On March 21 every year, as poetry enthusiasts all over the world come together to celebrate World Poetry Day, Hyderabad, too, partakes in the excitement. For many years now, in fact, different groups in the city have been organising various kinds of poetry events every month, but unfortunately, poetry has not yet reached the stage that some other art forms have reached. Despite this, the city boasts of its love for poems and poetry, thanks to its cultural heritage.
Hyderabadis are lovers of poetry
The very first poetry event in Hyderabad was the slam poetry event organised by the US Consulate’s cultural wing. That was where I found the inspiration to be a part of several poetry get-togethers. Over the last five years, I have attended many poetry events and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, poetry events these days are no more than just a style quotient.
And no, I do not mean that poetry is something new in Hyderabad. People who are aware of the history of the city know that the rulers of Hyderabad have been great lovers of poetry. In fact, some of them were renowned poets themselves. However, I believe that all the pseudo-poets that have emerged on social media have drowned out the real voices.
— Minakshi Choudhary, Point of contact for K-Se-Kavita group
Gen-next should come forward
Poetry is a natural instinct, it cannot be acquired by practice. It’s a powerful fine art which can ignite joy, love, revolution, anger, and many emotions in a person or in a society as a whole. I started writing poetry back in college itself. Only five years ago, I addressed my inner calling and starting writing poems.
I was fortunate enough to find platforms like the Sahitya Sangam, Geet Chandini, K-Se-Kavita, and Sahitya Seva Samithi in Hyderabad, where poets meet once in a month and occasionally to discuss poetry. My only concern is that the younger generation is not coming forward. However, it’s mostly those who have retired from their respective jobs and have plenty of free time to write.
— Ravi Vaid, a poetry enthusiast
Poetry is embedded in our culture
Hyderabad is one of the most happening cities in India as far as poetry is concerned. We have several literary groups in different languages — English, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi etc. In fact, when poetry books are launched, poetry reading sessions are also generally part of the functions. The love for poetry, especially ghazals, is embedded in the Hyderabadi culture and there is a close connection between Urdu and Hindi groups.
Many poets participate in poetry meetings enthusiastically. The recently held Hyderabad Literary Festival had a three-day poetry stream called Kavya Dhaara. The founder of Hyderabad himself was a poet, so how can Hyderabadis not love poetry?
— Elizabeth Kurian, ‘Mona’, poet