Tag Archives: madras photobloggers

The Real Essence of Kolam contest, Myalpore Festival 2018

All great cities have a soul. Mylapore can rightfully claim to be the soul of Chennai city here in south India. It pre-dates Chennai’s birth in the 17th cent. And has seen the city grow as it has, its own. Mylapore retains the look and feel of an old neighborhood, the culture and heritage typically south Indian, yet it has not escaped development. This place that is proud of its arts, culture and tradition and people is just the setting for a cultural festival. A festival held in its very heart and around a great temple. Held every year in early January. It was a grand show in 2018 and the traditional pulli kolam contest was held as a part of festival.Around 100 women and men fought it out on a four-ft-by-four-ft space for 15 prizes in the 45-minute contest on the east end of North Mada Street.  Neetesh Kumar has captured the beautiful scenes of kolam contest during the Mylapore festival and his story telling images depict  not only the real essence of old traditional pulli Kolam but also his beautiful composition.

 

Thanks Neetesh Kumar for the wonderful pictures and all images are copy right protected.

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 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.

Quick bites with Brian Turner

Brian Turner is a writer and musician living in Orlando, Florida. He curates The Kiss series at Guernica, soon to be published as an anthology by W.W. Norton & Company in 2018. He’s written a memoir (My Life as a Foreign Country), two collections of poetry Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise, and co-edited The Strangest of Theatres (McSweeney’s/The Poetry Foundation). He is currently at work on a second memoir, The Wild Delight of Wild Things, and an album of music with The Interplanetary Acoustic Team entitled 11 11 (Me, Smiling). He is the founding director of the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

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

I am not sure that I actually remember writing my very first poem, as I was very young when that took place during elementary school. After that, a number of years passed by and then I began writing poems and song lyrics as a teenager. I loved music and also the ability of language to reach for the inexpressible, the ineffable, the sublime.

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

When I am deep in the process of making, and I have wandered far out into the landscape of the imagination, I have a sense of timelessness–and that feeling is addictive! This experience is mirrored in many walks of life, but I normally access it through the meditative practice of writing and contemplation. I often feel connected to something very personal and yet, simultaneously, something far beyond the sense of self when I write. The imagination is a vast ocean of memory and life, and its deepest waters are located within the subconscious. 

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?

Part of what makes Poetry with Prakriti wonderful is that it answers this very question–by bringing poetry out of the theater and into the streets and communities of the entire city. When I was a student, I would read the poems from my poetry workshop (my own poems and the poems of my classmates) to strangers waiting with me at the bus stop. I wanted to see how poems resonated with people who were not necessarily connected to the institutions where poetry is supported and nurtured and given an academic haven. Furthermore, I wanted to ensure that my poems could be read, heard, enjoyed, and meditated on by anyone who might offer their attention to them.

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

There’s no specific time of day, though I am a night-owl and I like to stay up very late–mostly because that’s when the city sleeps. The collective unconscious is deep at work late at night. If I’m lucky, perhaps I can listen well enough to discover images and music arising from the city as it dreams.
 I am normally pulled by an image or phrase that compels my ear with its music. Normally I am driven by curiosity for something mysterious which I do not understand fully. A poem is a meditation, and the meditation is a search through the darkness to further the map of the known. It is an exploration into the unknown, a kind of singing into the dark. A kind of deep listening for the voices that respond to that singing.

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

As in all forms of poetry, I am moved by poems that enlarge and augment the imagination. Here’s a simple test of the poem: Once you turn the page, is there a reason to turn back and read it again? That is, does the poem continue, like a deep well, to draw water each time we lower the bucket into it? Another way of saying this–I love to read and experience poems that are layered, multivalent, with spokes of fire radiating from a central hub. These are the poems that I love to read and hear aloud, and these are the poets I continue to learn from and enjoy.

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

Each poem and each book is a journey toward something I need to learn. I know that if I am attentive enough to the world within and without, and attentive enough to the musicality of the language, the architecture of form within language–and if I never waver from looking at what must be looked at–then the poems will teach me more about the world I live in and about myself within that world. The world continually surprises me, and poetry is a lens that illuminates that surprise, offering delight and pain, and, when I’m fortunate, a kind of wisdom.

Thanks Prakriti Foundation for organizing such wonderful event.

Thanks Kirbaa karan, Haris and Smita Anand for the pictures.

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

Quick bites with Ashwani kumar

Ashwani Kumar is an Indian English poet, author and Professor of Development Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai). His books include Banaras and the Other (Poetrywala; Mumbai), first of a trilogy on religious cities in India; My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter (Yeti Books; Calicut) and Community Warriors (Anthem Press; London) among others. His poems, reviews and columns are widely published. He is also one of the chief editors of London School of Economics’ prestigious publication ‘Global Civil Society’. He has been visiting fellow to leading universities around the world. Presently, he is a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

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

“I was wounded early,/and early I learned/ that wounds made me” (Adonis). Don’t remember exactly what made me write the first poem; probably when I loosened the promontory childhood memories and experienced the furious lashing of adult fantasies of vernacular language in the palai(desert) in my backyard.

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

Poetry is like ‘skies with burning funnels’, and poets swim in the thick maelstroms ‘under the terrible eyes of prison ships’ as the French poet Arthur Rimbaud said. I am neither a formal student of literature nor a workshop trained poet.  So personally speaking, I feel like burning in the fire of my own ashes when I am writing poetry.

  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?

Poetry is not an opaque mystical thing that only so-called Godmen, spiritual healers or over educated  literati  can experience.  It speaks to all. Remember what saint-poet Basavanna said “The rich/will make temples for Siva. /What shall I, /a poor man, /do? /My legs are pillars,/the body the shrine,/the head a cupola/of gold.  In other words, only poetry can heal the wounds caused by Varna divide and quotidian injustices. Thus, poetry needs to be liberated from a culturally impoverished elite minority and neo-middle classes. And we need to create more inclusive mythic and mimetic poetic spaces with million tongues gossiping and quarrelling about the poetry. I am happy that poetry with Prakriti is one such instance.

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

When I am listening my imaginary Granny Maria’s favourite song ‘Picotante, paralysante…picotante, paralysante’ or when I am between my trips to the farmer’s market and making litti-chokha for my neighbours in Bavaria.  But let me tell you the truth, I often fantasize about not writing anything.

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

New poetic traditions evolve, and old traditions acquire new indexical and symbolic forms. So wont be surprised if Insta poetry becomes   triumphant messenger in the hubbub of La La land of baby-faced millennials.  In short, Insta poetry is a liquid poetic body without permanent organs.  Guard it from the narcissistic, guilt-ridden trolls and bots!

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

Presently planning to complete the Banaras trilogy. Hope, my poetry in future remains unvanquished satyagraha against the growing power of ‘lies and more lies’!

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organizing such wonderful event.

Thank you Haris, Gopi, Smita Anand for the pictures.

 

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.

Of style and sensuousness: A Ten Minutes Interview with Navkirat Sodhi

A picture of punk rock elegance, she takes her seat amongst the poets with an unassuming nature and a simple smile on her face. But once she picks up her poetry and breathes life into them, both Navkirat Sodhi and her words thrill you with their secretive allure and surprising depth. Having published two collections of poetry, Ms. Sodhi brings her sarcastic wit and seductive allusions all the way from Delhi.

Having studied English literature and journalism, she was well on her way to becoming a broadcast journalist and even worked with BBC; but a gnawing feeling prompted her to quit her job and take up writing. A sabbatical of a few months created a deep hollow in herself which could only be filled with words that she had refrained from writing all those years. It was not a conscious choice to become a writer or write poetry she says but rather a natural result of the ebb of words within her. Before her move to Delhi, she scribbled the words in her head, and poetry was born.

“Every moment up till then built up to it. Every moment lived, everything experienced”. She was very conscious of not mass producing poetry, grand in quantity but insipid in quality and chose instead to streamline those stark lines that sting and sear as she recites them. Her work is not free from influence but it is free from imitation. She steps away from the people that inspire her and writes in a way that’s unique to her relationship with the language. Dostoevsky and Murakami impact her work but it is only in a subtle and psychological way.

Most of her poetry takes a very short form with most poems only a few lines long. Much like herself, her work does not speak profusely but it does so effectively. “Love was my full time job” she says and she is proud of how much she knows about the subject. Be it a romantic emotion or love towards a particular thing, it is easy to see how through the verses that she often slices short, the emotion lingers on, much like love itself. In her short poem, “Act III”, she talks about the lukewarm decline of a relationship and does so powerfully in less than 30 words. Invoking love, memory and the unlearning of emotion, the poem serves as a modern ode to descending love.

Apart from poetry, Ms. Sodhi also dabbles in art. A self-taught painter, she has been painting for a year and a half and hopes to present her paintings next year. Most of her artwork ties into her poetry and represents the abstract through figures instead of words. Fashion is also a huge part of her personality. She talks of how unlike most poets that walk around with the air of “the artist on the fringe” with their khadi clothes and “jhola pai”, she is very conscious of what she wears and how she presents herself. Thanks to her best friend Gaurav, a leading designer in the country, fashion and design have become an important part of her life. Navkirat Sodhi is not merely the words she bleeds on to the page but also the impression she creates as she walks into the room and it is quite clear, that both will linger on.

Thanks Prakriti Foundation for organizing such wonderful poetry festival in Chennai  .

Thanks Sandhya Kannan and Haris Manian for an amazing article.  All pictures are taken by our team member Hasan Mohammed

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

Traveler’s Meet at Urban Desi House

On a regular day of Chennai on the 6th of May, the first traveler’s meet of Madras photo bloggers was held in association with Kolkata bloggers , Urban Desi house and with the support of Zeiss and Manfroto

16 x9 traveller meet final 2

DSC_0648-2 DSC_0647-2 DSC_0640-2 DSC_0597-2 DSC_0587-2 DSC_0565-2 DSC_0260-2 DSC_0228-2 DSC_0209-2 DSC_0205-2 DSC_0202-2 DSC_0191-2 DSC_0183-2 DSC_0164-2 DSC_0162-2 DSC_0111-2 DSC_0105-2 DSC_0090-2 DSC_0074-2 In the compact and calm hall of urban desi house, about 40 + photographers and bloggers met to gain motivation and knowledge for their passion.

We held our breath and hoped high for this meet to be a success and today we heave a sigh and smile as our expectations were met in the best way possible.

The day’s highlight was its speakers.

Mr. Srinidhi Hande, an IT professional and blogger.

Mr. Anirban Saha, founder of kolkata bloggers.

Miss. Sai Priya, travel photographer and Mr.srivatsan sankaran, founder of Madras Photo bloggers and Beaumoments.

The day started with Mr. Srinidhi sharing his thoughts on economical travelling and also did he give tips on how one can always stick with passion and career at the same time.

The hall being filled with enthusiasts who want to pursue blogging and travelling sure did find this very interesting!

He advised on how to book tickets on low cost and how to always keep an eye on useful offers and also how to stay in the most economic places.

His session was followed by Mr. Anirban’s, the founder of Kolkata Bloggers . He sure did entertain the audience with his small jokes and kept the crowd alive throughout his session. He spoke on how one should explore all the different corners of India and come in contact with all the interesting celebrations of India which we aren’t aware of.

After this the stage was taken by Miss Sai Priya, better known as Castle mountains, she sure did give a rise in everyone’s heart race when she shared about her experiences as a travel photographer. She proved how big of a struggle is it for a woman to be a woman and walk out bravely. She is such an inspiration for women travellers And photographers

After this the last part of day was taken charge by Mr. srivatsan sankaran who gave useful tips on travel blogging and how to make and follow schedule. It was very interactive.
Everyone wanted to know the lenses he used after looking at his beautiful pictures.

The day was such a wrap.

Indeed it’s a blissful moment when things happen more than we expect it to. The workshop was beyond expectations.

We thank all those who were responsible for this workshop.

Huge thanks to Kolkata bloggers, Urban Desi house, zeiss and manfrotto for their support.

An article by Jaya Roshini and Photographs by Haris Manian.