Avleen Kaur Lamba
They are young and restless, and unafraid. They are rising from the crowd to make a point with their words. Words that are making a noise we grown-ups can’t dare to. From nationalism to depression and anxiety, from sexual pleasure to periods — every topic under the sun is explored by these spoken word poets. The style is conversational and makes an instant connect.
Most poems by Bengaluru-based spoken word poet Daniel Sukumar are usually dark and ‘not cheerful’. However, he believes that the hopelessness is there to tell people in such situations that they are not alone. He aims to reach out to people who don’t have the privilege of being on stage and plans to share their stories with the world. He says, “It’s a poet’s job to save the world — one poem, one story at a time. We can’t fit into tights, but we can be superheroes!”
Shamir Reuben, a poet attached to Kommune, a storytelling community in Mumbai, wouldn’t agree less. “I firmly believe in the strength of personal narrative. Poetry keeps me company when I’m going through good and bad times and I want to be there for people in the same way in their journey through life.”
These poets don’t just want to share others’ woes and lend a shoulder, they believe verse can bring change too. Antarpreet, a Punjabi poet and student activist from Panjab University, feels the true purpose of poetry is to transform the society. He feels the onus to transform the socio-political scenario of any place is on those like him. And revolution doesn’t mean challenging political status quo alone; it is also about societal myths and psychological dilemmas. Agrees Samreen Chhabra from Chandigarh: “The intention is to question and challenge the common discourse around human dynamics.”
Yamini Krishnan, a 19-year-old poet from Pune, finds poetry empowering and talks about body image issues, mental health problems and racial and gender stereotypes in her spoken word performances. She calls poetry a platform to talk about things one can’t discuss in casual conversations. Similarly, Priyanka Sutaria, a poet and member of the Mumbai based organisation called ‘Why Indian Men Rape’, through her poetry, explores fluidity of existence in a world that tries to make objects out of our identities. She banishes gender constructs and talks about women’s sexual needs through her work.
With the idea of reaching out to the masses in mind, poetry is activism for these youths. Sabika Abbas Naqvi, a Delhi-based activist and poet, says she wants to sprinkle love around and talk about the reality of oppression on the roads, in the bazaars and reclaim spaces and spread love in these places. She is currently taking her poetry to the streets of Lucknow, Chandigarh and Bengaluru.
There is another category of poets too. These poets write for they have to! It flows in their veins and is meant to be delivered on paper. No, they don’t write to provide comfort or bring about a revolution. Like Anam Narula, a shayar writing in Hindustani (a mix of Hindi and Urdu). “I write solely for myself; in English to express my frustration and anger and in Hindustani when I want to write about love and beauty.” Gursahiba Gill, a student of psychology (Hons) and a poet from Chandigarh, supports Anam but feels that if an artist creates only to achieve an objective, he isn’t really being true to his potential.
These young poets don’t see life through tinted glasses. They are practical. For them, poetry is not about flowery words. Even if it is a celebration. Like Bengaluru-based Bharath Divakar’s verse. “At the end of the day, I want my poetry to be a celebration of self, us as individuals. My poetry is rebellion, but of a different kind. It is a rebellion by existing and celebrating difference.”
Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com