As the sun descended over the horizon and the waves crashed on the beach, a small group of people came together at Shanghumughom on Friday to put their thoughts in verse as part of Kritya, an international festival of poetry.
From different parts of the world, they found common expression in poetry, singing of love, happiness, and life in all its complexities.
On Day 2 of the festival, the session titled ‘Singing with the waves’ was as informal as the setting, with a 17th century Sanskrit poem by Vishwanatha Chakravarti recited by Margus Lattik from Estonia kicking off the event.
A traditional Spanish song by Myra Jara followed. Inspired by the scene around, Angelina Bong from Malaysia sang about the colours of the beach and happiness. Lost love, a memory of how it used to be between two people, and the yearning to meet again and recapture it was what Agus R. Sarjono from Indonesia sang about. Kate Newmann recited an Irish poem about women who were made pregnant by soldiers. As a couple of them rendered the popular song Que Sera Sera, others too pitched in.
Soon, it was time for an impromptu session, with the poets digging deep within themselves to come up with words on the spot:
The sun take the moon along my veins
The sun ready to say goodbye, and the moon is knocking at the door
My heart lurches across the distance towards you
The passion of sea is coming through my nose
But no, we don’t need snow to have a white Christmas
Stuck between the sun and moon, I’m waiting for the water
But the sea invited me more than anybody…
And so it went.
Others taking part in the session included Gaston Bellemare from France, Pornpen Hantrakool from Thailand, Yesim Agaoglu from Turkey, Afrizal Malna from Indonesia, Sartika Dian, and Rati Saxena, the festival director.
The poets had earlier visited a hospital for a session of poetry therapy with the patients there.