“I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday”- Lemony Snicket.

To all the people in long-distance relationships out there,

I know it hurts. I know it hurts seeing everyone have that special someone to celebrate with, while you, despite having that special someone, are sitting and making plans with your single friends. I know it takes everything in you to not make a “big deal” out of it or to brush things off as a joke because you know that if you don’t, it is going to hit you. It doesn’t really seem fair, does it? When the couples get to go on (physical) dates together and the singles get to swipe and flirt, you are stuck in the middle of these two worlds, belonging to none. You get to have video calls that cut into your sleep schedules and dates that rarely ever happen because of the time difference. You get to wake up when they go to sleep and you get to look at them only through a screen. You get to see your I love you’s turn into I miss you and you get to learn to love them through distance and time and layers of screens in between. You get to not talk about them because they’re so far away and you get to miss talking about them because they’re so far away. You get to end all your conversations with a “come back soon” and you get to get used to missing them (every second of every day).


In a world of hookups and one-night stands, rare relationships and rarer love, it seems too early, too soon to be experiencing this kind of pain. Your friends know you hurt and that this hurts but I don’t think anyone can really know how much. Sometimes it feels physically impossible to hurt this much. It feels as if the hurt will drown you— not letting you come up for air, not giving you the permission to really hurt, not letting you weep your tears. Your days are spent convincing yourself that it’s okay and you’re okay and things are okay and everything’s going to be okay, while that voice inside you keeps holding on to all that sadness and misery that you constantly feel. You don’t allow yourself to feel the pain because it is a pain of your own choosing, a bittersweet one, if you may.  


People around you have expiry dates for their relationships— when school ends, when we graduate from college— as if relationships are nothing but an exercise in convenience. Oh, I wish it was that convenient. I wish it was that easy. “Less than 50% of long-distance relationships actually work out,” they say. They don’t think you already know that? You have searched over and over the same questions, trying to convince yourself more than convincing them. They say it gets easier, that it’s supposed to, and that time makes things better in the end, but it’s been a year and they’re there and you’re here and it still, somehow, makes no sense.


You hold on to the hope that if not this year, then maybe next. You convince yourself that at least you’re under the same sky, and the same moon, and the same sun. You find solace in having someone to love for yourself and you end up finding solace in convincing yourself that “Aur bhi dukh hain zamaane mein mohabbat ke siwa, raahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siwa”.


Feature Image: Bustle


Manasvi Kadian

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Poetry, arguably the most beautiful form of literary expression, has been around for as long as history itself. But, in this age of social media and commercialisation, what has poetry evolved to?

Poetry is a form of literature that strings words together, heavily using literary devices, symbolism, and emotive language. It is an art form as old as language itself: the earliest poetry has been believed to have been sung and recited verbally to remember law, history or genealogy. Gradually, it evolved into a form of emotive self-expression: talking about love, pride, anger, sadness, beauty and everything else you could feel.

French poet Paul Valery once said that while prose is walking, poetry is dancing. The freedom to explore, that the art form gives to its audience, is its most striking feature; possibly the most important reason for the rise in its popularity. From the court poets of the Mughal Era to Slam Poetry meetings of the modern times, Poetry has come a long way.

Poetry has always had the tag of elitism and complexity attached to it. The poetry circles of the medieval ages and the commissions by the royalty to artists and poets have made poetry associated with the nobility.

But, like every other product in a capitalist world, poetry, too, has undergone commercialisation and a change in its consumption.

So, poetry isn’t anything new; accessibility to it is, though. Humans are social animals, and all we ever want is to connect and be understood. In the age of internet and isolation, when there’s a lack of depth in interpersonal relationships, poetry has become a platform people connect to.

Through blogs, online poetry groups, Instagram poets, and slam poetry, poetry has been made accessible to the masses. Poetry, stripped to its core, is just words strung together aesthetically and what makes it attractive is its subjectivity: the understanding of a poem completely depends on the reader. With the internet, a blog post or an Instagram/Twitter update can get you an audience of millions. A very well-known example of the is the famous poet Rupi Kaur. She’s one of the only few poets in recent years to have made it big commercially and has made poetry popular in common perception as well.

“Rupi Kaur seems to be like an oasis the desert of poetry. Honey and Milk have nourished poetry in modern days,” said Priyanshi Banerjee, a first-year student at Lady Sri Ram College.

However, what this age of Instagram poetry and commercialisation has also done is bring about a compromise in its quality. Poetry is produced in easy, consumable bites, and it becomes a tool of gathering ‘likes’ and validation, rather than a true expression of the self. For internet aesthetics, the essence of the art itself might get neglected.

“I have personally never enjoyed Rupi Kaur’s work and never will, there must be people out there who do enjoy that, good for them. I feel that looking at how many much more talented poets died broke and penniless, Rupi Kaur is much more popular and commercially successful because of the internet and because her poetry does not pose any questions, it’s a few short lines on something all of us agree on, there’s no thinking involved when you read her poetry, and that’s why it might appeal to so many people,” says Prabhanu, a first-year student of Kirori Mal College.

“I feel that Rupi Kaur lacks truth, cause few of her verses are from a privileged position. But, on the other hand, it’s her choice to choose her subjects,” adds Chhavi, a first-year student of Sri Venkateswara College.

But I think that’s the beauty in the freedom this art form provides; it is so incredibly forgiving and accepting. No one truly has the power to dictate what poetry is, not when a million others are doing it a million different ways.

Feature Image Credits: Sarthak Singhal for DU Beat

Satviki Sanjay

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On the occasion of today’s World Poetry day, DU Beat brings to you a brief article talking about the day, how it came to be, its significance and other similar snippets of information.
The 21st of March this year was taken over by the colourful and joyous celebrations of Holi, and under these colours silently sitting under the tree hidden from the world busy in its own melodic and sometimes not so melodic humm is the World Poetry Day. It passes by almost unnoticed every year, kind of like the backrow silent kid, whose verses never leave the confines of the 9th grade diary. Poetry as Da Vinci said is, “ a painting which is heard but not seen” and this day came into being to celebrate this simplistic yet complex art, this rough yet passionate outflow of emotions, this hidden yet vibrant world of the creator.
It was the 30th UNESCO session in Paris in 1999, that decided to proclaim this day as a celebration of this beautiful art form. As the organisation writes on their page “Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.”
As per the founders, they believe that the celebration of this day is in order to spread and increase the diverse cultures from around the world, spread issues and improve the linguistic/ oral tradition and not let it die. Across the world budding poets and enthusiasts use this day in order to celebrate the art form by awarding, remembering and exploring past and new poets. Poetry seldom needs a day to be spread and shared and explored, but under the mantle of this worldwide day it finds the comfort and the helping hand needed by poets and enthusiasts, to bring the art to the eyes of those who don’t much like it or explore it.
In India, the day does carry a slight significance as it allows the various media houses to recollect and honour the memory of past poets such as Tagore, Gulzar, Mahadevi Verma. Poetry as many art forms, became more than just mere art, it became a tool, a weapon to fight the oppression and political bondages that mere words couldn’t solve. Specially in India where a majority of the renowned poets, used poetry to covey their feelings and thoughts and open the eyes of the masses to the unthinkable, unspeakable evil. It is also this spirit and responsibility of poetry that we mast salute and remember today on the occasion of the World Poetry Day.
As Wordsworth believed anyone could be a poet, and poetry is an open art form not bound by types and limitations, it would be a beautiful experience to use today to maybe jot down some lines and maybe explore the inner poet in you. I will finally enclose this article with some of my favourite lines from a poem.
How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d”

– Alexandar Pope


Feature Image Credits: Newsum
Haris Khan
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Digital poetry has taken and given a lot from conventional art forms when it comes to shaping the poetry of the 21st century, let us see how…

The modern or twenty-first-century poetry has seen a drastic change from the poetry in the preceding centuries. While modern poetry or the poetry evolving in the twenty-first century has adopted a more favourable style towards free verse and a greater emphasis on artistic expression, it has evolved with features like disrupted or unkempt syntax, irregular stanza structure and lacking rhyme schemes.

Free verse poetry has gained a big following over the following years. While it has been considered synonymous with modern poetry, it dates back to hundreds of years. New popularity for poetry has been achieved through big portals on social media platforms which have seen a big fan following, giving new artists and writers a space to showcase their work. Social media, one of the biggest boons for a lot of businesses in the twenty-first century, has also been a big platform for many poets and writers as well as other artists to showcase their work and achieve fame. Poetry has evolved to become a highly appreciative art form.

Online or Instagram poetry has become the biggest source of artistic influence on social media. It all started back in 2012, when the poet, Lang Leav started publishing her works online on Instagram. She stands with approximately half a million Instagram followers and four published novels, becoming one of the most sought after and famous instagram poets. Canadian poet, Atticus is also an instagram celebrity poet, with a constantly growing fan base. He started publishing his poems online since 2013 and has gained a lot of appreciation, but even more among his fans for his mystical appearance. Instagram poetry was once again revolutionized, by the Indian origin Canada based poet Rupi Kaur, who became a big success with two publications and two world tours. Her poetry focuses on the diaspora, the brown values and love loss among other things. Other prominent names include Pierre A Jeanty, Nayyirah Waheed etc. among many.

It is a pleasure to see the poetry conventions change. I have always loved the works of Coleridge or Wordsworth, so for me, moving on to a newer base of poetry is a tough call, but surely worth a try. It is amazing to see that poets today have so much liberty and so many different platforms to write upon. But the olds, the classics, nothing can beat them.” Comments Heena Garg, a second year student of Maitreyi College, pursuing English Honours.

Digital poetry is freer and more liberated than ever, and nowadays a lot of young and new poets do not pay more attention to the literary conventions. Modern day poetry is deeply symbolic, but literal at the same time. The concept of rhyme schemes and heroic couplets, as well as other parameters, have been set aside. Modern poetry is also a break in and a waiver for a new form of poetry. Its recognition will take a long time, as a majority of literary critics are not a big fan of the modern day poetry. The major debate lies in, whether the social media poetry is destroying the convention and idea of poetry or reviving it. The viability to a large audience makes it easier for the poet to assimilate the tastes his/her readers acknowledge and in lieu of that similar works are produced. However, upon close introspection, modern poetry does not prove to be very “intellectually pleasing” to the soul. Being garnered and taught nature and romantic poetry of the earlier centuries, school curriculums have forced children to have dual opinions on poetry. While poetry of the earlier times, is more tedious to understand due to historical and contextual symbolism along with the archaic style of writing, modern poetry provides an ease to the students. There is a pride and pleasure attached to reading canonical literature, one may interject so, however, the subjectivity of poetry makes us argue whether the content of online poetry is indeed high art or literature.

Pragya Achantani, a final year student of English honors from Maitreyi college states, “ its not all good, but its not all bad also. You need to find the right poets, the right handles for that matter.” She further adds, “ simply saying that its shitty because it is on social media and liking higher art is also not fair. That being said, since poetry is so subjective, it is possible one might not like anything. So, to each their own!”

The topic of interest in poems has also changed. While feminist and nature or romantic poetry still lives and is evolving, there are newer themes attached to poetry. War and peace has always been a key theme in epic poetry as well, and nowadays this theme is being represented in newer lights. The themes of environment, sexual harassment and empowerment are things which were absent or very faint in the poetry obtained from previous generations, however, are now being written and published in abundance.

Poetry for such a long time has always been interpreted from the eyes of the poet. But for a reader as well, a good poem can be something which may be reflecting exactly what he or she is thinking. For me, after a hectic day at the office, I might run through my feed till my eye catches a poetry verse. I find it quite relaxing. I am not a writer, so maybe I do not go knee deep in interpretation, but it is something which gives a ‘feel good factor’ whole reading it, and that might be the appeal it presents to others as well.” Comments Arpita Chhikara, an analyst at KPMG.

Poetry in the twenty-first century, especially the online versions are slowly moving into the popular or formulaic literature. With an increasing audience, these poems have now become ‘trivial’ art. The aesthetic merit of poetry is declining when compared to the contemporary works. While this may be defended as the coming of a new age of poetry, the market research analysis shows how instagram poetry has become commercialized, with main focus rising on piling up the copies or reaching the best sellers’ shelf. Online poetry, as seen through the eyes of poetry traditionalists, has been reduced to something some may consider being unsophisticated. Like the previous times, it no longer functions solely to cater to the bourgeoisie sentiments, but instead has now become a topic of ‘high-low brow’ literature.

Modern poetry also faces threats of plagiarism, repetitiveness, being cliché’, transient and a pathway to future lawsuits. A majority of online writers are fairly new and young, thus formulating another debate on how technology can be seen as a source of corrupting a literary art, whose simple motive is to gauge the attention of the readers, a sort of a cultural detritus. Permanency is also a factor in poems. Will they last or will they ever transform into something canonical, decades later, thus a shade at the new demographic of this form of poetry.

So what are your views on modern poetry? Can it also be converted into a political fiasco, with traditionalists on the one hand and modernists at the other? It is a matter of time, and to misquote baseball player Todd Helton, “time will tell but we definitely have the talent….. the more experience everybody gets, the better we are going to be”.


Feature image credits: Rupi Kaur 

Avnika Chhikara

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While poetry today has seen a drastic growth in terms of its audience in India, we trace down some of the lesser-known poets, whose words mimic magic.

When you hear the word poetry, your mind automatically imagines the romantic verses of Keats or the heavenly meadows of Coleridge’s poetics, often leading us to turn a blind eye to some of the lesser publicized, but equally lyrical, poets of the world.

Here is a collection of some unexplored gems, that are must-reads for those with an inevitable hunger for classic poetry. 

1. Anne Michaels

This Canadian poet and novelist has works translated in more than forty-five countries. One of her most amazing works is “All we saw”, which is a short collection of poems dealing with treats and abrupt desires, love, death and the intimacy and vastness of the connection between two people. Another of her highly acclaimed works includes “The weight of oranges” which bagged her the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas. Her work is easy to read and comprehend, and at the same time has a beautiful foreplay of words.

2. Kobayashi Issa

One of the most prolific Japanese poets of the early nineteenth century, Kobayashi’s works are now translated into English, his works are a deep reflection of the miseries he faced in his life, and how through his travels he gained enlightenment about Buddhist philosophy and incorporating it into his life. His poems are short and crisp, some of the famous ones being, “even with insects”, all the time I pray to Buddha” etc. among many others.

3. Joy Goswami

Joy Goswami is a Bengali poet, and one of the most influential Bengali poets of his generation and a recipient of many literary awards. Some of his best work includes poems like, “Hieroglyph”, “Wars march into the past “among many. He has also won the Sahitya Akademi Award, 2000 for his anthology “pagalo tomara sange”.

4. Emilio Prados

Emilio Prados was a Spanish poet and editor. Some of his best work is now translated into English, for example, “final shadow”, “enclosed garden”, “next to the stream”, etc. among many more.

5. Meena Kandasamy

This Chennai based poet, writer and translator is a published author and has found her poetry in some of the most reputed poetry forums. She expresses the aim of her poetry as that of sending a social message, focusing on her struggles of being a Dalit woman living under the shadows of caste oppression, discrimination and gender relations.

One of her most amazing works is her version of “the seven stages”.

6. Nabanita Kanungo

A teacher-poet hailing from Assam, her debut collection of poems, “A map of Ruins”, highlights her love for her hometown Shillong, and the memories she holds on to from the years gone by.

A sense of nostalgia prevails in her work which attracts readers.

7. Ingeborg Bachmann

She was an Austrian poet and writer, who has published different plays and poetry, expressing her reflective thoughts on languages, and the mix of cultures she has experienced throughout her lifetime.

Some of her works are, “Darkness spoken: The collected poems of Ingeborg Bachmann”, “Die gestundete Zeit”, etc. among others.

These are just a few among the many gifted writers who scintillate their audience through lyric and rhyme. Their poetry is simple and versatile, yet brilliant enough to make you want to come back for more.


Feature Image Credits:  creemore.com


Avnika Chhikara

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The culture of slam poetry has become so common that even schools have slam competitions and poetry sessions. This new-age, so-called hip-hop culture took decades to get so deep-rooted in our sub-continent as well as from where it started.

The concept of not using bookish and formal rules of poetry, but rather using everyday language to create rhymes was introduced by Marc Kelly Smith in 1984. Marc Smith was a construction worker and his efforts changed this new art form into weekly competitions like Uptown Slam Poetry on July 25, 1986 at Green Mill, a Chicago jazz club. Seattle Poetry Slam was founded in the fall of 1992. The Seattle Slam team members starred participating in Nationals from 1996 and these competitions were held every year in a different state of North America. The culture, subsequently, branched out to Europe and Australia.

The art form has no specific rules to be followed and can be molded according to the poet’s style. It is a thriving art form which gives youngsters the space and reach to express themselves. It started out as a sphere that helps the poet(s) talk of political, racial, and economic disparity. The platform gives the poets the freedom to express their takes or opinions on the political scenario around them. Today, it has fanned out to their personal experiences, funny anecdotes, and even history with violence and abuse. Because of its outreach, slam poetry has helped poets become vocal about their traumatic experiences, help other survivors, and get healed themselves. Lane Shuler believes that “an audience can entirely change the way a poem is delivered just by the energy they give off.” Poets have even left their audiences in peals of laughter by talking about their short height and dog’s pop problems.

Diksha Bijlani, a Slam Poet from Gargi College who won the National Youth Poetry Slam in 2016 and represented India in CUPSI,Chicago, shared her views regarding the culture of spoken word in India. She said, “In my opinion, a significant way through which spoken word has empowered communities around our country is by giving them a platform to reclaim things that they have been made to feel ashamed about for long. Be it body hair, dark skin, be it short dresses, be it mental illness, their sexuality, the gender spectrum, or religion and caste-based identities.”

Indians are not far behind; slam poetry has gained momentum just like stand-up comedy in India. Various outlets have sprung up to help poets express themselves and even be published. Art Refurbish is a Mumbai-based online magazine that publishes poets’ work as well as hosts competitions regularly. A Delhi-based counterpart of this is the Delhi Poetry Slam. This platform has even helped poets publish their works in books and other magazines.

Ms. Bijlani also added, “The only problem I see arising is one of advocacy not channeling into activism. It isn’t difficult to go behind a mic and advocate for the women’s movement as a woman or a male ally. But the difficult thing is to convert this advocacy into activism on ground, to hold ourselves accountable for every time we propagate rape culture, or to call out our peers for every sexist remark. The real work happens when we come out of slams, and while poetry slams are a great place to rage together, to support each other in our fight, and build solidarity, the advocacy that happens inside of slams also needs to be channelised into tangible, constructive activism outside of it. I hope the new generation of poets takes up slam poetry for this reason, and not just to follow a mainstream trend.”

Our university has been ever-welcoming of this culture. We often witness slam poetry sessions or competitions taking place in every college’s departmental and cultural fest. These sessions often happen in places outside our college premises too and help us to connect with like-minded people.

Feature Image Credits: The Writer Magazine

Prachi Mehra

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Dr. Akhil Katyal graced the Department of English of Gargi College afternoon for a workshop on ‘Poetry on Delhi’ on Monday afternoon. Dr. Katyal is an assistant professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Ambedkar University, Delhi. He was warmly welcomed by the students and teachers of the department and expressed his pleasure at being back in the college.

He began his workshop by quoting Muhammad Ibrahim Zauq on his love of Delhi. He also read out excerpts from Ishq Mai Seher Hona, a book of poetry written by the eminent journalist, Ravish Kumar. The poems spoke of the insecurity of love by comparing the relationship to areas of Delhi. Dr. Katyal asked if the students could connect to the verses and they narrated their incidents of similar feelings and situations. He explained to the audience how similes and metaphors work in the art of poetry.

He said that the ‘Toolbox of Poetry’ consists of the tool of language, sound, and visual. The poet can use these components attract the attention of the reader. Dr. Katyal also taught students the art of enjambment on the paragraph. He also discussed A Butcher written by Agha Shahid Ali, a Kashmiri-American poet. Dr. Katyal discussed each student’s point of view in changing the prose paragraph to poetry and later revealed how the poet himself had done it. He asserted the importance of location, softness, action, speed, etc. He also underlined the subconscious forces at play based on Rebecca Hazelton’s essay, Learning the Poetic Line.

For the last session of his workshop, he showed the map of Delhi and asked the audience to mark the areas of the city according to certain questions. He commented how the answers reflected theoretical studies by Shilpa Phadke in Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets. This explanation and left the audience in awe. Students shared their poems on Delhi and got pictures clicked with the eminent professor, poet, and author.

Feature Image Credits: Pavini Suri
Prachi Mehra 
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The second day of Mushaira 2018 was dedicated to independent journalism, celebrating 10 years of the establishment of the largest student-run media organisation, DU Beat.

The day began with a panel discussion on “Quality Journalism for the New Age” was hosted by panellists Vinod Jose, Executive Editor of the Caravan, and Manisha Pande, Associate Editor of Newslaundry. In a vivacious discussion on quality journalism in the age of fake news and sheer propaganda, Vinod Jose and Manisha Pande enlightened the audience on the crises faced by modern day journalists. On being asked by Moderator Srivedant Kar on the apparent crisis looming upon media today, Vinod Jose held political pressure on journalists as being responsible. On the issue of distinguishing between quality and ‘fake’ journalism, Pande claimed that even the mainstream media isn’t exclusive of the phenomenon of fake propaganda; hence social media like Facebook and Twitter aren’t at fault alone.

Followed by the discussion on journalism was Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s inspirational speech on “How can the youth make a change today”. Dr. Tharoor started his speech by joking that age-old rivalry between Hindu College and St. Stephen’s is not there anymore and was nostalgic about his college days. He commented that students around his time had fewer opportunities than students of today and the youth must stay aware of the country’s politics. He emphasized the need for the youth of the country to be participative in decision making because they should not abdicate to old men for choices about their lives. He talked about India being the third country in the world with 800 startups each year, the advancement in telecommunications and advent of AI. The audience was enthusiastic throughout his speech and applauded him numerous times. He encouraged the students to take interest in various social or national issues and try to make a change. He ended his speech with the poem Tehzeeb by Gopal Krishna Gandhi and left the young minds absolutely enthralled.

The speech was succeeded by a panel discussion by three social media influencers, Sejal Kumar, Shibani Bedi and Shivesh Bhatia. The three talked about their gradual success, making good content, and to reach out to the target audience. Given the day and age we all live, and being a consumer of visual art, one’s photography skills matter but Shivesh added that one must make the best of what is at their disposal whether it is a phone, computer or DSLR. They all ended the discussion with the fact that there are no instant results and brands eventually come if one is committed fully to one’s work.

The next speaker of the session was Suchita Salwan who is the CEO and Founder of Little Black Book. She also happens to be a Hindu college alumnus. Talking about entrepreneurship, she quoted “There’s a difference between an influencer and an entrepreneur”. She emphasised on the fact that people who aspire to be entrepreneurs need to focus on forming winning companies. Also, addressing the problem of availing funds, she pointed out that it is important to find the right kind of investor for the company. A brief Q&A session followed.

In a nostalgic journey through memory lane, the former DU Beat members engaged the audience in a spirited discourse of their life after DU Beat. The panel consisted of Radhika, Gurman, and Brij, all ex-DUBsters. Their discussion ranged from jovial anecdotes about how Brij’s first article was rejected by Gurman Bhatia who was the Web Editor. DU Beat had played in constructing their professional lives. When asked about the prerequisites of being a good journalist, Radhika remarked, “You don’t necessarily need to do English honours to be a journalist. You don’t need to know fancy words. You just need to know how to do clean reporting.”

Speaking on “Partition Literature”, Sukrita Paul Kumar opined on the anguish and pain associated with the creative reflections of 1947. Quoting Gulzar’s “Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji,” she asked the audience to revive the ‘child’ in them in order to prevent the rising homogenisation of society and keep alive the spirit of dynamic creativity. For her, knowledge of history combined with personal experience captures the essence of history better than history itself.

Following up next was the team of Slip of Tongue, who is a group performing slam poetry formed by the National Youth Poetry Slam winner Diksha Bijlani. Originally composed of seven members, only four could make it at the event. Starting off “Hero Syndrome”, Diksha Bijlani lifted the spirit of everyone present in the audience. Somesh Thapliyal’s “Toxic Masculinity” was the next performance. Diksha Bijlani and Cheryl Mukherjee performed a duet on female camaraderie titled “Bra Shopping”, much to the delight of the audience. The fourth member Ishaan Chawdhary performed a love poem titled “A wedding song”. Their performances left everyone snapping their fingers, which is a slam poetry tradition. A few other sets of poems followed before the team signed off, leaving the auditorium filled with the sound of snaps and claps.

In an enchanting performance by Delhi-based singers and songwriters Vishnu Kumar and Amani Kerr, the duo initiated their rhapsody with “Sugar” from Maroon 5. As it progressed to “I Can’t Feel My Face” from The Weeknd, everyone was left tapping their feet. The high-point of their rhapsody was the performance of “Attention” by Charlie Puth. They also captivated the audience with two of their originals, “Kite” and “Where the Light is Always Green”. With this, they drew the curtains of Mushaira 2018.


Feature Image Credits: Sahil Chauhan for DU Beat.

Oorja Tapan
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Karan Singhania
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Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak
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Prachi Mehra
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The much awaited literary festival of Hindu College, Mushaira 2018 witnessed students flocking from a myriad of colleges of the University of Delhi. The event started with customary lighting of lamps by Nasera Sharma, Guest Speaker, along with Dr. Anju Srivastava, the Principal of Hindu College, and Manisha Pandey, Speaker of Hindu College Parliament. Muhammed Daniyal, Minister of Literary Activities of the Hindu College Parliament delivered the keynote address delineating the problems they had to face to come up with the speakers line-up. He presented a timeline of how the society evolved from the stage of genesis to the present day. He painted Mushaira as a stage to revoke the atmosphere of hysteria and intolerance.

Nasera Sharma began with the first speaking session on “Ignored languages and their revival with special emphasis on Urdu”. She made a strong point about the current generation before talking on her subject, about holding the power to resolve the issues that the current generation created. She quoted “Sarkar aati jaati hai par naagrik bane rehte hai”. She protested the belief of eliminating the use of English in order to promote Hindi before telling about how different languages like Pashto and Sanskrit are related through grammar. She emphasised on how India came close to the Middle Eastern countries through literature. Bemoaning the lack of knowledge of people she mentioned that Urdu is a victim of political divisions. Concluding her talk, she shed light on how the originality and beauty of the Hindi language is dying.

Maintaining the poetic vibe, Hindi Kavi Sammelan followed next. More than ten guests were invited to speak on this event. Madhyam Saxena was the first speaker who started the session on a comic note leaving the audience in giggles. The short poems or shayaris as we know them revolved mainly around romance. Some notable guests who came up to mesmerise the audience were Shambhu Shikhar and Azhar Iqbal. The presence of such renowned artists added to the lustre of the already entertaining event. Even though it was the longest session of the day, but the laughter didn’t let the enthusiasm fade. The session also featured some university poets such as Nitin Kumar of KiroriMal College and Sanjana Jha, who is a Hindu College alumuna.

The last and the most anticipated performance of the day was a Qawali session by Junior Qutbi Brothers. They began their performance by informing the crowd about the 800 year old tradition of Qawali, which they believe, is an integral part of the cultures of the Indian subcontinent. They serenaded the crowd with devotional songs like Chaap Tilak as well as popular hits like Coke Studio’s version of Afreen Afreen by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The first day of Mushaira 2018 ended on a soulful and melodious note.


Feature Image Credits: Sahil Chauhan for DU Beat.

Oorja Tapan
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Karan Singhania
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Sandeep Samal
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Bhavya Banerjee
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Robert Frost once espoused, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”  I resonated with this quote when I read Love in the time of Pokemon: Poems about love, loneliness, and other funny things by debut poet Anurag Verma. As someone who doesn’t like to read poetry per se, this book was oddly captivating and relatable. The collection of 23 poems induces themes of tragic humor, isolation, randomness, nostalgia, love, and urban sprawl. The book was ranked number 4th on Amazon bestseller list, while its free Kindle version topped the charts.

We got an opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with Anurag about writing, weird names and lonely people living in matchbox apartments. Excerpts:


Why does the name on your book read Anurag minus Verma ?

There is an interesting story behind it. I was a confused kid, so while I was filling the class 10th board exam form, I forgot the spelling of my surname due to nervousness. ‘Verma’ or ‘Varma’, I thought. I called up my father but he was busy in a meeting. So wrote my name without any surname. Therefore all my official documents like passport, Aadhar Card were without any surname because they are based on my class 10th form. Although on Facebook it’s mandatory to write a surname. So I wrote Anurag Minus Verma. I found it more interesting and from then on I use it as pseudonym.



Most of your poems like ‘The man who did nothing’, ‘Sadness of building after rain’, ‘Big city loneliness’ and ‘Add Poem’ are set in an urban backdrop and give a sense of cynicism. What personal experience and observations shaped these poems?

Most of the poems are a result of wandering on the streets of the city. Eavesdropping on the the conversations of strangers, looking at people sitting alone in apartments or having random conversations about life with drunkards at a wineshop. The more you talk and look at them, the more you realize the amount of loneliness which is out on display on city streets. Though I don’t look at it from hopeless gaze because there is also a great deal of humor among people which somehow becomes the tool for survival in this strange world. That is the reason I want to incorporate various shades of human life such as loneliness, humor, nostalgia among various other things. City plays an important character to incorporate these elements.

Can you share your favorite lines from the book?

all the weight of those years

which have piled up into

minutes, days, week, years

are right here,

unfolding in the

Hotel Supreme Heritage


where two people watching a separate dream together,

are walking through their own nightmares

and I wonder that from the weight

of the collective loneliness in the room

the building will collapse and we would

be just another 2 people of the world dead

by the volcano of love.

When was the first time you decided that writing was was something you had to do? Was there a moment of epiphany, or the realization seeped in gradually?

I think it was during engineering. I was living kind of a purposeless life. I wrote some stories and poems during that time. For the first time I felt mildly felt good about my existence.  I had serious issues with expression in the form of spoken words. As an introvert, it was difficult for me to talk and say what I feel. When I am writing, I feel powerful, maybe the only time. I can say things which are not possible to say otherwise. Writing gives a certain degree of power to the misfits. In fact the first time I proposed a girl was through an SMS, while she was sitting in front of me.

What is the best thing about writing poetry?

Poetry gives you the chance to mix your nostalgia with fantasy. It gives a certain degree of meaning to many random events that had happened to us, and if a poet can express that with immaculate observations then it can create magic. So even a painful breakup from your girlfriend becomes an exciting opportunity to write poetry. All poets subconsciously love pain.

What’s the worst thing about writing poetry?

Difficult thing about writing the poetry is the vulnerability associated with it. You need to dwell in your past events to derive minute details and observation. For example, to write about your first love you need to time-travel to that event in your mind. So, after so many years you are back at that lost world again which you have tried to hide in your subconscious mind. You are there, smelling the perfume of your lover, feeling the texture of her dress. It opens up barrage of memories associated with it  and then evenings become lonelier.

Do you think that poetry is reviving again these days, especially with the advent of online platforms?

In the contemporary times, distribution of any art has become much easier. It’s easier to find an audience as there are lots of distribution channels available like Instagram, blogs, etc. But in terms of form and content it has become more mediocre than it was before. Now the sensational content and loud performances have taken the place of poetry which comes out from deeper observations of life. It’s more or less dead. Until someone brings a revolution, to transform it into humane, playful and contemporary form, the way it was imagined to be.

Few days ago I was reading about the writer who did a social experiment to prove shallowness of poetry in current times by posting meaningless verse on Instagram from his alter hipster ego. He instantly started getting thousands of likes and followers even for writing lines such as ‘love made her wild’.

So for the advancement of any art, we need deeper and relentless probing of human soul. Technological advancement can only help us to a certain degree.

Any tips for budding poets?

Experience life in its ugliness and beauty. Both are glorious. Never fall for easy routes. Be relentless, restless, peaceful and sometimes be nothing at all. All art derives from particular state of mind state. Prepare that mind state and let the words destroy you beautifully. As Bukowski said “For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.”


About the author: Anurag is a filmmaker and Video Editor, besides being a poet and a failed computer engineer. After completion of his Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU, Delhi), he went to pursue a course in filmmaking from FTII, Pune. Some of his films have been shown at various film festivals across the world.


Picture Credits: Anurag Verma


Niharika Dabral
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