Sunday, 14 January 2018

Unearthing Passion: A Poetry Reading Session by Ms. Prachi Joshi Johar

Hands up if you can feel the verse!

The Quills Literary Club celebrated its 2nd anniversary on December 15, 2017. To mark this occasion, the Department of English organised a guest lecture by Ms Prachi Joshi Johar on "Contemporary Poetry" followed by a delightful poetry reading session. 

The program started with a beautiful prayer song by Krutika. After that, Ms. Grace Sudhir, Head, Department of English, Vice-Principal, Chairperson of Q.L.C, welcomed Ms. Johar and talked about the highlights of the club from the past two years. 

Grace Ma'am Welcomes
Ms. Prachi Joshi Johar to the
Second Anniversary Celebrations
of the Quills Literary Club
Juveria and GunaPriya with their presentation

Gunapriya and Juveria Tabassum presented a PPT titled, "Q.L.C.-A Montage of Memories", in which they shared some remarkable moments from the meetings and activities of the club so far, and highlighted how these events had helped us all grow as students and artists. 

Dr. Jhilam Chattaraj introducing Ms. Prachi Joshi Johar
Dr. Jhilam Chattaraj formally introduced Ms. Prachi Joshi. She talked about the various roles that she had taken up- from content creation, to being an author of critical thinking books and board games for children, to a journalist for various publications, and of course, a well published poet.

Soon after, Ms. Prachi began the session by sharing with us her love for poetry and why she chose it as her career. She also talked about her interest in interacting with the youth of today, and mentioned what a significant role age and experience play in defining our viewpoints on life.
About her book, Of Desires, Dilemmas and Divinity, Ms. Prachi was especially engaging, as she discussed issues like self-identity, discovery and introduced us to a few themes that she explored in the book.
Ms. Prachi reads The Wind and the Leaf
The first poem she read was The Wind and the Leaf, a tale about the whirlwind romance between the two characters mentioned in the title, that the students took to be a representation of our own wild encounters with things like outlandish dreams and forbidden love. 
The fact that the poem doesn't follow a set plot, and that we never get to know the fate of the leaf, caught the attention of the students. The theme of celebrating the present without any definitive view of the future was evident in a few more of the poems that Ms. Prachi proceeded to read. In If and Them versus I, we got a glimpse of the chaos that resided in her mind; the chaos that she said arose from her need to find and accept her own quirky personality, and break away from the stifling rules, pretensions and opulence of the world around her.
The session enthused the members of Q.L.C., who very actively shared their opinions on her poems and put forward various interesting interpretations of the verses. The discussions somehow led to them sharing their own experiences, and also the problems they face, not only because of the society, but also due to their own inner turmoils. 

Prof. K. Muthyam Reddy Sir speaks at the anniversary session of QLC

We were glad to have the delightful and inspiring company of our college Correspondent/ Secretary Prof. K. Muthyam Reddy. Sir addressed the students, outlining the importance of reading, appreciating and sharing literature in a student's life. Sir also lauded Q.L.C.'s efforts in providing this platform to the students of the college. 

Then we had a few Q.L.C. members reading their own poetry. 

Anjali reciting Joy or Pain
First, Anjali shared her poem Joy or Pain, which was inspired by her anguish against the practice of exploding fire crackers during festivals. The poem was written and expressed in a tone of nuanced innocence that not only brought forward concerns for the environment but also made us appreciate her sense of imagination. She said that instead of protecting our environment, we should create one which doesn't need protection. 

Mirror, presented by Asfiya
 Asfiya Khanam talked about how a poet is someone who can bend the mountains, bind the souls and can ignite all six senses at once.  Her poem Mirror was inspired by Orhan Pamuk's The Black Book. In the poem, she talks  about the importance of being ourselves, and not trying to fit the definitions of our identities that are often set by others. 

Next up was Juveria's Spills to Remember You By, a poem describing a woman's journey of surviving domestic violence, rising above the wounds, and finding herself again. Her recitation made us want to peep out of our sheltered windows and encouraged us to speak out against domestic violence. 
Deeksha asks us to Try, try and be Brave

Deeksha followed that up with her poem Try, Try and be Brave which motivated us not to lose hope and keep on trying till we achieve our goals. 

Megha(left) interacting with Ms. Prachi

Ms. Prachi then returned with a touch of divinity with her last poem for the day, Fire. As much a commentary on the fleeting nature of human life, the poem also brought to light the changes that people go through in terms of their behaviours and relationships with the passage of age and experiences. It made us sense that we are somehow, in a vaguely ethereal way, still in control of our lives, even though we may sometimes sense the hand of Providence in the way our days play themselves out. The fire that blazes in the furnace gives light to our activities, and watches over us. But in many ways, we are the ones who keep it burning; the ones in control of our destinies.

Mahveen Sana presenting the Vote of Thanks
Mahveen Sana proposed a formal Vote of Thanks to wrap up the session. Ms. Prachi's smooth, eloquent reading certainly kept the room, and our hearts warm. It was a session where we felt and realized varying emotions, and got a chance to speak our minds about the things that we sometimes stop ourselves from feeling- the emotions that only poetry can unearth. 

To borrow from one of Ms. Prachi's phrases, Q.L.C is only two years young. As more days and moments get added to this engrossing journey of ours, we hope to be able to add the light of literature into the lives of more students.

Ms. Prachi with the Department of English!

Report by 
Asfiya Khanam 
Juveria Tabassum