We all are echoes, of our voices, our daily deeds, our kindness, our sadness, our pain. We scream –silent, crawling screams that die before they hit the earthly air, these screams become faint voices, trapped in their own traumatic trail of thought. When a positive voice enters the Earth’s atmosphere it is subjected to other voices, discouraging it, critiquing it, into submission- to fear, bigotry and power.

A stranger walks past us, a stranger smiles, a stranger breaks the queue, a stranger gets furious, a stranger jostles its way through to metro lines, a stranger eats, breathes, dies; we are surrounded by voices, strangers and voices by strangers, who become guardians and comrades when their voices are heard, becoming a powerful medium to influence, motivate and empower a few. All we need are a few words an audience to celebrate that voice.

Many Independent assemblages stemming out of the love for words and poetry have been blossoming into online and offline platforms to have conversations, voice opinions, scream liberty, love and tragedy, create poetic colloquies and have creative discussions.

Baatein is one such confluence of poetry, stories and conversations which aims to revive the act of conversing. Founded by Chhaya Dabas, a teller of tales, as a poetry blog in 2014, it has moulded itself into an engaging storytelling platform where many find an echo to their thoughts, flourishing into a community for collective growth, laughter and love for words.

Through its many workshops, poetry events, collaborations, and poetic podcasts, Baatein has become a warm and welcoming habitat for creative people. An Evening of Conversations at Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, Delhi in July is an upcoming event by Baatein, where many poets, storytellers and musicians will come together to share their love for words, verses and life.

And we are living the daylight, and passing the night, the day goes, nightfall arrives, and another, till we are lost and buried in the trenches of hope, and sometimes in fading twilight.

Through all the living and all the lying, through all the hope and the despair, we are tiny drops of sensation, hurt at the slightest bitterness, overjoyed at the look of ecstasy. And we cover ourselves, our existence, our souls with experiences, tragedy, melancholy, and a severe racing heart. We live, we pertain, we surrender. All this, these emotions and these passing days, give us much to say, and much to talk about.

Free the Verse, founded by Aditya Bhandari, an engineer, poet and entrepreneur is another creative platform, bringing together artists from all over India to perform their art. It was founded in 2016 as a small community of artists dabbling in the fields of spoken word poetry, stand up comedy, visual art and fusion music.

It soon became a stage to encourage creative expression among the youth and a showcase for emerging artists promoting the spirit of art. Free the Verse is currently in its Pan-Indian journey, spreading the love for performative arts in Delhi, Goa, Pune and Pondicherry.

We, you and me, we are strangers, held together by the commonality of life and humanity, that power of kindness, soulful, moving experiences that touch our lives unknowingly. Yet we are different, or we pretend to be dissimilar, unfastened by the commonality of indifference.

But this hunger to live on, to do something, be somewhere, see lights and darks, see mountains and blunt blue oceans, traverse, live like a day will surely follow another – scrambles the edges of our emotions, us never contented with the seas we swim, and the air we breathe or the people we breathe it with. Thus, we open our little dungeons of light, digitise, and kill our humanly selves, surrender our souls to a pompous, cryptographic, eerie life.

Through hums and chimes of more hopeful and buoyant creative arenas Poetry, Storytelling aur Chai, by The Social House, a poetry channel based in New Delhi was founded in 2017 to give an open soulful space to one-of-a-kind poetry and storytelling event which was initiated as a concept to support emerging artists and local businesses.

It was also the coming together of poets, storytellers, singers, photographers, writers and actors to promote art and culture, through open mics, poetry, workshops, coffee and more. One can attend several poetic conversations by Delhi’s poets and storytellers at the Social House between the 6th to 14th of July in New Delhi.

You have had conversations with yourself, millions of tiny, thousands of long, hundreds of unhindered decisions throughout your life, you have wept in loss, you have been elated for beginnings, you have met shadows of doubt, of pain, yet you have carried on, hauling on your way the weight of times.

Your world is magical, like a ball that drops on a new year, it’s like a fleeting sound of joy, then pain, and joy, held together by the harmony of affection; and somehow everything we do is an outcome of love, the places we travel to, the people we befriend, the careers we choose, the letters we write, unwrite, the dreams we have, the losses we weep – someone dear, something dear holds us in place, and we falter in grief.

Hope, joy, laughter, love come together through evenings of conversations, poetry and stories in Delhi:

- An Evening of Conversations by Baatein:July 13-14, 3-6pm, at Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, Saidulajab, New Delhi

- Poetry, Storytelling aur Chai by The Social House: July 6-14, 3-6pm at The Social House, H3/43, First Floor, Vikaspuri, New Delhi

Picture Courtesy: @Baatein