Saturday, 29 October 2016

Cactus Miles: Hurt bodies and Pained Minds, A Poem by Juveria

Juveria Tabassum writes about a  woman  who is unable to erase the wounds that have scarred  her mind, body and soul.
This poem is a response to gender based violence against women

Blue and Pink and Purple

I’m perhaps the most colorful person you’ll know.
You see, I have jet black hair,
And, dim, dusky skin;
But on that vast stretch of brown
I have countless distinct islands
Of bright uncommon hues.
There a dash of grey,
Here a gash of pink
And, under my chin, a little mound of blue
And, on my chest, a deep sinful purple
And, between the whites of my eyes,
Hiding behind the dull brown of my pupils,
You’ll see, if you notice, the occasional fire in my soul.

I think it is genetic.

I saw the same colors, in different places on my mother.
I’d say colors have their own story.
A story that thrusts its arms, again and again
Into bandaged Time and bruised Memory,
And pulls out proof of its inevitable reincarnations.
So, every spot tells a tale
Like, the grey on my hand reminds me
Of two nights ago-
My back against the wall,
My face towards the chair
Trying not to see the man sitting in it
Trying not to hear the words coming out of him.

He tried to shove his cigarette stub right on my face
I ducked.
But, the smoke and tears, they fogged my view
 and a sizzle on my arm-
Pain-that my salty tears couldn’t put out.

It had a sense of déjà vu
Like I’d seen the scene before
Some fifteen years ago,
In a different city, a different room.

The next day, I remember,
We went out for dinner, and he said "sorry"
And talked to me, about that night at campus
And he then bought me flowers and a bottle of perfume.
The glass bottle only made me shudder
I remembered the flowers in Ma’s room fifteen years ago
Moments before I heard the door slam,
Moments before I heard the sounds that still echo in my head
Every time I find them coming out of my mouth
Accompanied always with the shattering of some glass,
Or the snap of some belt
Or the loud zing of flesh hitting flesh.

And my mind goes back to that night on campus
When he looked at me, and said, “I love you.”
And the fire from my soul tries to burn that memory down.
I shielded it.
I shielded it with my bare body
And let my flesh turn canvas
For the bright colors to leave their reincarnated stories.

No, Time does not heal wounds.
It resurrects them.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Performing Texts: Bringing Words to Life

The real beauty and meaning hidden between the lines of literature are sometimes lost under the weight of textbook pages and explanations in classrooms.

Within these Halls Whispered the Wonders of Words

Thus,  the Department of English, Osmania University and UGC XII Plan General Development Assistance Scheme came up with a fresh idea. They recently conducted a two day Innovative Programme for students, titled, "Performing Texts", 28-29 September 2016. Undergraduates from different institutions in Hyderabad participated in this competition. They were encouraged to perform on stage, the stories and poems taught in their classes. 

The Arts College-A Fitting Venue

On 28th of September, 16 colleges turned up at the iconic Arts College to showcase their theatrical talents. The Inauguration marked by some inspiring words from the  HoD of the Department of English, OU, Ms. Sumita Roy,  Head, BoS, Prof. T. Vijay Kumar and the judges of the event, Dr. Murali Krishna and Dr. KW Christopher, gave way to the first of the three sessions of the programme.
Prof. T. Vijay Kumar addresses the gathering 

Team Q.L.C.- Re-Imagining Love

This session began by a performance of Mark Anthony's speech from Julius Caesar by the students of Little Flower Degree College and a Slam poetry performance by the students of Villa Marie Degree College. We the students of R.B.V.R.R Women's College and proud members of the Quills Literary Club presented a Discussion Play based on William Shakespeare's Sonnet Number 116, Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds. It received much praise and appreciation from the audience. 
Students from St. Ann's performing their play, "What is My Name?"

Students of Villa Marie College presenting Slam Poetry
"Lend me your ears!" : A performance on Marc Anthony's Speech by Little Flower Degree College

The second session consisted of performances on popular texts ranging from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

"Better a Witty Fool, than a Foolish Wit"
Wake up, Mr. Scrooge!

"Life is either a great adventure or nothing"
The third session, began early on 29th and saw a brilliant performance on Hellen Keller's life by the students of E Thames Degree College. The audience was also treated to an enactment of R.K. Narayan's thriller, The Astrologer's Day.
In between sessions, the participants had a wonderful time interacting with each other, making new friends and acquaintances, and gushing over similar passions for literature. 
New Friends!!
 The marvelous campus of the Arts College barely managed to contain the enthusiasm and the interest exuded by the these talented and out-spoken Millennials.  


Dr. K W Christopher- a gold mine of information!

The event also included a brief lecture on performing arts by Professor and co-judge, Dr. KW Christopher, which enhanced the participants' knowledge on expression and theater.

Registrar, Osmania University, Prof. E. Suresh Kumar

Valedictory was presided over by the Registrar of Osmania University, Prof. E. Suresh Kumar, who emphasized on the importance of expression in everyday life, in his brief, but enjoyable speech. 

Very soon, room no. 133 held its breath as one, as the winners of the contest were announced.

It was a moment of great satisfaction and pride for the students of R.B.V.R.R Women's College- the flag-bearers of the Quills Literary Club, as they bagged the first place. for their deliberations on true love in this technocratic age. 

E.Thames college came second with their well executed act on Hellen Keller, and Villa Marie College took home the third prize.  Special awards were handed out to various other acts, including the performances on Julius Caesar and The Raven.

Room No.133 Packed to the Rafters!

The Department of English, OU, deserves accolades for coming up with this amazing concept and giving the students a chance to be innovative, and discover the latent talents within themselves. The Department, all the student organizers, and everyone at the Arts College were the very epitome of the typical Hyderabadi hospitality. 

Even between technical breaks, the air was full with warmth, music and lyrics. It was wonderful to to hear Professor Murali Krishna revive the melodies of Kishore Kumar and Prof K W Christopher evoke the passions of Indian ragas. 
Dr. Sumita Roy- All Charm and Inspiration!

Quills Literary Club would like to thank Dr. Sumita Roy and her team for such a wonderful opportunity to not just perform on such a stage, but also connect with the 
lovers of literature from the city!
The R.B.V..R.R Team: N.Sai Hari Priya, Juveria Tabassum and G.R. Srinidhi (from left)

Selfie with the Certs and Mentor,
 Ms Jhilam Chattaraj

A Click with Dr.  Sumita Roy