Bengaluru poetry festival celebrates life: Politicians, poets, musicians woo all

By: Maitreyee Boruah
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Bengaluru, Aug 8: If you think poetry is a dead art, then you should have visited the two-day-long Bengaluru Poetry Festival, which concluded on Sunday. The poetry carnival, organised by Atta Galatta, a city-based bookstore and events space, not only brought the best of poetry talents under one roof, but was also attended by a large number of poetry lovers from across Bengaluru.

From lyricist, scriptwriter and poet Javed Akhtar to BJP leader and poet Varun Gandhi, the lyrical carnival showcased the best of verse, dance and music from across the country. The first-of-its-kind poetry festival hosted in the city celebrated everything that is poetic.

Bengaluru celebrates the best of poetry

The first day of the festival saw Gandhi scion and BJP MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh wooing poetry lovers as he recited poems from his latest book, Surrender, which was released recently. His first poetry collection, The Stillness, unveiled last year also got considerable praise from both literary critics and readers.

Talking to reporters, Varun said, "In a world led by savage transactions and the anxieties of life's journey, it helps to surrender and write poetry, and hear myself soaking in my soul. It's more for me, in search and celebration of the divine."

It seems the young leader is a modest poet at heart, as he does not take accolades seriously.

Varun Gandhi

"I don't know how many of you have gone through my poems, but frankly, if I didn't have a famous last name, nobody would have bought my book of poems," the politician-poet said.

Akhtar too was elated to be part of the festival, as fans jostled around him to take selfies with the award-winning writer and lyricist. Akhtar said he shares a deep connection with Bengaluru since his Sholay days.

Akhtar and Salim Khan co-wrote the cult Bollywood film, Sholay, shot extensively on the outskirts of the city in Ramanagara. He added that he was happy to see so many youngsters attending the poetry festival. He not only interacted with the young crowd, but obliged most of the selfie requests.

Javed Akhtar

The second day of the literary carnival started on a high note as maverick Bollywood poet, actor and singer Piyush Mishra performed some of his popular numbers like Duniya from the film Gulaal in front of a large crowd.

Along with poetry recitations and musical performances, several discussions were conducted dealing with various aspects of poetry during the event. Several workshops, including a special one for children, were also part of the festival.

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