Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Slamming Poetry at the Blue Frog

Entered the wonderful world of slam poetry performance, and didn’t proceed beyond the first round. Ugh! I never imagined I would do that. Found out it takes guts though as I stood on the state of Blue Frog’s aesthetically designed performance space, bathed in the sharp circle of laser lights last Sunday to deliver my elegy to my dead friend Manoj Rane before an audience of diners and fellow poets. It was a nice experience.

The mill district where Blue Frog is situated is still run down, still the festering centre of the city, decaying, though the multinationals and media companies had moved in in the last decade or so. Hm. As if I expected something else from an area I kept away from, because of its sheer nightmarish decrepitude and lack of civic infrastructure. The night spots are situated inside dark mill compounds, un-tiled, littered, and every bit like it used to be. They seem not to care, Bacchus is worshipped in the night spots, revelry and drinking go well into the night, but people don’t care about the garbage that lies un-cleared on the streets. Gangs of jobless youths wearing shorts and tee-shirts loll around looking dangerous and unconcerned.

Blue Frog is lit in a soft suffusion of lights, and the effect is one of awe and quiet dignity. Shivani Tibrewala is in charge, adding life to the atmosphere of serenity and the capacity to indulge in whatever is ones intoxication – poetry or spirits. Woody on the flute (both Indian and western) and a percussionist (sorry, I forgot his name) lend the right miasma to submit oneself to something wild, like singing one’s poem, which I did.

I know I sounded flat. I don’t know why. I did. I stood before a mirror and performed the usual rehearsals but sounded flat nevertheless. Next time I am going to learn by heart my verses before I go on stage. Makes a lot of difference to know your poem. If you don’t have your poem on your lips, you tend to appear flat. I guess my rivals did better and deserved to win. As for me, I didn’t get past the first round. Hm. 

1 comment:

ms said...

i think you are being too hard on yourself. everyone who attends a poem-fest goes there for the words - not the style of their delivery!! not fair to organise a contest of thoughts and emotions - that's what poetry is. so, soldier on!