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Linking Young Minds Together
        Volume 6 | Issue 48 | December 02, 2012 |


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Rakibul Hasan
Photos: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

How many poets are there in the world? The question might seem as difficult as determining the exact mathematical value of Pi, but there is a very simple answer to this. The total number of poets currently living on Earth is equal to the overall world population of human beings! Whether we admit it or not, a poet lives inside every one of us. Be it the prospect of finding a soul mate, the pain of leaving someone close or to express the long suppressed frustrations, we can't help becoming a little poetic from time to time.

Poetry helps Tasnuva Ria discover hope even during the gloomiest of moments.

Poets posses the gift to pen human emotions.

And, then again, there are those who possess the gift of expressing their emotions with mellifluous words, with which other people can also relate to, thus eventually they emerge as successful poets. There was a time when the word 'Poet' would necessarily involve a clichéd mental picture in people's mind -- a bohemian with dishevelled hair, thoughtful eyes, showcasing an intrinsic ignorance about the practicality of the material world. However, the pastoral days of blissful ignorance are now long gone. The young poets of today are now fully adapted to the hectic schedule of urban life; perhaps the influence of globalisation and the rat race to survive in a competitive world are two elements that inspire them most to practise their poetry. With the advent of Social Media, it is now possible for poets to instantly voice out their creativity to a truly global audience and get instant feedback from their readers.

For Anik Khan, it is the intention to do something new that made him get into the world of poetry. Khan draws the inspiration for his poetry form random events taking place in our day to day lives such as love affairs, political strikes, traffic jam, power shortages and so on. According to Khan, his poetry is not supposed to change the society to a great extent but only to provide people with food for thought that can influence their perspectives on certain issues. As an enthusiast to discover his feat in different activities, Khan describes himself as a poet by passion, while by profession he holds multiple identities -- Executive Editor of the famous satire magazine UMNAD, host and researcher at the private television channel, ATN Bangla and motivational speaker to the youth on behalf of various international organisations. Perhaps, he is best known as the introducer of 'SMS Kabbo', a type of innovative couplets, written in the form of text messages on mobile phones, primarily within 160 characters. "We would always have problems, and different predicaments of urban life are making us even more cynical. So why not, we try to look at those problems with a sense of humour and try to resolve them with a cool mind,” says Khan. So far, Khan has published 11 books on poetry and he regularly writes poems/rhymes for several national dailies. When asked about his future plans, Khan recited one of his SMS poems, of which the underlying meaning can go like this- “I always love to live in the present, and that's why I always manage to live a happy and carefree life!”

For Asif Mehdi, poetry provides his soul with solace.

Perhaps, very few people would recognise Asif Mehdi as a dedicated poet since at first sight he gives the impression of a corporate employee who pursues a white collar job! However poetry is his passion and according to Mehdi, he writes poems to fulfil the appetite of his soul. Poetry is something, in which he finds solace and it lets him organise the discrete ideas in his mind. When it comes to writing poems, Mehedi does not follow any particular genre and feels equally confident to write for both adults and children. “Most of my poems are actually written on random topics without any prior preparation. I am inspired by what I see around me. I usually keep small notes of my ideas on a piece of paper or on my cell phone and pen them down whenever I can manage some free time,” says Mehedi. Going for instincts all the time, Mehedi has also ventured in other forms of literature such as writing satire and science fiction novels. A recent collection of Mehedi's poems, 'Nano Kabyo' has been published from Adee Publication.

Anik Khan likes to touch people with humour in his poetry.

Tasnuva Ria, a student of Gono Bishwabidyalay, Savar, explains herself as a 'traffic jam poet.' “While everybody around would root for no traffic jam on streets, I have found the long hours of gridlock on my way back home from university as an appropriate time to find themes for my poetry. If we think from a different angle, we would see that the livelihoods of a lot of people like that of the girl who sells flowers in the streets or the hawker selling newspapers on buses, actually depends on traffic jam. As an optimist, I try to think positive and strive to find specs of hope even from the gloomiest aspects in life,” says Ria. An avid fan of poems by Jasimuddin and Sukumar Roy, Ria thinks poets should enjoy absolute freedom in terms of experimenting with language so that they can convey certain messages to their readers. A proud author of a book of poems titled 'Icche Ghuri,' Ria aspires to make the present day youth conscious about the glorious history of our nation through her poetry.

Strange objects showcased at the event, while young poetry lovers throng the Dhaka Art Centre.

Social Media is the most popular platform to enjoy poetry, today.

A book of poems can be a good company during a time of solitude.

Hailing from the sleepy little hamlet of Faridpur, most of her neighbours are unaware about the poetic instinct of Sabrina Siraji Titir. Currently a homemaker and a mother of two, Titir pursues poetry simply because it provides her with a sense of emancipation. “I used to write on blogs. One day I just randomly wrote a poem and put that up as my status on Facebook. I instantly got multiple likes and a lot of encouraging comments. I got very inspired, and from then on started to write poems on Facebook and some blogging websites on a regular basis,” says Titir.

According to Titir, there shouldn't be any stereotypes about the ways of a poet. “Anybody from a banker to a rickshaw puller can come out as a poet. A poet can successfully take care of all the worldly affairs and yet posses a mind that can identify the hidden beauty of nature.” Titir has published a book of poems -- 'Megh Hoye Jai' last year at the Ekushey book fair. She is now planning to publish another book of poetry -- 'Agunjol' in the coming Ekushey book fair in 2013. An avid fan of perceptive language in Tagore's poetry, Titir wants to create a global audience of Bengali literature by spreading the work of our litterateurs online.


An Exhibition Extraordinaire

In his latest venture, Anik Khan, arranged an exhibition of some of his selected SMS poems in the city's Dhaka Art Centre from November 22 to 29, 2012. The exhibition was one of a kind in the sense that, here, the audience could actually observe the poems as exhibits and could buy them if they wanted to. Plus, the background stories behind writing the poems were also exhibited. Mohona Hasan, a student from Dhaka City College, says, “The poems showcased in the exhibition are so much fun! But what makes them special are their background stories as they help readers realise what the poet actually wanted to say through his poems. I must say the author has been very successful to indicate several harsh realities of our society through humour and sarcasm.” All the money earned from the exhibition was donated to JAAGO Foundation's 'Sponsor a Child' programme.


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