stories from their side of the country or corner.
What is the process of applying for this project?
The process is fairly simple. All you have to do is go to the Chitthi Exchange page on Instagram and fill up a form mentioned in the bio. Once we have all your details, we assign a pen pal for you. We currently have 2000 people exchanging letters with each other.
Is there any other project that you’re working on?
I have started another initiative called This is my Newsletter where content is written by curated people from my circle who get an opportunity to talk about their story- be it about their profession, hobbies, the places where they live, the food they eat, the things they’re passionate about, and so much more.
The Alipore Post is a culmination of Rohini Kejriwal’s journey as an artist and Zine maker and she believes it led her here for a reason.
When asked if she chanced upon something unique during this journey, she replied, “Years ago, I discovered Tishani Doshi and fell in love with her poetry. Eventually years later, through the work I did, I found myself at her home in Tamil Nadu through a residency. There’s been magic and I’ve grown exponentially as a human being through The Alipore Post.”