Showers of Nazms by KrantiKali
An evening of poetry designated as Femi Nazm on the vast green expanses of Lodi Gardens Delhi on the evening of 3rd January stirred many memories and various faces of Delhi. I was reminded of the couplet by Mir Taqi Mir,
Dilli jo ek sheher tha
Alam mein intakhab
Rathe the muntakhib Jahan rozgar ke
Jisko Falak ne loot ke bezaar kar diya
Hum rehnewale hain usi Ujre dayar ke.
(Delhi the premier city of the world, which was devastated by heaven’s wrath and made into a desolate garden, I am a resident of that ruined place.)
Delhi now seen as city of dirt, dust, smog and filth still has vast open spaces, ancient monuments and enchanting gardens. The venue of the evening with the octagonal Muhammad Shah Sayyid's tomb at the back was more than perfect. The setting sun, beautiful play of fading evening light on trees, birds retreating to their homes was enhancing the character of the poetic evening.As old as fourteen and as young as forty gathered to be a part of cold evening over feminist poetry. FemiNazm and Feminism are homophones and even Femi Nazis can't be left behind. It was an eclectic mix of sensitive intelligent minds of both genders.
The offering of kahwa (Kashmiri hot beverage) and warmth of Kangri was savoured along with poetry. The first narration was by Cecilia Abraham whose bold voice warmed up the hearts. She chose to touch the chore of a female psyche in her poem, The Prime
You suppose age is catching up
Notice me dropping the pretense.
You feel I'm no longer that girl you knew
Notice- I am a woman in her prime
Then there were other participants who chose to recite other's works; prominent being recitation of Kaifi Azmi's powerful composition, Aurat by Saurabh.
क़द्र अब तक तिरी तारीख़ ने जानी ही नहीं Kadr ab tak tiri taarikh ne jaani hi nahi
तुझ में शोले भी हैं बस अश्कफ़िशानी ही नहीं Tujhe mein shole hain bus ashqfishani hi nahi
तू हक़ीक़त भी है दिलचस्प कहानी ही नहीं Tu haqeeqat bhi hai dilchasp kahani hi nahi
तेरी हस्ती भी है इक चीज़ जवानी ही नहीं Teri Hasti bhi hai ek cheez jawani hi nahi
अपनी तारीख़ का उनवान बदलना है तुझे Apni tareekh ka unwaan badalna hai tujhe
उठ मेरी जान! मेरे साथ ही चलना है तुझे Uth meri jaan! Mere saath hi Chalna hai tujhe
Riya Tomar's poetic Conversation with a Stranger in the bus highlighted the lecherous eyes that kept scanning her body minutely. It's a mental agony which every female undergoes on venturing alone outside. She also dwelt on the predictable responses which the rape culture elicits.The recitation of Mamta Kalia's poem by Dharmesh, in which she feels fed up losing herself solely to domesticity. Her brilliance is all lost in getting a bucket free on the purchase of surf. She feels as if she is no longer Mamta but Kamla or Vimla or Kantha or Shanta. The idea of feminism is asserting for our identity as a female identity continues to be governed by men. The poem very well brings out how matrimony takes a toll on females identity.
A proud announcement by a participant on giving up his corporate job invited a wrath of mother to which he aptly replied, Main ATM nahi cashless ho Sakta hoon.
Patang Udana nahi ata Dheel de Sakta hun
Kadam mila nahi Sakta par heel de Sakta Hun
Another narrative by Chitra Kalyani spoke about life, how we have a continuous inner strife between mundane, familiar, uninteresting encounters to something challenging, interesting. But our experiences teach us to allow ourselves to grow/ change - though truth doesn't change but our views do.
A friend once explained war.
What do you do with all that passion?
Which is why sometimes, I want a boring life,
Although life cannot be pretty boring.
Tremors and tears pass through every life,
And rise again.
Another powerful performance of the evening was by Arpan Khosla titled, Mujrim, Balatkaar aur Maansikta written in memory of 16th December Delhi rape. This poem is worth reading by all as it invited accolades for the poet at IIT Delhi's Literati Festival for its sensitive treatment.
Apni laingikta ka samast laabh uthaaya
Jaise dekha tha sites ki mauj mein
Har yantra ko apna shastra bnaaya
Kroorta bhayankar fauj se.
Suraj ugne mein abhi wakt tha
Par aaj savera maano apna tha
Fenka usko nirvastra humne
Shaayad yahi baap ka sapna tha.
Hosh aaya fir par der hogyi thi
Vo ladki shayad ab mrit thi
Meri lakeerein fande ki or mud rahi thi
Poori kaaynaat iske sahit thi.
Jaa raha hun, shayad insaan kehlaane ka paatr nahi
Gareebi aur sharaab ko dosh dena bhi ab bekaar h
Par khush hun, sab grihna krte hain mujse
Kamsekam Bacha nahi rone ke lie koi pariwaar hai.........Each performance highlighted on the aspect of feminism.
Soon it was dark and chill rubbed against the skin but the gathering was keen to absorb various expressions. All the expressions formed the impression of how the body of a female is a thing of display, discussion and even subject to brutality. The object of appeasement is a subject of suppression. But hope isn't lost as there are people who feel for the cause and have a voice too.
मैं भी रुकने का नहीं वक़्त भी रुकने का नहीं Main bhi rukne ka nahi waqt bhi rukne ka nahi
लड़खड़ाएगी कहाँ तक कि संभलना है तुझे Ladkhadayegi kahan tak ki Sambhalna hai tujhe
उठ मेरी जान! मेरे साथ ही चलना तुझे Uth meri jaan mere saath hi Chalna hai tujhe