My First Encounter with Performance Poetry

I’ve been writing for years now and hadn’t really ‘found myself’ yet as ‘we’ like to put it.

Hi! I’m Aditya Bhatkal and by ‘we’, I mean the entire clan of writers around the world.

It’s a long journey, an enticing, not-so-easy, frustrating-at-times. but mostly one that has a ‘learning all the way’ tag following you everywhere you go, and it represents exactly what is says.

An introvert’s nuclear armament, an extrovert’s eye to the world, and an ambivert’s escape route – poetry! The power of words, the substitute to the moving images called videos.

Some may say that poetry is meant for the highly intellectual, or those who can comprehend the written word but that’s not true. Enter WTS (Words Tells Stories), one of the many unique platforms in Mumbai for poets, spoken word artists and those who can just write and want a couple of ears to listen to it.

My first and most definitely not the last encounter with WTS was at The Hive about a month and a half ago when Rochelle D’silva, the curator and the brain child of WTS held a ‘Kavi Sammelan’ of some of the best poets this city has to offer. What an evening!

What was even better was the open mic that followed! And why you ask? Well imagine this, a room full of poetic aficionados on one side and rookies on the other side who are out to make a mark. What a stage to perform on then! And what usually is the best part about these audiences is that they listen! And take it from a partially experienced poet on stage – that’s ALL you need sometimes. The comprehension of your piece just automatically follows.

And what’s better is you have Radio City Freedom with their ears open at the event looking for new talent for their monthly show. Yeah, a bit of an external incentive. But what’s the best take-away is the experience, the adrenaline when your name gets called, the click of the fingers when the audience hears a good line they like, the shout of NEW SHIT when you write a new piece. The audience has their own way of appreciating you, a way that normal audiences in a pub, a club or a studio usually have no idea of.

It’s different, it’s exhilarating, it makes you feel this sense of being one with yourself in the existence of others that gradually passes on to them too.

If you took my word for it, I’d say stop reading this and look up the next poetry event happening, sign up and come! You won’t regret it, and I hope I get a telepathic thank you too 😉 That’ll do it for me.

WTS – Where poets come alive and the spoken word has someone to listen to! If you ain’t here, you’re missing it!

-Aditya Bhatkal

(The next Words Tell Stories event will be held on 10th November at iBar in Bandra)

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