Poetry is the Phoenix

As mentioned earlier in my blogs, Community Theatre is all about creating thought provoking performances using different theatrical forms. From day one we have been trying different ways to encourage people to come forward and contribute to the project in any way possible. This time we used poetry.It is undoubtedly the most powerful tool to convey your thoughts in the shortest time and perhaps most effectively. Roger Housdon, a renowned english author says,’ Poetry is the phoenix I can fly on to return to that forgotten land.’ How true is that! While preparing, it took me straight away to my childhood bringing back lot of memories. I was hoping it will do the same for the people of community.

Selection of poems was very crucial. We chose them wisely, each one with distinct flavour. First one, ‘Jab tak suraj chand rahega’ meaning until the sun shines and the moon remains is a prayer to God. It makes you forget everything else and pulls you into a zone of poetic world. Second poem ‘ Asava sundar’ is quintessentially a child song. Third poem ‘ Leheron se darkar’ is a motivational song that gives you goosebumps and makes you realise how strong you are as a human being. Fourth poem ‘ Toh kya karoge’ was again a motivational song asking people what would you do if anarchy is upon you, what would you do if the world is in trouble, what would you do if your self respect is at stake. The first time we performed, we ended the session with a patriotic song but then dropped it for next performances as first four were doing the trick. Also, there was a chance that it may get too lengthy.

‘Asava ssundar’ is a very special song to me and close to my heart. It is one of the poems I learnt very early in my childhood. It is about a kids fantasy whose wish is to live in a bungalow made of chocolate. I felt it both emotional and ironic to perform it in front of basti. It is a beautiful composition written by Raja Mangalvedhekar which makes you fall in love with it in the first time you hear it. It takes the listener in a different world all together. I remember people getting emotional over it because it brings back a lot of childhood memories. No doubt our performance was thoroughly enjoyed by children but the real shocker was to see adults reacting to it. We performed at three different places and there were people who attended all three sessions.

I think the milieu of community is getting more and more artistic with each of our visit. Now we are looking forward to shift the momentum and getting people involved to perform rather than to watch. A lots more to come! I am keeping my fingers crossed.



Writer/ performer

Swatantra Theatre, India


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