A good poem causes me to pause, reflect and interpret,” says Kamlesh Biswas. For two years, Biswas has been organising mushairas — evenings of ghazals, nazams and Hindi poetry — in Pune. His last mushaira towards the end of September at Creaticity mall, Yerwada, attracted a crowd of 150.
“We have organised three such mushairas and one major Hindi and Urdu Poetry Festival in Pune. We also have monthly meetings where Urdu literature enthusiasts gather and share their works,” he says, adding that it is impossible not to be moved by ghazals set to music that describe the pain of divine love and the nuances of human love. His own poems have been published in anthologies such as Ek Seher Umeed Bhari and Shayadri Echo’s, among others.
At the latest event, shayars of Pune and Mumbai presented their works. Ayan Shukla performed nazams related to daily life crisis and social media addicted youth, Prashant Katyayan hosted the show with his witty poems and Niranjan Pedanekar performed a range of ghazals. Biswas’s ghazals and nazams are about philosophy, love and separation.
“I grew interested in literature through my father who used to translate Tagore’s poetry into Hindi. He used to recite Sanchayita and Gitanjali for my sister and me. When I could understand poetic elements, I started to explore more, which led me to Urdu through Hindi. Although I read all kinds of literature, Urdu poetry is closest to my heart,” he says.
A marketing professional with a strong passion for poetry, he founded The Poetry Cosmos in 2017 with Ayan Shukla and Ravindra Singh to spread awareness about Hindi and Urdu literature. He has also been a part of the Pune International Literature Festival (PILF), Delhi Poetry Festival and the Deccan Lit Fest. “Initially, when I was introduced to Pune’s poetry circuit, I noticed that people are more inclined toward English and Marathi. There were very few who presented Hindi or Urdu content. That’s when I decided to start this group,” he says.
Biswas defines poetry as the “shadow of emotions”. “A language becomes more presentable when it is delivered in the form of a poem. It provokes the reader with an intense emotion: joy, sorrow, anger, cleansing and love. Poetry has the ability to surprise the reader with an ‘Ah-ha’ experience,” he says.
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