The judges and participants of the event.
Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra
Water is one word that could be used to create wonders in the world of poetry. Particularly for poets from Bangladesh, the task is made simpler as we are known as the people from the land of rivers. Given the context and the location, Meghdut Abrity Sangshad and Goethe Institute, Bangladesh, organised a poetry competition, on February 3, 2013. The programme was aptly titled as 'Water Slam-poetry slam'.
The poetry slam was held between different young poets dealing with the theme of water. Young, aspiring or hobbyist poets and writers illustrated their skill in poetry in three different languages-Bengali, English and German. The duration of the recitation was three minutes per participant.
The main motive of the organisers was to encourage young talents and stimulate creativity with words. Prior to the event, 30 young poets submitted poems around the given theme. The topic evokes various shades of significance all over the world-any poem on water was considered, be it on tears caused by a broken heart or about sanitation. In addition to this, the programme was designed in a manner which allowed fair judgment to take place. The audience was asked to vote based on the performance of the poets and this would consist of 50 percent of the total vote, while the remaining was incorporated on the evaluation made by the judges.
Anika Tabassum, the first participant of the evening, recited a poem in English titled 'Doubt in Humanity'. She illustrated the tale of a rape victim with vivid images of nature. She showed the lack of morality in humanity and expressed the doubt in human faith. The incident truly shakes one and is nerve wrecking yet no one really does anything to avoid such occurrences. Tabassum concluded her poem with a touch of feminism, “I am not safe anywhere, neither are you,” which signifies that at the end of the day no one is secure no matter what one does to prevent these accidents.
Another female poet, Farzana Fairuz shared an anecdote of her childhood before reciting. She expressed how as a child she came across a poem where the guru of poetry had used shadhu and cholti bhasha together, this aroused many questions in her mind and she asked the teacher how it was possible to mix both extremes. Her teacher responded by saying that only great poets were daring enough to do something like this. Fairuz spoke proudly on how she now has the same right as a poet to create her poetry in any way she wanted. In her poem 'Megh' she emphasised on how water is presented as drops of blessing from the cloud in the form of rain. Her symbolism was profound and touched the hearts of the audience.
While the young female poets exhibited their fine skills in poetry, the male poets were not behind either. Muhammad Al Amin recited his creation, 'Everyday Blues' where he painted the sight of a beautiful village and life surrounding the river body. He described the nature of the river in all its beauty making references to gypsy blue ocean that depicts the nonchalant nature of the river. Amin also made allusions to myth and called it goddess ocean, which accelerated the significance of his poem to a different level.
Several other poets of both gender recited their poems with great intensity and spirit. The first phase of the programme concluded soon and the second phase began where seasoned poets from Meghdut Abrity Sangshad recited poems. The next session included renowned judges speaking about the event before giving away the awards and a short photo session followed. The winners were then asked to repeat their recitation. Meghdut Abrity Sanshad wrapped up the programme with their poetry recitation part two. From the audience's positive response, the programme seemed to have been a hit.