New Delhi: Poetry was taken out of the cozy confines of an auditorium and onto the streets of the city here in a “verbal carnival” which aimed at blending literature and heritage.
With the theme “poetry on wheels”, the second edition of the Delhi Poetry Festival witnessed an eclectic mix of “multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-racial” poets, both amateur and professionals, young and old, coming together for four days.
The inaugural day the festival saw poets travelling the city in a bus in a symbolic gesture of “travelling poetry” and punctuating their “wordy adventures” with stopovers at the city’s heritage sites.
“On day one, we kicked off the festival from the historic Purana Qila (Old Fort) where all participants gathered on a sunny morning of January 9 and embarked upon a journey that celebrated literature and heritage together,” founder and co-organiser Dolly Singh told PTI.
“Inside the bus, our poet group, comprising people from India and abroad read their works, as the views of the city passed by on both sides of the window panels. En route to our destination we stopped by at Lodhi Gardens and admired other architectural marvels along,” she said.
Dolly said the idea was of course to take poetry out of the confines of auditoriums and halls and take it out there in the open in a more “democratic environs of sorts”.
“I am a heritage lover and so is my partner Yaseen Anwer. And, we wanted to devise a way where we could celebrate both words and the neglected heritage of our city,” she said explaining the inspiration behind the idea.
Poets recited poems against the backdrop of Sultunate-era Lodhi tombs rather than “hemmed in” by walls around them in going indoors.
The day ended at the historic Lodhi-era monument ‘Bara Lau Ki Gumbad’ in Vasant Vihar area in South Delhi where cushions and mattresses welcomed poets amidst the forgotten heritage.
“People were surprised to witness a heritage spot like ‘Bara Lau’. While the famous ones are often seen, these rare gems needed attention too, and so we tied the idea around these faded beauties to put them back on the map of consciousness of people beside celebrating poetry,” Dolly added.
Poets hop on a Delhi bus, visit historic places at poetry fest