Verses & some conversations: An upcoming festival in the national capital is all set to celebrate Punjabi poetry and Sufism | The Financial Express

Verses & some conversations: An upcoming festival in the national capital is all set to celebrate Punjabi poetry and Sufism

This year also marks the addition of Punjabi poetry for the first time, starting with Waris Shah’s work.

Verses & some conversations: An upcoming festival in the national capital is all set to celebrate Punjabi poetry and Sufism
This year’s edition celebrates poetry distinctively in four languages—Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and English. This year also marks the addition of Punjabi poetry for the first time, starting with Waris Shah’s work.

Even though the story of ‘Heer Ranjha’ has been attempted by many poets and authors in the past, the one by Waris Shah, written in 1766, remains the most popular. The 300th year of the Punjabi Sufi poet of the Chishti order is being celebrated at the sixth edition of multilingual and standalone Delhi Poetry Festival (DPF), which is back after a brief Covid hiatus.

The fest, which first started in 2013, celebrates two cultural cornerstones of this part of the world—poetry and Delhi. Having taken up Haryanvi and Bhojpuri earlier, this year’s edition celebrates Punjabi as the regional language.

The fest is set to be an elixir of verses and conversations around poetry and Sufi performances. This year’s edition celebrates poetry distinctively in four languages—Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and English. This year also marks the addition of Punjabi poetry for the first time, starting with Waris Shah’s work.

Dolly Singh, founder and festival director of Delhi Poetry Festival, says, “Delhi has always been a poets’ playground. Its alleys still resonate with the verses of Khusro, Ghalib and Zafar. It’s human to indulge in poetry. It sneaks in and finds a place in our thoughts. No wonder poetry is so immersive. Great poetry has the power to start a fire in a person’s life. It can alter the way we see ourselves. At DPF, it is our endeavour to create a space that is free and fearless.”

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“Poetry is a safe haven for troubled minds and distorted visions. It is the only sane space in chaotic times. The celebration of poetry is an affirmation of our faith in humanity. Poetry, the language of civilised society, is once again blossoming, and we must give our all to nurture its growth. The festival is equipped to showcase varied hues of poetry in all its splendour,” adds Sanjay Arora, executive producer of DPF.

The sessions will include a candid conversation, ‘Hawa Vich Likhe Harf’, between the Punjabi poet, Padma Shri Surjit Patar, who has worked extensively around Waris Shah’s poetry, and poetess Dr Vanita. Patar will also be inducted into the Delhi Poetry Festival Board of Patrons this year. The invocation of Waris Shah will continue with ‘Relevance of Heer in the 21st century – A discussion on Waris Shah’s Heer and her love, life, battles, and death’.

A workshop on the relevance of podcasts and poets, recitation of poetry inspired from war-ravaged lands like Ukraine, a session on ‘Echoes of Partition’ to remember the sentiment of separation, Rabbi Shergill in conversation with Dolly Singh to voice his thoughts on ‘role of a creative artist during a cultural decline’, poetry sessions in Hindi/Urdu and English will be some highlights of the fest.

Delhi Poetry Festival will be held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on December 10 and 11.

Some of the personalities to grace Delhi Poetry Festival this year are Urdu poet Waseem Barelvi, musician Rabbi Shergill and lyricist Swanand Kirkire.

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First published on: 04-12-2022 at 02:15 IST