Against the backdrop of quiet monuments that stand mute witnesses to history, a unique poetry recitation programme was held in the sylvan surroundings of Lodhi Garden in Delhi.
A group of poets and its audience sat around the Bada Gumbad at Lodhi Garden at 6.30 Sunday morning for a poetry recitation session named Poetry at the Lodhi Garden.
The recitation was a part of a series of such programmes christened Poetry by the Monument. Conceived by poet and civil servant Abhay K Kumar and poet Alka Tyagi, this was the second in a chain of events planned.
‘When we criss-cross through Delhi, we are actually passing through 3,000 years of history,’ Kumar said. ‘Common people don’t realise what a great heritage’ the city boasts of, he said. It was this aspect that inspired Kumar and Tyagi to organise a series of events which will attempt to recreate the magic of verses around monuments across Delhi.
‘We will take it to the seven cities of Delhi,’ said Kumar. The series started with a recitation at Humayun’s Tomb on 13 May.
‘It will progress with poetry readings at the Lodhi Garden, Shermandal (Old Fort), Mehrauli, Tughlaqabad, Siri Fort, Ferozeshah Kotla and will end at Mirza Ghalib’s haveli at Ballimaran in the old city of Shahjahanbad on 27 December this year on the poet’s birthday,’ he added.
Ghalib, the 19th century poet who had equal felicity with Persian and Urdu and was revered across the world, lived in the walled city. His haveli, parts of which still stand in old Delhi, has been attracting poetry lovers from all over the world.
Those who were present at Sunday’s Lodhi Garden event included eminent Hindi poet and art critic Prayag Shukla, professor of English literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Makarand Paranjape, and noted Urdu poet and novelist Tarannum Riyaz among others.