Published: 12th January 2021
These four budding poets from the Bhubaneswar Poetry Club will win your heart with their verses
Bhubaneswar Poetry Club (BPC) is a treasure trove of poets who know their craft or are getting there. We speak to four budding poets from and learn how the group has helped them out when they need it
Half a decade and still going strong, the pandemic notwithstanding, such is the wave that the Bhubaneswar Poetry Club (BPC) is riding on. Started in 2016 with a mission to perpetuate poetry in the city of Bhubaneswar, they have come very far. From hosting multiple events to guiding young poets and, more than anything else, providing a safe space for artists to express themselves, they have done a lot for the city and more so for poetry. And though you are probably familiar with them and their work, if you are from Odisha, we instead acquaint you with some of their young poets who have taken the help of BPC, honed their craft further and are now poets in their own right. Because if words are all that we have at the end of the day, then these poets know how to craft them into heart-rendering verses. Over to them.
BPC core team | (Pic: BPC)
Coming back to poetry
Writing poems in school was fine, but then academics and a job happened which kept poetry at bay for Mitra Samal. But when the Bhubaneswar-based youngster came in touch with BPC, she found the will and, subsequently, the way to get back to writing again. Not just this, she published a Kindle book of her poems in 2016, another anthology of 50 poems titled Beginning and enthusiastically participated in open mics and other events of BPC.
Poetry is my escape from this mundane world. It heals me and makes me feel like I have found my own voice
In fact, Mitra, who is in her 30s, began 2021 by writing a poem called Holidays. "It was about merry-making, celebrating the same wind that has changed its direction. It signifies new beginnings for sure, but the old parts are carried forward as well. And yet, we can mend it with persistence," says Mitra, who works as an Assistant Consultant at TCS. Then there was the poem Come Out God where she requests God to come out and bless people with his grace in these troubled times. One thing that Mitra doesn't do is restrain her imagination. "One needs to think and imagine. If everything is shown to you in the form of a movie or an image, what's the point?" she asks.
Find her on Instagram @mitrasamal
Straight from the heart
What's poetry but decorative words that rhyme? Such were the feelings of Krishna Gocchayat. At least up until she watched a video of spoken word poet Sarah Kay. And that was it for the 22-year-old. One of her first fully fleshed out poems was about the societal pressure of choosing a career path, something she was personally going through. "In my viva, an external faculty asked me what my purpose was and I said that I just wanted to graduate first. He replied, 'If you don't have a purpose in life, it's meaningless'. That statement really hit me hard," says the Dhenkanal-born. So she did what she does best, turned it into art. She usually writes about all those issues that bother her, whether the issues are her own or of others.
Honestly, poetry for me is a reflection of what's in my head. It comes out as poetry but it's all about writing what irks me
Krishna has participated in over ten open mics because she has fallen in love with performing poetry. "I really like interacting with people and I am glad I found the spotlight by performing," she shares. "This year has also been about learning and writing for me. I signed up for workshops and even started my own YouTube channel," says the youngster. And the most recent video that she put out was Raja and Period, a poem on menstruation.
Find her on YouTube @Titikshya
Give him ghazals
Ghazals, that's the kind of poetry that has Abhinav Bhaskar's heart. Growing up in Ranchi, surrounded by family members who would revel in literature, naturally, some of it rubbed off on this 21-year-old. It was when he travelled to Bhubaneswar to pursue his BTech from KIIT in 2017 that he met the good folks at BPC and was further encouraged on the path of ghazal-writing. "For me, it is all about penning down the core emotion one is feeling and then setting it in the right format for it to meet the rules of ghazal, which is the tough part," informs the youngster.
It is a way to keep my mind sane. It is a safe place for me where I feel at peace and can share whatever I am feeling
So he gives words to his feelings and writes them down. Then he goes about refining the couplets, making them rhyme in a way that makes it a ghazal. Since he started out as a reader of ghazal, he ensures that what he writes is up to the standard. And for any help, BPC's WhatsApp group is just a message away via which he receives feedback on his poetry. One of Abhinav's ghazals is about how time heals everything but what about the wounds that time gives? It's a touching ghazal that will surely speak to you.
Find him on Instagram @abhinav_.bhaskar
Dark and light
Poems of Padma Parija are layered and oftentimes dark. Anxiety and depression are recurring themes. "When I look at my audience, I see the troubling aspects of their life they are unable to talk about and feel like I should express them instead," says the 22-year-old. She is also the founding member of BPC and has been one of the reasons behind the comfortable atmosphere and the healthy conversational space that the community-driven club is now known for. She credits BPC for helping her discover structure, what she liked to write about and other aspects. And now, she finds poetry in everything. "I am a PG student pursuing my Civil Engineering and I am finding poetry even in infrastructure and buildings nowadays," she laughs as she shares. Every chance she gets, she can introduce poetry into any field or any subject, she feels.
Whenever I am triggered by something positive or negative, I turn to poetry. It serves as an outlet for me
Every time Padma looks at any of her poems, she finds at least seven to eight different ways she could have approached the poem. Hence, she feels that one poem can narrate millions of stories. "Performing is always key and I like doing it," says the student of National Institute of Construction Management and Research.
Find her on Instagram @padma_.parija