Monday, 22 February 2016

Life of the Mind: Mapping Memories, A Poem by Juveria

Mapping Memories
Juveria Tabassum 

Bear with me, my friend

I’ll tell you where I’ve been.

No hills, no seas, no rivers

No lakes, no lofty mountains.

No tickets or passports,

What’s a visa, why the currency?

I’ve travelled through time,

I have hiked through the ages,

The pages, my plane

The music, my ship

Words, my only fuel;

Charged up with Their


I’ve been across the Seven Seas,

Climbed mountains

The Chomolungma too, in Paths of Glory.

Been all over Europe, to England,

Where I heard the Solitary Reaper croon

My steely wanderlust that bore me there,

Took me also, across the Atlantic, into the States,

Where through revolutions, I found,

Roots of people, not just trees.

Buried deep; spread far, far and wide.

Wide enough, to slip into Africa,

Slide under the Nile

And sway into the Sahara.

The burning heat, the pouring sweat,

Oh look! Camels and an oasis!

These are not mirages, just memories,

Conjured up from the books that I’ve read.

The Rainbow Nation I saw,

From between the stumps of the 22 yards,

Durban and Jo’burg,

Cape of Good Hope.

The Gentleman’s Game it was, too,

That drove me Down Under

To the land of the koalas,

Bordered by the boisterous buzz of Sydney.

Then flew, trans-Tasman

Into sheep and natural geysers,

The Haka- ‘bout which, I’m none the wiser.

Soon calls the East,

The smell of the spicy Orient.

A land too diverse, to be

Encased in my imagination-

My own Homeland,

Now so new and grown,

Yet still retains the splendour

That Tagore did write about.

I’ve been through time, I tell you

Been to places I couldn’t forget.

Met people I don’t remember

Done things too many to recollect

I have no proof, no pictures,

No painted portraits;

No slick selfies.

Memories are all I have.

Sad, happy, scary,

Wild, wild, wild memories.


Saturday, 20 February 2016

A Voyage of Verses: A Report on the Final Meeting of QLC!

A Voyage of Verses
Juveria Tabassum
From chasing sunrises in Hyderabad, to running out of shoes in Rome, these ladies sure had quite a few tales to tell!
Spurred on by Tennyson's Ulysses (1842) and Elizabeth Bishop's Questions of Travel (1965), the last meeting of QLC for this academic year was quite a medley of discussions, debate and reminisces on travel and it's many facets.
The session was marked by an inspiring "historical" adventure tale narrated by Ms. Grace Sudhir, HOD, Department of English. It was an enlightening account of Ma'am's parents' maiden voyage to America by ship. Her  words taught us the need for the spirit of adventure and the excessive romanticism that is often associated with travel accounts.

We began this journey down "Country Roads": The all time classic by John Denver was sweetly rendered by our special guest for the evening, Ms. Sagarika Arya, a second year student of the college. 

When Jyothi Ma'am Recites, Quills Listens!
To follow that up, we had a recitation of Bishop's Questions of Travel by Ms. Jyoti Mishra, Assistant Professor, Department of English. It got us started on a discussion on this strangely disturbing poem, which begins and ends with the poet-a world traveler herself, questioning the seeming futility of travel.
The Ever Eloquent Jyothi Ma'am!
There was common consensus among the members on the fact that the poem had an open ending, wherein it was left to the reader's perspective to determine whether the poet was tilting more towards staying at home or getting on the road. The lines,

Oh, must we dream our dreams 
and have them, too? 
        "Is it lack of imagination that makes us come 
         to imagined places, not just stay at home?  

were found quite thought provoking by the members and the lecturers alike.

Then we had a discussion on Lord Tennyson's Ulysses. The king of Ithaca, with his thirst for reckless abandon, dreams of a final voyage on the seas, and his snide remarks on his own son Telemachus, found many supporters within the members.
His heroic spirit was considered inspirational and there was much admiration on display for his bravery. 
Talking Ulysses
The tables however turned when we were asked to choose between Ulysses and Telemachus for a suitable husband. Sheepish smiles underlined the answer, "Telemachus" for many of the girls. They chose to side with the responsible and domesticated Telemachus, rather than the slightly selfish adventurer, Ulysses. Even though there were a few takers for Ulysses among some hardcore adventure buffs(but only if he allowed them on his ship), it was clear that, women, quite like men, prefer their spouses to be quiet, responsible and homely, even while they admire wild souls like Ulysses.
When Women Speak Their Minds!

We rounded up the session by drawing contrasts between the two poems. It was apparent that they were two vastly different poems, written in starkly different states of mind.

However, both of these poems(both highly enjoyable reads), helped give us a better understanding and appreciation of the many sides, faces, moods and experiences associated with travel and adventure. 
"Should We Have Stayed At Home....Wherever That May Be?"

The entire session was dotted with brilliant anecdotes from the members about their own travel experiences. Some of them were downright hilarious, while others were  eye-opening for many of us as we realized that traveling is not always the fairytale that it is so often mistaken for. Also, in this era of selfies, it was nice to hear the stories behind those selfies.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Save the Best for the Last: The Final Meeting of QLC 16/02/2016

The Final Meeting of QLC, 2015-2016 Academic Session was held on 16/02/2016,
Language Lab, English Department

It was a Lively and Engaging Session on Travel Poetry
Music, Lyrics, Debates, Discussions and Memories Galore...
In Rapt Attention

Setting the stage right!

A special thanks to Sagarika Arya, B.Com II A for her heart warming rendition of popular song, "Country Roads" by John Denver!

Our Star Performer

The World is a Book... 
Suvidha Laharika  

“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only one page” said St. Augustine.  At some or the other point of life, we all travel from one place to another: it may be for education or a world tour or shifting a house. But we don’t realize that travelling not only makes us speechless but also a storyteller.
The imaginative as well ambiguous topic of “Travel poetry”, upon which, various opinions were discovered and discussed, was taken up for the final meeting of QLC, held on 16th of February.
We had selected two diverse poems: one was Ulysses (1842) which depicted the importance of travelling for soul and the other was Questions of Travel (1965)which left an open ending for a confused reader whether to go out to explore or to ignite the fire of imagination inside the four walls.

Firstly, the poem Questions of Travel was recited very gracefully by Jyoti madam and then Juveria Tabassum presented a Powerpoint Presentation comparing the two poems.
Then all of us shared our views on travelling and our experiences. The most interesting turn of the meeting occurred when Grace Ma'am narrated about the maiden voyage made by her parents to America on a ship. The trials and tribulations of the voyage both mental and physical were captivating. At the end of the day, we concluded that travelling not only gives us learning experiences but also gives strength, peace and tranquility to the soul. We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.
Beyond Communication!: Sharing Personal Experiences

The Keen Listeners!

Talking Travel


The last meeting of the Quills Literary Club was held on 16 February, 2016. It was about 'Travel poetry'. We all gathered in the English Language Lab by 3:30 p.m. Jhilam ma'am greeted us with her her pretty smile and her lovely words. Jyothi ma'am expressively read a poem Questions of  Travel (1965)written by Elizabeth Bishop. Later we discussed about traveling, modes, experiences and challenges associated with travel. We were given an opportunity to share our experiences about our own adventures. All our friends shared their experiences both funny and memorable. I too shared my memories and experiences of my trip. I was glad when Grace ma'am shared her memories of her parents' maiden trip to America and back on a ship
Pushpa ma'am and Jyoti ma'am also told about their trips. Jhilam ma'am encouraged everyone to share their experiences. Sumitra ma'am noted minutes of the meeting. Pankaja ma'am supported us with her warm smile. The session was so interesting that it did not occur to anyone when clock struck I didn't care about the time when I was in the meeting. I enjoyed, learnt and shared my views. I am glad about the meeting as well as the topic. I look forward to the next meeting. I sincerely thank all the lecturers of the Department of English for giving me such a valuable opportunity to be a part of the Quills Literary Club.
Thank you
Looking for Questions!

Attentive members!

The QLC Family
The QLC Family

Pretty Creative Minds!