Opening 2016 With A Voice: At Poetry Couture Open Mic With Karthik Rao
My first performance of the year opened on a good note. It has been exactly one year since I ventured in Performance Poetry and Spoken Word. In this time, I’ve learnt the difference between page poetry and performance poetry, examined poetic nuance and how it goes beyond basic rhymes. The stage also gave me a chance to face my fears, my terrors and meet residual emotion that had lain unused and unexamined till then.
This event was Poetry Couture’s feature+Open Mic Poetic Adda. They featured me in their last Poetic Adda event and I was very happy to return to this venue and a new audience, a different context from the spaces I’ve been at.
Karthik Rao who supported my foray into musical accompaniment last year with Flamingoes and then with The Poetry Club’s #UndoingGender event returned. We are both hoping to collaborate further and explore this union of music and spoken word in a big way.
We first performed ‘Superwoman’, my first ever really feminist piece. This started as a blogpost I wrote more than a decade ago, one of the first ones to appear on my blog. It was also the turning point where I realised I was going to have a lot to say about urban womanhood and gave rise to the blog I call XXFactor. Then, at 24, the poem was one-quarter my own experiences and the remaining fragments of lives of women around me and some conjecture. More and more I’m finding my own life has begun to echo this piece in a spooky fashion. It’s not entirely good because the piece is far from being happy. I can only hope that anybody reading this post (and this blog) realises that the life I’ve laid out in performance is not all bad. I’ve lived a largely fulfilling, happy life after all. Here again, in collaboration with Karthik Rao, is Superwoman.
The organisers were nice enough to allow us to do one more piece. Late last year, I realised that I wrote almost no love poems. This, when 90% of all songs and poems are written about love. It made me reflect on how I avoid thinking about love because it’s memories in my life are too painful. But, as with my Paper Plane, perhaps performing a positive piece will be my road out of darkness. I’ve resolved to write and perform a lot more love-related material. I know me and I am coming to understand how I love so this will be far from mushy or rose-coloured. But maybe I can learn to build my brand of beautiful, flawed love too. Here is Patchwork Relationship.
I’ll take it as a good sign that both of these came through well, even though I had a bad cough (and woke up this morning completely voiceless). Here’s to a year of many more Spoken Word stories!
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*Also published on The Idea-smithy.