Mumbai (Maharashtra [India], March 23: The power of poetry was celebrated in Mumbai as the city hosted the Hindustani Poetry Festival on the occasion of World Poetry Day. The event was organized by Hindustaniya in collaboration with Shodhwari, Vagdhara, and Dhruvanaika at the Kavivarya Kusumagraj Marathi Bhasha Bhavan, University of Mumbai.
Renowned poets and writers graced the occasion and shared their insights on the importance of poetry in society. Among the luminaries present was lyricist Shekhar Astitva, noted Urdu poet Obaid Azam Azmi, Vagdhara president and MNS general secretary Dr. Vageesh Saraswat, senior writer and poetess Dr. Pragya Sharma, and Hindustaniyat founder and Buzzmore Media director Jeetesh Vaishya, businessman Kamlesh Vaswani, Bipi Gupta, Gopikrishna Bubna, Prof. Geeta Das and poet Devdutt Dev.
The event was highlighted by a Poetry Open Mic Competition, where young poets showcased their talent. The judges, Shekhar Astitva and Obaid Azam Azmi were impressed by the quality of the poems and the enthusiasm of the participants.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Pragya Sharma appreciated the youth’s participation, saying that it added to the program’s untouched aspects. Shekhar Astitva praised the participants’ dedication to poetry and said that it was an auspicious sign for literature. Meanwhile, Obaid Azam Azmi, also recited some of his famous poems, including “Rehguzar Rehguzar,” which earned him thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the captivated audience.
In the Poetry Open Mic Competition, Bhimsen Singh Ujjwal emerged as the winner, followed by Tausif Katib and Kabir in second and third places, respectively. Nehika Singh Rajput and Sakshi Chandrashekhar Sharma were also given consolation prizes.
When asked about the importance of the Hindustani Poetry Fest, Jeetesh Vaishya, one of the organisers, said, “Poetry has the power to inspire, heal, and transform. It is a medium through which we can express our deepest emotions and connect with the world around us. We hope that the Hindustani Poetry Festival will encourage more people to explore the beauty of poetry and discover the joy of creative expression.”
Hindustaniyat founder Dr. Pragya Sharma shared her insights on the craft of poetry and reminded young poets in attendance that a poem cannot be classified as a ghazal unless it adheres to the specific rules of ghazal poetry; instead, it should be referred to as free verse poetry. Meanwhile, Shekhar Astitwa emphasized the significance of a poet’s performance and delivery, stressing that even if the content of the poem is weaker, a powerful and engaging presentation can make up for any weaknesses in the writing itself.
Vageesh Saraswat expressed his gratitude to all the participants and taught them the virtues of poetry. The event was a success, with attendees experiencing an unforgettable day filled with poetry readings and discussions.
The Hindustani Poetry Festival proved that poetry still has a special place in the hearts of people, and events like these are a testimony to the enduring power of words. As the great poet Emily Dickinson once said, “If I feel physical as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”
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