There is a building in Lalitpur. If you find yourself on the ground towards the south of the building you’ll, of course, see it’s south elevation. On the south elevation, if you ignore the ten small circular holes on the far right and the far left – you’re left, with sixty big windows. Each window, the border of which is painted white, has three major panels, each panel has its own smaller upper panel that is fixed . The bigger central panel is fixed too, the two panels on either side swing outside. The building is a huge five storey structure; nothing remarkable about it really. At 7:00 PM one man makes his way up the stairs from the right side of the building. He walks up to the top floor. He starts from the top right room. In every room, he first pulls in the window panes and latches them, he then walks back to the door and switches the lights off before he locks the door from outside and moves on to the next one. When in the next room, he repeats this act. After he is done with the top floor, he walks down the stairs and goes through each of the rooms in the lower floor, then moves on to the next floor. Eventually, he reaches the very last room. All the lights in this building have been switched off one by one, in the end only one window glows. But, before he checks the windows and switches off the light of this last room, he rests. He leans on the window and smokes a cigarette. After he finishes his cigarette, he dumps the butt in the bin and dutifully latches the windows, switches the lights off and locks the door from the outside. I did not check the time, so I can’t say with certainty, but it mustn’t have taken him more than sixty years to get to the bottom left room from the top right room.
I have been interested in poetry since I was a kid. I can’t remember precisely but it must have been after I heard words rhyme-to-each other and it just seemed magical. It was like I was finding hidden treasures in the land of language. And English isn’t my native language so It caught my attention even more.
The best part about Performing Poetry is that you can instantly connect to your audience and can lay out your poem just the way you have imagined it. The audience can react to your work instantaneously and you get to know how your performance and with it, your poetry has come along. And this very thing is also the worst part about performance, because you’re facing so many people and then they are actually very keenly listening to what you’re saying so there is no room to mess up. You just cannot afford to take chances with random stuff and ambiguous phrases.
Something about poetry that surprises me-Everything actually. How some people can throw around random words and completely make sense, or how someone else can portray exactly the way you’re feeling inside. And how you can say something you’ve been through and someone else comes up says – “that is exactly how I felt” under a similar circumstance. It is really amazing that Poetry can surprise us in so many ways.
People think poetry is boring. They think poets are tormented beings, secretive souls who wander in their own solitude and write about their personal suffering. This is really fucked up. No poetry is not boring. “Come witness young poets performing someday”- I say. Some of my friends actually have changed their perception.
Why poetry and not something else I am asked sometimes. I would not say This and not That, Poetry is what I have felt my skin
is. This is the form of art in which I am most comfortable with my expression. Some people Paint, Some take photographs. I believe any form of expression, be it stories or essays or even Power-points, are good medium of self-expression.
For me it is Poetry. Lets say, I understand incomplete sentences better, but that is just me.