“अकेले बैठ कर कविताएँ पढने और साथियों के साथ पढने में अंतर तो है, और दोनों के अपने सुख भी हैं |’ क से कविता’ एक मौका है साथ पढने-सुनाने का. ‘क’ से कविता के बृहत् परिवार का ज़िक्र केवल शब्दों तक नहीं सिमटा है|इसमें रंग भी बिखरे हैं | यूँ कहें कि रंग केवल बिखरे नहीं, बल्कि समेटे गए हैं शब्दों की परिधि में|” – ‘क’ से कविता-हैदराबाद.
I first participated in the fourth gathering of ‘क’ से कविता held at IIIT Hyderabad in November 2016. It was an evening of reading ghazals and nazms of the famous shayar Makhdoom Mohiuddin, a name I had heard as a teenager, and whose ghazal was one of my favorites from the film ‘Bazar’. My envy, heart warmingly so, knew no bounds when I heard a soulful rendition of the same song, ‘Phir Chidi Raat Baat Phoolon Ki’ from one of the talented participants, Gursharan.
Minakshi Chaudhary, Praveen Pranav and Sudarshan Vig, the trio that came together through mutual love of poetry, first laid the foundation of ‘क’ से कविता-Hyderabad, dedicated to reading poetry from old classics. That Hindi and Urdu are dying languages is a topic of much debate. This noble initiative revives not just some old poet, poem or ghazal, but nourishes and re-introduces the beauty of these Indian languages to the contemporary generation too. I have enjoyed reciting some poems purely for the joy of pronouncing fine vocabulary from the days of yore 🙂 .
‘क’ से कविता is not just a boring session of reading poems. Each session is meticulously planned by first choosing a poet of the month, followed by extensive research on the life of the Hindi poet or Urdu shayar. Participants then select a composition of their choice from the writers’ collection and recite on the day of the baithak. There is an occasional tussle when we end up choosing the same poem 🙂 . Well, the early bird gets the worm. I recall, Sanyog Thakur once mentioned he was keen to read a poem on ‘farmers’ and I had stolen the golden chance from him 🙂 Sorry Sanyog ji 🙂 , I hope you beat me sometime soon to a lyrical piece.
The highlight of the evening is when the host regales us with interesting anecdotes from the life of the poet. Driven by passion, it is not surprising that they are able to dig out minute details on the life and times of long forgotten writers. In one of the recent sessions, I was enamored by Pakistani Shayara, Parveen Shakir’s life and her enchanting compositions.
‘क’ से कविता-हैदराबाद celebrated its first year anniversary in August 2017 with much pomp and fervor. The idea was strictly to not make it lavish, but spectacular nevertheless. ‘क’ से कविता founding members from Dehradoon and other cities came down for the day long festivities of poetry recital, discussions, song and dance events. Praveen Pranav’s presentation of Sahir Ludhianvi’s ghazal, ‘Rang Aur Noor Ki Baarat Kisey Pesh Karun’ was a colorful festoon of melody that day. His singing was unpretentious and stirring.
Surprise is an element that keeps relations alive and fresh. Here too, we are pampered with a pleasant surprise or two, off and on 🙂 ; “Kuch alag karte hain” (Let’s do something different this time), as Minakshi puts it enthusiastically. At one of our meetings, we were each given a red rose with a small note that contained a poem from the chosen poet of the months’ collections, that we could recite apart from what we chose to share. The upcoming session on 7th Oct looks just as inviting. The plan is to read poet Shri Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s poetry-drama ‘Urvashi’, that explores an ancient narrative between Urvashi, Pururava and other celestial characters. It promises to be an interesting session as each participant gets to choose a character and read specific verses. I’m sure looking forward to it.
The rules of the group are straight forward. The founding idea is to promote literary legacy in Hindi and Urdu of Indian writers. We do not read our own poetry nor promote personal writing in any way. There’s a strict taboo on all/any discussions on politics, religion or cast. Love for poetry is enough to participate, you don’t have to be a poet or writer. No age barrier, anyone can participate. What strikes me the most is that the event is Free Entry for all, and so it should be. Why or how can one make any kind of profit on reading from other people’s literary work? On the other hand, organised events do require funding. Debatable, huh!
As a high school student, I never really enjoyed Hindi/English poetry classes much. It wasn’t so much the poems that irked me, but the questions that came at the end of the lessons. “What is the poet trying to convey through the poem?” Now, eons ago some dreamer serenaded his or her love on a moonlit night and I had to decipher its meaning and language. Life could not have been more unfair back then.
On the contrary, life is now beautiful and lyrical with my friends of ‘क’ से कविता. The tweety bird is chirping. Come, let us join the chorus 🙂 .