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On the 19th of September, The Creative Arts Studio hosted ‘Freedom to Be’, an event encompassing poetry in various languages. Curated by Ramanjit Kaur, and moderated by Rajuraman, the gathering was a small and rather cozy one, only comprising poets, and lovers of poetry and music.

The evening commenced with Samarjit Guha serenading the audience with some dreamy ghazals. This was followed by two Hindi poems narrated by Mrityunjay Singh which were both poignant and insightful. The first one was a discourse on the unfortunate incident regarding journalist Gauri Lankesh, and the second was a surreal, yet unconventional piece on the Devi, linked with the fast approaching Pujo week. Anjum Katyal awed the audience with her two poems ‘Madness’ and ‘Kite’, keeping with the theme of freedom of the event. Rajesh Gupta then read out his satirical piece on the Tata Nano project and its laughable failure in Bengal, and some more sentimental works by him in Hindi. Baisali Chatterjee read out a French poem Paul Eluard called ‘Liberte’, also in relation to the theme of freedom. She also sang a Rabindra Sangeeta, declaring she wanted to represent the Bengali people. Sunil Bhandari read out two poems from his bestseller ‘Of Love and Other Abandonments’ about his best friend and his wife, both steeped in sincerity of emotion and simplicity. Devinder Kaur added rich flavor to the gathering with her Punjabi poetry, as did Avik Chanda with his piece in Urdu. Arthur Cardozo and Rita Bhattacharjee added to the splendor of the evening with their own works. Sangeeta Bapuli narrated a Sindhi poem, and a Hindi one about the relationship of a mother with her child. Renowned author Anjana Basu read out her poem ‘Cages’, making one marvel about the Indian goddesses and their ways. Rajuraman shared with the audience, a German poem by Bertolt Brecht about freedom, ending the poetry session for the evening. Samarjit Guha, once again continued to tantalize his listeners with some more music till the end.

The evening was a delightfully enriching one, owing to the diversity of language, ideology, subjects and styles in poetry. An intellectual climate was established, along with an appreciation of the arts. The small space made the audience feel a sense of proximity to all the performers and facilitated breezy conversation, like a typical ‘adda’.

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