Bangalore was treated to a host of poets and their original works from across the nation at the 2 day poetry festival, at Leela Palace this weekend.
The Bangalore Poetry Festival was an initiative by Atta Galatta, a beautiful bookstore with a focus on Indian Vernacular Writing, while also being a venue for literary, art and cultural events located in Koramangala.
As Javed Akhtar mentioned during his talk, poetry is seeing a revival today and this meant the crowds were filled with numerous young poets and poetry lovers.
Among the many poets, I was mesmerized by Akhil Khatyal, a Delhi based poet and translator. He was not just a poet, but in many ways a raconteur with ample doses of humor and sarcasm.
You can watch him in action in the video below, where he performs Dorothy Parker’s Hindi translation:
Apart from Hindi poets there were poets from the North-East of India, who read some amazing poetry about displacement, identity and violence.
A poem by Nitoo Das, who was present at the festival:
how to cut a fish you have to sit properly woman-like on the floor put one foot strongly gingerly on the base of the blade hold the fish with firm hands head and tail and swing him quick left right left right to remove the scales check beneath the gills red fans cut them swift and then fins here there up down and tail feel that perfect line where the head ends and the body begins choose it fine and move slow over the edge feel the resistance of white flesh, staring eye and open mouth but keep at it let him feel the pressure of your fingers until it is done and the head sits isolated with a hole dripping with stuff and then halve him down his body and pull out the red mess make equal pieces cutting him so that the bones do not disturb afterwards.
The master performer and Hindi Poet Piyush Mishra was also part of the festival:
Listen to him perform here:
The festival had numerous workshops for children and adults and a book section where you could buy poetry by the attending speakers as well as some old greats.
I bought this one, the highly controversial Shikwa and Jawab by Iqbal, translated by Mustanvir Delhvi, who was also present at the festival.
As a poetry lover, this year has been amazing, with me being part of the Jashne-Rekhta Festival earlier this year and now a Poetry Festival right in my city!
More power to Atta Galatta and their entire team of volunteers, organizers and to the poets who came and conquered hearts.
To many more festivals and poetry celebrations.