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VoW 2019 / Sessions / November 16 / POETRY CAFÉ — I

VoW 2019 | November 16 – 1:00 pm to 1:20 pm | |


Keki Daruwalla, Robin Gupta, Jayshree Misra Tripathi & Smita Agarwal Chair: Ranjit Hosokote



It is rightly said that a poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The Poetry Café-I organised by VoW in its second day of running was a great success. Many people turned up, so happy and ecstatic to see poets like Keki Daruvalla, Robin Gupta, etc. Poems reveal the hidden wishes and desires and dreams of hope of people in a way which is absolutely and inexplicably magical. The event turned out to be magical too.

Keki Daruwalla, who won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984 for his poetry collection inaugurated the session with four of his poems. The very first of his poem was on Gandhi. It was poem cum prayer which dealt with the sheer, selfless hard work Baapu worked for the freedom of India from British Imperialism. He also mentioned that he wrote this poem eighteen years ago. The second poem he performed, he told the audience, he wrote it in the aircraft. It also dealt with Gandhi. The third recitation of a poem by him in his very textured voice evoked nostalgia among the audience members. He told the audience that before his father died, he had gifted him with a green covered book which has stories about seasonal monsoon rains.

“I wrote it recently when the echoes of water droplets reminded me of my father”. He told the audience before he began the recitation of the poem. His last poem for the day dealt with the famous opic of death which poets all around the world must have written about at least once in their lifetime.

Robin Gupta then took over the stage. With his charming voice he gave a brief introduction of himself. The audience appeared mesmerized even before he began to speak. Old age is very interesting. The wisdom these poets have gathered throughout their life reflects very palpably in their poems. The first poem by Robin Gupta was titled The Lament of Zafar Shah. It was written originally in Urdu. The atmosphere of the hall altered. The audience was listening to the poet with much concentration. The beauty and sophistication of the Urdu evoked many unspoken sentiments among people, they nodded their heads in unison, as Mr Gupta performed away. His second poem was titled a Love Song.

Running short of time, he asked the audience whether they would like to hear about the time he was in love. An uproar of ‘yes yes’ confirmed his query. Pleased with the reaction, he started performing the poem. Love is a subject we all know little bits of. It’s confusing to some, confounding to many but treasured by all. The poem Love Song aroused a wondrous applause from the audience. Humbly Mr. Robin Gupta bowed down in appreciation.

Poetry Café thus ended on a very inspiring note. People clicked pictures with their beloved poets and some even got a chance to ask questions to them on a one to one basis.

– St.Stephens College

Session Images