Glocal Khabar Presents Youth Dialogue/Literature
Four aspiring young poets were invited for the sixth episode of Glocal Khabar Presents Youth Dialogue. We discussed on the theme “Literature” and the topic of the dialogue was “Youth Concern towards Literature”. The guests invited for the session were Saurav Tiwari, Prajwal Adhikari and Rupesh Bhattarai. It was wonderful to have these incredibly wonderful poets and the discussion was moderated by Ms. Saru Pyakurel. The dialogue highlighted about the condition of Literature in Nepal, regarding the platforms that the aspiring poets and writers get and also about the beauty of literature. The highlights of the discussion are given below.
- The interests in Youth varies these days. What interests you to be a poet? How do you generate ideas to write poems?
Mr. Prajwal believed a child at his childhood don’t know if he will be a poet in future. He was born and brought up in Lamjung. During those days, he remembered visiting Rodhi Ghar with his friends. He used to listen to Nepali Folk songs there and even wrote his own songs. After his master’s level education, he started to attend many poetry shows in Kathmandu and heard poems from renowned poets of the country like Nawaraj Parajuli, Ashim Sagar etc. He was then attracted by the poetry and got inspired to write the poem. He wasn’t sure if that was a proper poem, but he could write it with great enthusiasm. He remembers 2072 B.S to be the year he started writing poems. Later on he realized poetry is important and he should write poems with full dedication after delivering the poems in various stage shows, hearing other different poet’s ideas and aspects and living in the world of poetry.
Mr. Saurav recalled days at his school at Nawalparasi when he was poor at Nepali subject and also grammar went out of his mind. His brother helped him a lot to improve his Nepali grammar and suggested him to write. He remembered yearly a magazine used to be published called “Shanta Subash” and the articles by students used to be there with their names. He wanted to see his name in the magazine therefore, started writing articles and eventually a poem in Nepali.
Mr. Rupesh had a different experience. He said he always had an abusive relationship when it comes to writing. He used to write poems since his childhood and when every child would say they wanted to become doctor, pilot, engineer but he had a different aim. He wanted to become an artist, still confused what kind of artist? He later thought an artist can’t be economically stable, so he swiped his way towards Science. But he never broke relationship with writing. He said that he used to write rap songs during his intermediate study period. And later on, rap transformed into poems and he was unstoppable.
- What kinds of poems you basically write?
Mr. Rupesh said he basically write personal poems now but at starting days, he used to see the scenario and wrote about the society about what he see and understand. He also remembered he wrote a poem once about a child like his age who was a worker in a hotel and everyday he saw him near his school’s gate. He started writing poems about commentary of society and now about the personalized social commentary.
Mr. Saurav explained he basically observes the surrounding and writes about the components he see.
Mr. Prajwal shared he writes poems about the current affairs and also about the myth character. Likewise, he also write about day to day experience in a poem style. He has an amazing connection with poetry. He said a poem itself comes to his mind and urge him to write. Any theme that comes in his mind, he can write poems about that.
- What do you see the condition of Literature?
Mr. Prajwal talked about the history of poetry when the popular poets like Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Bairagi Kaila wrote poems completely about the topics they wanted to write. Poetry never went as a professionalism in the past. Likewise, there were less platforms. He even heard old poets sharing their stories like they can clearly remember where they were called to deliver the poem, because the opportunity were so less. But now, the condition is changed. There are many different platforms for the ones interested in Literature and Poetry. For the ones who are good poet, they can easily discover and grasp the opportunity.
Mr. Saurav added there are many learning platforms in Nepal as well. He also said that the platform like “Spoken word Poetry” is really popular in India. And same kinds of platforms can be created here in Nepal as well. He said Nawaraj Parajuli was able to start the trend for young aspiring poets and writers as youth are full of vim and vigor. He also explained there are ample oppurtunities for youth who are interested in delivery of poems but there is problem in sustaining poetry as a career goal.
Mr. Rupesh agreed there are not just the platforms for poem writers, but also has a space for the utilization and practice of their art. This way they can make their art more beautiful and face audience live. Likewise, Nowadays due to global exposure, the potential is huge but it brings the risk as well. Therefore, it is necessary to balance the global exposure with one’s voice.
- What is the beauty of Literature for you?
Mr. Rupesh shared he likes small contexts that can be interpreted in words. The beauty of literature for him relies on the placement of words. He enjoys writing poems about the slices of life. Small moments that happens in life, he can write those events in his poems.
Mr. Saurav said a poet does write poems about either himself or about the next character. According to him,” The literature has the power to unfold the emotions, sufferings, happenings, and also whatever we perceive and see in a sheet of paper as a poetry. He believes words to be the beauty of Literature.
Mr. Prajwal explained whenever we write poems or novels or any forms of Literature, we intend to become true. He said-“Literature shifts you near to truth.” Whatever we see, issues about society, issues about politics, we can explain these things in form of poem in an artistic way. That is the real beauty.
- What kind of differences you see in the trend of literature writing?
Mr. Prajwal compared that before in the classical phase, the poems were written on rhyme style. The poems were basically written about nature, spirituality etc. But now the trend of writing poems has changed. The poems can be written without rhyme words. Likewise, the poems written these days are based on day to day experience and also regarding present contexts. He also gave example: If any natural calamities occurs, poets can write poems about that at instance. Mr. Prajwal added as we see the global connection, there are lots of platforms. However he gave an example of Narayan Gopal. Before he was the one who was noticed in a wide mass of people. But now there are many singers who are struggling to establish their identity. Even in Literature, it is difficult to make the identity.
Mr. Saurav explained that in the past the poetry were based on context stories. Like during Rana reign, the poets wrote poems against the autocratic Rana rulers. These were also in form of songs, novels and so on. And nowadays the spoken poetry is getting popularity because the words and languages used are easy to understand by the people and the old poems with their specific rules had difficult words, so was complex. He said rhymes were used while writing poems and he also started writing poems through rhyme.
Mr. Rupesh shared that he enjoyed listening to old songs and also reading poems written by old writers. He feels their poem has a beautiful words, and amazing connections as per the topic. He finds these things really precious. He also added old poets spoke the words of history and poets these days are speaking about the present context.
- What are the challenges you see in this field?
Mr. Rupesh highlighted there are ideas and dreams but the maintenance problem arise. Those who wants to pursue Literature as their career has to face difficulties.
Mr. Saurav added highlighting the maintenance problem, a question arise about sustainability. An artist perform but they have no idea until when will they continue. Because there are sustainability issues. There are many people who wants to be a poet, or the writer and so on. But the challenges arise which even discourage the youth artists. So, gap should be fulfilled to make this field a lot better.
Mr. Prajwal insisted that the writer or the poet needs to have competition with on self. It is necessary because it will make a writer more sharpened and polished in that field. The pattern of poems written may not be same each time. But some poets write same pattern poems every time which is not different. Likewise, some poets write poems just to deliver in mass of audience and it is not considered professional. The young poets are not paid, which is one major challenge and it will eventually discourage them. Therefore, he said the artists must be paid in order to encourage them.
- What is word warrior actually? What are the programmes you have been conducting?
Mr. Rupesh said “Words warrior is a spoken word poetry community based on Kathmandu. In December 2010, the perception of poetry changed for many youths, when the bookshop, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, organized QC Awards 2010: Voice Your Words, the first ever slam poetry event in Nepal. A few Nepali poets and some keen participants from the slam poetry workshop and competition then decided to give continuity to this art form they had fallen in love with and in the coordination of QC, formed the Word Warriors, Nepal’s first spoken word poetry group.
We’ve now conducted workshops at various schools in different parts of Nepal, organized inter-school slam poetry competitions in and outside Kathmandu, performed at various venues, at schools, universities, children homes, cafes and in concerts, art exhibitions, conferences, street demonstrations and national literary gatherings, where the young and the old alike have experienced the transformative and enthusiastic power of spoken word poetry.
We’ve also taken a step further to spread spoken word poetry and create platform for expression through several of our programs, from monthly open-mic events to in-school workshops and long term projects like Write to Speak that works with the members of marginalized communities to bring out their voices and stories.
- What can be done to encourage the young writers, poet, novelist etc.?
Mr. Saurav explained one must be clear about their interest first. There is the trend of pursuing the interest seeing other people. But this won’t last long. He added the example when Subin Bhattarai’s novel was published, it encouraged a lot of youth to be a writer. That was not there deep interest, just a need of time. And this way, poetry or writing cannot be a profession. It will just remain a passion. He added everyone is a writer, it’s just we need to practice hard to sharpen our skills in writing.
Mr. Prajwal said one can write whatever they want to. It shouldn’t be perfect. A continuous practice will make a people perfect. He also shared a lot of new poets do send their poems to him and ask his response. He replies that’s good but needs to do better. This is the best way to encourage the aspiring poets or the writers. Knowledge sharing can be the best way to teach new comers regarding poetry and writing. The one who is knowledgeable in this field can share their ideas and skills. Every individuals have their own qualities, so we need to help everyone if they are dedicated and interested in any field.
- What kinds of platforms can be given to encourage the writers, poets?
Mr. Rupesh highlighted two platforms that can be provided. The first one is Non Critising platform where the knowledge is shared and challenges are discussed, brings good learnings and the next one can be Constructive Criticism which enables growth and improvements in poets. It is the place where ideas are shared and suggestions are given to make them better. Likewise He believes competition can be the best way to understand our potential which will polish your poem writing and delivering abilities.
Mr. Saurav said there are lots of platforms already. And, when someone ask him for suggestions regarding their poems, he guides them in a constructive way. A good learning and teaching environment must be provided and good understanding of languages and words is also equally important.
Mr. Prajwal also agreed there are lots of platforms available. Many different programmes are conducted in Kathmandu and other parts of the country mainly Saturday. Saturday is the day when Literature is being promoted through different programmes and events. He also shared that knowledge sharing is essential in this field and we can use poetry in a positive way also to make an impact in the society and even country because words are powerful as weapons and when those words come artistically, it makes even greater influence.
- What is Monologue?
Mr. Prajwal replied that monologues are a part of poetry. Monologues are similar to poems, epiphanies, and others, in that, they involve one ‘voice’ speaking but there are differences between them. For example, a monologue involves a character relating his or her thoughts and feelings to him/herself and to the audience without addressing any of the other characters. A monologue is the thoughts of a person spoken out loud. Monologues are also distinct from apostrophes, in which the speaker or writer addresses an imaginary person, inanimate object, or idea.
- How do you explain the poet and audience’s connection? Share your experience on the stage.
Mr. Saurav explained the starting days had fear of the stage. But performing in many platforms, made it easier to go stage and perform in front of audience with eye to eye connection. He said there are various kinds of audiences. He tries to deliver poem in such a way everyone can connect. Likewise, when he delivers poem in front of youth with topics of love, friendship and so on, it becomes much interesting.
Mr. Rupesh whenever he performs on the stage he has the feeling of Adrenaline rush. Connecting the audience, when the audience gets goose bumps hearing his poems, that makes him pleased.
Mr. Prajwal explained that if the audience shows interest when he performs and listen to him patiently, it makes him more excited and can perform well. If the audiences are not attentive, he will still deliver the poem to even a single audience listening to him . He explained there should be good connection between audience and poet in course of recitation of poems.
- Anything you want to say to youths listening us?
Mr. Rupesh suggested youth to experience their coming up phase because it is really precious.
Mr. Saurav asked youth to write poems and continue writing until you go deep inside in the poetry world. The result will definitely come out good.
Mr. Prajwal advised youth to be better and well in poetry. He wants to see the young talents developing and he suggested youth to create a way where he will be going to young poet’s programmes with all of enthusiasm. Lastly, he asked youth to listen to their heart, not the things other people say.