Tasawwur presents “Walk!” on 22nd and 23rd May!

So, as many of you know, in my non-poet life, I also work with young people, exploring how to use the arts as a vehicle for social-justice education. Last November, I started Tasawwur, a collective of artists and educators, working towards this end, and we’re just finishing up our first program cycle. Next week, we proudly present our first every show, “Walk!” — a collaborative production inspired by the stories, struggles, dreams and hopes of a motley group of teenagers.

The show is born out of a 4 month intensive arts-for-social-change curriculum, in which 12 teenagers, cutting across barriers of caste, class, gender, religion, and nationality, came together to teach each other about the social issues that affect them most deeply as well as the changes they dream of. “Walk!” is based on the lives and stories of the cast members; while no one plays their own part, the stories are all true. Facilitated by Tasawwur, a collective of artists and educators, this show brings together song, choreography, tableaus, and stories to take the audience through the world these young people inhabit and the more inclusive world that they dream of.

Walk! is open to the public, but seating is limited, so the audience is requested to arrive early. While there is no charge for the tickets, we welcome donations to cover our costs. Proceeds raised at the event will be divided between Studio Safdar and Tasawwur.

When: 22nd and 23rd May, 7 PM
Where: Studio Safdar (Near Shadipur Metro Station)

See you there?


If you’d like to know more about Tasawwur, here is a brief description, or visit our website here, or our Facebook page here. We are always looking for volunteers, donors, and participants, so do get in touch if this excites you :)

Italian Translation of “This Wall Survived Because It Stayed Useful”

My poem, “This Wall Survived Because it Stayed Useful” (first published here by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal) was recently translated into Italian by Francesca Spinelli, the poetry editor of the magazine Internazionale (unfortunately, there is no online version, so I don’t have text to go behind the image for folks who use screenreaders, only this JPEG from which i can’t copy-paste. Sorry!)

How random, but how lovely to see your own words, translated by a complete stranger, into a language you don’t understand :)


Caravan Writers of India Festival Video

I only just saw this video of our readings in Paris last September. Such a lovely memory, and so glad some of these performances are recorded for the future.

I come on around minute 52, Karthika Nair right before, Akhil Katyal right after. But really, watch the whole thing when you have an hour — everyone was incredible.

That said, if you watch nothing else about this video, watch Jeet’s beautiful performance of his poem “To Baudelaire” accompanied by piano music at 1:09. What a close to what an evening.

In the News, for Different Reasons

As some of you might know, I have recently launched an arts-for-social-change program for teenagers in Delhi, under the ChangeLoomsWith.in fellowship. Happy to see the initiative being recognised — we have only taken our first baby steps yet, but here’s to hoping this grows as serendipitously and magically as the rest :)

(apologies to folks with low vision or others who use screen readers. I tried, but failed, to get a copy of this text that I could upload as background text, and this photo isn’t great either. I wish you could all read this, but I’m running up against the internet here :( )

Also: typo in the headline! But maybe yes, this time round, chance rather than change — agli baari se change hoga, pakka! ;)