Tracing poetry from Rituals to Zephyr

Tracing poetry from Rituals to Zephyr

Kiriti Sengupta’s ‘Rituals’ has been one of the most successful poetry books of 2019

Kolkata based Hawakal Publishers in collaboration with Quills Literary Club, RBVRR Women's College, Hyderabadorganised an evening of poetry, music and conversations at the prestigious Salar Jung Museum on 21 December. Hawakal, headed by publisher, Bitan Chakrabortyorganised the official release of Rituals, by eminent poet and Chief Editor, Ethos Literary Journal, Kiriti Sengupta. Hawakal also launched Zephyr, a poetry chapbook by student poets of the club. The book has been edited by Jhilam Chattaraj.

Kiriti Sengupta's Rituals has been one of the most successful poetry books of 2019. The book is replete with stunning illustrations by ParthaPratim Das. The poems display the art of brevity at its best. Each poem is an analysis of the ordinary and foregrounds the vitality of details in our everyday existence. His themes make the collection a delight for scholars of Cultural Studies.The book explores the panoply of human experience and elucidates the meanings and rhythms of a mature poetic life. "Customs are like meditation," writes Sengupta as he weaves religious liturgy and the opera of gods as the quotidian backdrop of a married life and experiences with his son. The book has been reviewed widely and discussed in eminent journals like the Colorado Review and the Critical Flame.

JhilamChattaraj was in a conversation with Sengupta and requested him to read some of his most relevant works; one among them was, "The Expectant Mother."

She lies supine.

Close to her chest she holds

a greased mango leaf,

blazed to khol. Her eyes

whist like a whisper.

She stretches her hands

to douse the sky

with blood and water. (Rituals, 33)

Sengupta began his career as a dentist but left it all for poetry. He is an Associate of Hawakaland alsomanages his own publication house, Shambhabhi Imprint. He was asked by Chattaraj, if his life as a poet was as glamorous as it appeared in photographs? Sengupta in his aphoristic style answered that, "poetry isn't glamorous, it is beautiful. It is the queen. There is a subtle difference between beauty and glamour." And, in pursuit of such subtle beauty he has come to Hyderabad; with a mission to encourage young poets of the city.

Kiriti Sengupta, Bitan Chakraborty, eminent members of Salar Jung Museum,faculty and students of RBVRR Women's College released the poetry chapbook, Zephyr by student poets of Quills Club. Eighteen students and three faculty members contributed to the collection. The chapbook is an eclectic collection of poems that will make one laugh, cry, question and long for the poet inside all of us. They talk about serious issues like growth, identity crises, relationships with lovers and parents but all with a teenager's swag, confidence and innocence. The poems are inspired by the reality students see around them. For example, in the poem, "Once Upon a Blue Moon Night," Syeda Maria, writes about the haunting experience of meeting the spirit of a girl who was killed in a terrorist attack. In the poem, "Unmasked," Ritu Sarda speaks about the lingering fear in a girl's mind, whenever she decides to step out of her home in the evening. Tahreen Fatima, the witty young poet, in "Car of My Choice," writes:

My heart pounds like a Ferrari,

and seeing your picture makes my day a luxury.

Eyes run through the crowd, looking for you,

like a shining BMW.

Lips like Lamborghini,

keep speaking about you freely.

She ends the poem with a confident claim:

Be it a Range Rover, or a Land Rover,

be it a Porche, or a Rolls Royce-

Your heart is the only car of my choice! (Zephyr, 47)

Ritu Sarda and Meera Saheba were awarded the "Certificate of Excellence" by Hawakal for writing the most notable poems in the collection. A. Mounica and Juveria Tabassum were also awarded for their work as student editors of the Quills blog. The evening marked the triumph of poetry both among experienced and young poets. It also established the contribution of independent publication houses like Hawakal towards the growth of literary aspirations among young girls of Telangana.

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