Ghosal’s subjects in his poems are inspired from his own experiences of life.
Indrajit Ghosal, the founder of Poetry Darbar, talks about the changing face of poetry in the country, the challenges faced by regional language poets and his poetic dream.
The culture of poetry is changing drastically in the country with an increase in slam poetry sessions but a decline of mehfils. In such an evolving space, Poetry Darbar is an initiative that started in Gurgaon and aspires to create poetry hubs across the nation and bring poetry to the people. The founder talks about the challenges, inspirations and more.
Talking about the dying culture of poetry reading in the country, Indrajit Ghosal, founder of Poetry Darbar, says, “This needs to be classified on the basis of language. If you talk about English language, I am sure you will agree that it has revived to a great extent with the thriving spoken word poetry scene (poetry for the stage). The downside is that no one writes proper English poems these days, as the number of takers/listeners for this form of poetry is less. Urdu poetry and Hindi poetry is a mixed bag. If you talk about people reciting their own works in poetry gatherings, events, the art of poetry reading is not dying at all.”
However, he adds, “If you talk about reciting other poets’ works, yes! That is something that has taken a back seat in the past few years. You don’t see private mehfils and gatherings, nashists, where works of other poets are recited. They are far and few. So in that aspect, the poetry reading culture has taken a toll and this is only about the recitation, the quality of the poetry and content is altogether a different debate.”
He believes that new art forms are seeing a fresher, younger audience adapting to them. “Spoken word and stand-up comedy is an example. Mumbai and Delhi are flooded with such art platforms.”
The government too needs to play a role in the promotion of such events. Ghosal feels, “The very little that the government does is it supports established artists by honouring them, but not budding artists. Though there is a lot of emphasis on the art, there isn’t much focus on the artist community that drives the art forms. I think the government needs to make more concerted efforts to preserve and promote all art forms and encourage artists across the country.”
He emphasises the need for scholarships and societies for poets to live and strive in, “Because in the current day poetry is a liability as long as you don’t cater to the mass audience on internet. And young poets have no avenue or support to provide them the peace of mind to write poetry and make the art-form more lucid and beautiful,” he says.
Ghosal’s subjects in his poems are inspired from his own experiences of life. “I had bottled up so many emotions all my life. Poetry gave me an outlet to express them and thus, I began to write. I wrote about the pain, the unsaid words, the anger and the frustration. Writing has always been a liberating experience. I also write on contemporary issues that bother me. I am also fond of writing nazms (a free verse poetry) and couplets in Hindustani on love and longing. I think that is a universal theme.”
After 15 poetry events in Gurgaon, Poetry Darbaar has made its debut New Delhi, with three events so far and one event in Kolkata, Bhopal, Allahabad, Chandigarh and Patiala each. “Bengaluru and Jaipur are on the cards as well. I plan to create poetry hubs across India. A major challenge would be to ensure these events continue to sustain in these cities,” he adds.