Tag Archives: EXPERIENCE

Quick Bite with Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal has read, and represented India, at literary festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; Sri Lanka; and Slovakia. Winner of the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence, Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes Project, IWP, University of IOWA. One of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, Sonnet Mondal edits the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive, Berlin and serves as the Editor in Chief of the Enchanting Verses Literary Review (www.theenchantingverses.org) His upcoming visits include 2018 Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka.

  1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I just scribbled one piece of 10 lines, back in 2006 which I don’t recall as a poem, but something which drew me into writing poetry.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

A poet’s eye is his sensitivity and together with intellect, he creates an aperture called poetry through which readers can perceive that everything we see, feel, hear and sense is not everything. I feel like travelling through my deepest emotions while writing poetry and it allows me to examine and re-examine the world. The way how I see life is best communicated through this journey.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No single piece of art can relate to all walks of life at the same time. Poetry portrays those emotions which cannot be pictured — through any direct exact way or through any other genre of literature.

Taking poetry as a curiosity and a form of expression — it has always had a limited yet pronounced space in the world.  The general mindset — that people don’t understand poetry and are unenthusiastic about reading poetry is a misconstrued rendition of the queries  — that readers have about poetry while thinking of buying an anthology. May be — it can be addressed to a certain extent by incorporating more poetry sessions or workshops in literary festivals or events.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Thoughts have no time to arrive. They may pop up even in extreme situations. They are extremely volatile and evaporate easily from mind. So I mostly make notes whenever they surface in my mind and later I work upon them after 12 at night. Night somehow allows me to give the much desired shape to my muse. The desire to have an element of surprise in my life and the desire to have a sight of the skyline through the uplifting mistiness, often inspire me to write down poems.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

Waves as such come, break and dissipate into obscurity. I think ‘Poetry’ and ‘Insta-poetry’ should not be confused. Poetry is the most pithy and figurative of all genres of literature and these artificial prefixes added to the word ‘Poetry’ don’t make them what we have known or what I call as poetry.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in the future in terms of poetry?

I never thought about taking my poetry somewhere. It travels with me like my shadow. Poetry once on paper is independent and can travel on its own — beyond the fences set by desire or time.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising such wonderful event.

Thanks Haris, Smita Anand and Kirbaa Karan for the wonderful pictures!

Quick Bite with Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Priya Sarukkai Chabria is a poet, writer and translator with five published books. Awarded by the Indian Government for her Outstanding Contribution to Literature her works’ translated into six languages & is published in The British Journal of Literary Translation , Drunken Boat, Pratilipi, Language for a New Century, The Literary Review, IQ, Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World among others. Forthcoming in 2015 are translations of Tamil mystic poet Aandaal with Ravi Shankar (Zubaan) and a short story collection (Niyogi Book).

   1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

Sweltering Madras afternoons! When I was about 7 years old, I lived with my grandparents in Mylapore. Afternoons, the adults would doze and I had free run of the garden. This is my special place. It was overgrown and immensely peaceful. There was sanctity in that silence. I’ve tried to reach that secret, welcoming place every since, through words. Perhaps this was the initial spark.

  ​2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

​I’ve been told my way of looking at the world is poetic​ — whatever that quite means. Perhaps an intensity of gaze and hearing? Seeking resonance? Reflective? Questing beauty, the everyday sacred…

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

​Doesn’t everyone become ​a poet when they fall in love? Why don’t they remain in love with life i.e. poetry?  The world will be a better place for it.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

​I write poetry whenever — on flights, before snoozing​g, I think of polishing the poem I’m working on in my sleep….  ​Poetry is a part of me. Sometimes though ​it doesn’t come easy. Sometimes pain or shock numbs me so much that I can’t write.  After my Amma passed on I couldn’t write for over six months.  At times I feared I’d never write again. Then a poem appeared, then another — trickle to flow to flood. Elegies for my mother. I’m grateful.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

​Why not? If it’s aesthetic enough it’s fine by me.  ​Geniuses aren’t ​the preserve of ​long or classical forms. But geniuses are rare.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

T​he poetry will lead, I will follow. It’s like a poetic experience.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful event.

Thanks Haris and smita for the amazing pictures!

 

Quick Bite with Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of four books, including the award-winning short story collection, The High Priestess Never Marries and the newly-released poetry collection, The Altar of the Only World.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I wrote my first poem at 7 years old, and it was built around all the words I could think of that rhymed with “cat”.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

I’ve written and read poetry for so much of my life it’s very much one of the modes through which I know myself. One of the greatest gifts poetry has given me has been consolation. At other times, it has been a way for me to salute beauty by trying to bring more into the world.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

The problem begins with how poetry is taught in schools. Students should never be forced to memorise poems, or be force-fed “meanings” of poems. This is a cruel and meaningless method, both to people and to poetry itself. Teach the word through voice, teach it as love, teach it as a shield against loneliness. It is difficult to change people’s minds later in life, when they’ve been traumatised by the way poetry has been introduced to them as children.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Whenever a poem calls to me. This can be day or night. I’ve bolted upright from my sleep many times because the words were suddenly pouring out of me. Other times, it’s less dramatic — a subtle shift aided and accompanied by music.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

In a lot of ways, Insta-poetry is a reaction to the horrible way poems are taught in schools. I like the accessibility of the medium, but I dislike how it encourages laziness, the need for constant validation, and a skewed relationship with one’s own work — it ceases to be craft if you’re counting likes.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

I’m trying to become better as a writer of fiction, and as an illustrator. I hope poetry forgives me these extramarital alliances.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful events!

Thanks Haris for the amazing pictures!

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation

Quick Bite with Parvathi Nayar

Parvathi Nayar is a writer, poet and contemporary visual artist based in Chennai. Parvathi Nayar plays an active role – and is deeply committed to supporting – the emerging renaissance of the contemporary in Chennai. Parvathi is best known for her videos and her complex drawing practices; she also engages with text, sculpture, painting and photography. Her works have been collected by institutions such as the Singapore Art Museum, BMW, HCL, The Sotheby’s Art Institute, The Australia India Institute and Deutsche Bank.

   1. Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I can’t honestly remember when I wrote my first poem, but I always did scribble bits and pieces. I so enjoy the process of writing – and rewriting!

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

For me poetry offers a form that is at once succinct and yet intense and vivid  – it is a way to talk about the things that I am thinking about or experiencing.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

I wish it could have an audience outside a literary circle, just as I wish art could have a way of speaking to a larger group of people – as this is the stuff that speaks of the human condition.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

It can take place at different times of day – its whenever I can carve out the actual time and head space for it! I’m inspired by all kinds of things to write poems – but sometimes it is an exploration for me to actually “understand” something gnawing at me, if you know what I mean. In this regard one of the poems I read out at the session stands out –  an exact from Black And White, which was written as a way of conceptualizing a solo show of mine – Drawing is a Verb at the Arts House, Singapore. It stands out as a memory from the past as a device that had a specific resonance to understanding the spatial aspect in my art. Since then a lot of the verse has had relationships with the art.

Quick bites with Erik Lindner

Erik Lindner is a poet born in 1968 in The Hague, The Netherlands. He has published five books of poetry and the novel Naar Whitebridge (De Bezige Bij, 2013). His work has been translated into many languages and in France, Germany and Italy. He has read on numerous international festivals all over the world and was a poet in residence in Berlin (DAAD Artists-in- Berlin Program), Taipei, Montreal, Athens, Marseille and Paris.According to a critic the poems of Erik Lindner can intensify our patterns of perception and sharpen our senses for what is possible.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

My first text were written in English and more than poems they were meant to be song verses, texts to sing. But I knew at the age of fifteen or so they weren’t any good, they were clichées. Than I wrote one line in Dutch: “De wereld is zojuist de trap afgelopen en sloeg zonder woorden de deur dicht.” This is maybe also not one of the best or very original lines, but it was different, it had a different sound, it was a little strange. What made me write it is that someone left and with that I knew things would change after.

2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

What it means? I don’t know. I have never had high ambitious to become a poet, it is just the one thing I did that I always kept doing, the thing that was the most closest to me. Expressing in words somehow was more urgent than through images or melodies, although melody and rhythm is important in my work, also in the process of becoming a poem, in carrying it to a result. I can have all sort of feelings when I am working on a poem, from joy to sadness, the important is that putting down words again after a phase of contemplating or humming certain words together, is always a liberation. So to write makes me happy, yes. It has more than emotions or inspiration to do with a certain concentration that remains always rare. I cannot always be in that concentration, often have to wait until it is there.

3. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No, poetry doesn’t speak to all kinds of people and indeed also not in all walks in life, if walks are meant to be different situations and circumstances. It could speak to more of them than they think, and also more often, but I have lost the evangelical approach that one would need to convince people poetry is good for them, if they don’t like it, let them do something else. But then again it is very necessary indeed to escape the literary circle, to survive as a poet, to learn from other people, to show it to other people than specialists. When I started in the 1980’s, I worked with musicians and we had poetry readings in youth clubs, alternative or squated theaters. That had quite a following, I could live from that in 1986 at the age of 18. These were audience that hardly read literature. But when my work grew and became less theatrical and more condensed and I was going towards my first official book in 1996, I depended on the inner circle of editors, publishers, specialists. Still, traveling is important, meeting new people, seeing how different poetry is in every culture in the world. And another example, I work with a very good art photographer Stephan Keppel and at openings of his exhibitions he asks me to read some poems. And his audience is not used to poetry readings, they take my words as images without frames around the picture. I like that escape of the inner circle very much.

4. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

I used to write in the late evening or early evening, but that robs one from having a social life. April 2000 I wrote my first poem waking up in the morning with a cup of coffee next to me. I remember quite well the sensation of concentration it gave. Of course, one must be good awake and not sleepy. What makes me write a poem can be many occasion, just as a poem can be theoretically about everything. But not every line can be in a poem, they must be the right lines on that specific moment. I am building up to it every time, making notes, walking around, trying to see carefully the details. And very prosaic: a deadline helps.

5. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

I haven’t study it, I must say. It will interest me when a good poem comes out of it. I am not against using new media, that is only good. I have also collaborated on two video poems*. But a lot of these waves are temporary, somehow everyone always gets back to paper, even if other medium are at times more practical to carry.

6. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Basically everywhere. I like to go back to places I have been before, create a deeper bound with them. I need to travel more in Asia, Africa and America. But than again, even with how much I was lucky to travel with poetry since 1988, I still need more decent English translations. I have books published in German, Italian and French and that felt as an enrichment coming from a small country.  But a future poetry book in English will take my work a bit easier to readers than before.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising wonderful events.

Thanks Kirbaa Karan and charles for the pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundations.

Songs of the Heart – A celebration of love, poetry and music

What happens when two cultures meet?

Some would paint a picture of conflict. But poets and musicians would beg to differ.

To them, the coming together of two cultures is a chance for dialogue, a chance to explore, experiment and reinvent. It’s a chance to create something beautiful to enchant hearts on both sides. And what better way to do that than by exploring each culture’s take on love?

Performing at the Alliance Française of Madras, AKADÊMIA – a renowned French music ensemble – teamed up with Indian artists to perform ‘Songs of the Heart’: a celebration of love through a dialogue between western Renaissance music and the works of Indian classical poets.

Beginning with a joyful choral musical piece, the evening came alive to a series of musical pieces accompanied by classical Indian poems on love.

A dialogue in truth, the performance treated the audience to a conversation between renaissance music as performed by the ensemble and the poems narrated. Throughout this dialogue, each side ‘spoke’ in turn – the musicians through their music, and the narrators through the words of the poems they recited.

Reciting a Yaksha’s loving, longing-filled description of his lover in Kalidasa’s Meghadhuta, Meera Bai’s words in devotion to her Lord Krishna, and other works and passages on longing and desire, the narrators offered the audience a glimpse into various aspects of love. A glimpse that was expanded upon by the musicians, who, under the graceful guidance of Françoise Lasserre, put into melody what words alone could not express.

What set ‘Songs of the Heart’ apart from any other musical performance or poetry reading was not the music or the poems alone. It was the way in which the poems and the musical pieces complemented each other. As the subject of each poem changed, so did the tone of the music, to either match the words and sentiments of the poem, or play a counterpoint to them.

Together, the music and poetry took the audience on a journey from the initial spark of desire and joy to the bittersweet moments of longing, and the deep sorrow of loss. A journey that culminated in poetic commentary on the fleeting nature of life, and the futility and foolishness of clinging to past sorrows. With verses urging the protagonists to let go of their sadness, the performers concluded this journey at the inevitable, final moment of letting go and moving on. A moment of rediscovery of joy, that powered the penultimate musical piece of the night.

After an hour and a half of musical dialogue, this enchanting evening came to an end with a soft musical piece by AKADÊMIA. A fitting, musical end to a magical performance and the tenth edition of Poetry with Prakriti Festival .

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organizing such amazing event.

Thanks to Akash Kapur for the wonderful write up. Thanks to Gopinath & Haris Manian for the Pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo Bloggers and Prakriti Foundations.

A chat with the Grand old poet of India : Shri Jayanta Mahapatra

A heartwarming Poem reading by a self-actualized soul and a grand old Indian poet Shri Jayanta Mahapatra. He is the first ever Indian poet to win Sahitya Akademi award for English poetry. He is also a winner of Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in India. He is physicist by education and commenced writing poems at the age of 40. He has spent his entire life time in Cuttack, Odisha and all his poems revolves around his own land.

Our team had an opportunity to listen to his poem reading and interview the living legend during the part of Poetry with Prakriti, Festival 2017 – 10th Edition. All his poems revolve around facts of life. During our interaction with him he also shared his childhood memories, where he had run away from his home town twice. There were few questions put to him and beautiful answers from him.

The poet says anyone can write poem, quotes himself as a humble example “when a 90-year-old man like me can write poems, anyone can write”

When asked, what makes him write poems, he beautifully said that he don’t choose poems. Situations make him write poems. He said “I write What I feel, What I hear and What I see”.

Also, he added that the poems written by him are his experiences. The Poetry has taught him to love people they are!

He wrote his first poem at the age of 40. When asked, what made him to write his first poem, he said that sadness prevailing around him, made him write his first poem. Most of his poems revolves around grief experience.

As the awareness about literature and culture increasing amongst people, we inquired whether poems create impact in society. The strongly denied that Nobody cares about the poems and it doesn’t create any effect in modern society. He feels that only few readers and youngsters read poems and get influenced by it. He believes people are very selfish and egoistic. They are self-centered and busy with their own priorities in their life.

The poet began his career as a physicist. When provided an option to choose between a poem or physics, he said did not want to choose between them and said that they were like two eyes for him. He funnily said that he loves high level physics and poems because people cannot assimilate the essence of both swiftly.

Since alternate career professions are becoming popular this year, we are keen to know the poets view on new age poems. He told that, it has not taken a serious traction. He added that those poems are not really from inside a person, rather a quick outburst of expression, after reading a couple of poems from the internet by the current generation.

Lot of youngster turned out for the poetry festival. When asked about message to the young poets he said “Read a lot poems, it will inspire you to write more”.

A lifetime experience and moment which shall always be cherished, interviewing Shri Jayanta Mahapatra. Thanks to Prakriti foundation and Madras Photobloggers.

Venkat Suriyaprakash.

Thanks Haris Manian for the wonderful pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo Bloggers and Prakriti Foundation.

The Pen’s Allurement – Poorna Swami

The crowd gathered was already traveling in a world of magical dream and Once Poorna Swami began her recital, the transformation of thoughts unveiled the senses. Clad in a white Saree, peaceful as a dove with a charismatic smile Ms Poorna had the ability to indulge every listener and guide them deep into the jungles of solitude.

Born in Bangalore Ms Poorna started writing poems from the age of six. During her childhood days poems were a collection of words that came to her mind framed to stanzas. Being a quite child, she developed a love towards the language by reading a lot of books and this paved the way to be a poet and express her interest in the language. Graduating from Mount Holyoke College she did a research study on African Studies Review focussing on Transnational Literature.

In her recent series of five Poems, “Poems in Saffron Ink” Ms Poorna condemned the current political situation in India and gave life to slain victims through her words. “The hymn of sword and gunfire” – Scintillating and yet a verse with melancholy, Ms Poorna combines the cold and calm entities to emote the characters of her poem.

“One doesn’t have to be a professional in literature to write poems”. she says, crediting to various malayalam poetry in social media which are being written by everyone with the knowledge in language and no exposure in the advanced literary world. Ms Poorna’s poems have a strong story behind and there is a lot of research behind every composition. Most of her works have a political touch voicing out the struggles and anguish of a common man. General Elections India. 2014, Prayer for Dadri 2015 and Assimilation are few of her poems that had the spark to revolutionize. Among her works she refers to Etymology as her favourite. A love poem written without punctuations it relieved her from the heart when written, says Poorna. Being an avid reader right from childhood Ms Poorna’s all-time favourite is Jack Gilbert’s “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart”.

Apart from Poetry, Ms Poorna has also been dancing from the age of six. Also Graduated in Dance from Mount Holyoke College, she feels that dance helps to express what poetry cannot. Over the last few years she has been dancing for her own poetry and also performing for theatre events across the world.

Thanks Pakriti foundation for organizing such beautiful event in Chennai

Thanks Sai Karthik for the wonderful article.  All images are taken Kirbaa Karan and Haris Manian.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo Bloggers and Prakriti Foundation.

The Festivals of Madras | Photo Series

Alike the national festivals – Independance day and republic day and religious festivals – Diwali, Holi, Navaratri Eid, Muhurram and Christmas etc ,.A large number of festivals and Fairs are celebrated in madras throughout the year.Also, Chennaities celebrate local festivals like Panguni Urstavam, Ther , Thai Pongal, Music and Dance Festival with great fervor in Chennai city. Below photos represent the various scenes of local festials and backstages. Thank you participants for submitting amazing photos for the festival theme.

Credits : Raghav Prasanna

Credits : Deepak Sundar

Credits :  Kirbaa Karan

Credits :  Lakshmi Ramanan

Credits :  Mukhil

Credits :  Prabhakar Ramakrishnan

Credits :  Ramesh Raja

 

Credits :  Sanath Kumar

Credits :  Shamini Shammu

Credits : Siva Prasad

Credits : Siva Prasad

madras

Namma Madras

Let’s begin with

” Hey macha ! Chennai is a name, But Madras is an emotion”

This place holds a mega emotional aspect for many people. Well one can argue with the flaws, but which and what creation of God doesn’t have a flaw. So why don’t we just stick to the part ” Why we love-u Madras”.
Let’s begin with our language, Tamil, one of THE oldest. Such knowledge *lifts collar*.
Coming to our Madras slang, we could be a little intimidating with our slang and words but we are just the best at heart.
Once you set foot in Madras, have you seen anymore friendly people? Maybe. Everyone is ready to help. Trust me, some people make you feel home with their gestures and smiles, some things that people do for you here will flood your heart with such warmth that your soul will fell at ease. Even though we don’t understand your language we madras-late it and will help you way better than Google maps.
Not all the cities you visit in your life will get marked “Special” in your memory, but Madras will definitely top it.
Yes, we are gloating, but wait, have you not seen?

Madras is one of those cities in India whose lifestyle is very passive. One of the best reason to take pride being Madrasi’s are that we are simple and civic. Many of our businessmen, our people in distinguished designations are humble and some of them can be seen using public transport unlike many other places.
Madras has given birth to many explicable talents, and we welcome people from all over the world to be a part of us. Not just tradition, culture and heritage, Madras has also been a place which has given rise to powerful leaders and world class achievers like Vishwanath Anand, Ilaiyaraja, Rajinikanth, AR Rahman, Sundar Pichai and many more.
We house many significant places in the history and also famous educational institutions, zoos, bridges and many more.
Our food. Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly made filter coffee, for breakfast you are made to indulge in ghee soaked crispy dosai with piping hot sambar, fragrant coconut chutney with curry leaves & mustard, with a touch of tangy tomato chutney.
Then moving onto a wide spread “Elai Saapadu” ( banana leaf) where rice is served with a range of sides and applam (papad). Then to finish it off with beeda pan.
Wait it’s not over, for the dinner, 14 pieces of small idly soaked in sambar and brushed with ghee on top with a crispy hot vadai.
Well then what are you waiting for, Madras awaits you. Visit us and go back with fantastic, unforgettable experiences.