100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE-Bangalore, 2013
Bhumika Anand is the co-founder of Bangalore Writers Workshop (BWW), a first-of-its kind workshop on fiction and creative non-fiction in Bangalore. She has a degree in Communicative English and a Masters in English. With over 12 years of experience in all communication-related jobs, she has found that writing and teaching appeal the most to her. Bhumika has been published in Urban Confustions, and interviewed by The Delphi Quarterly, The New Indian Express, TimeOut Bangalore, and DNA. She is working on the second draft of her novel, and a collection of stories that deal with themes of sexuality and queerness in Indian society. Bhumika is a disinterested cook, a terrible singer, and an intermittent blogger who feels very intensely about grammar and punctuation. She is particularly critical of those who use multiple exclamation marks.
A lover of photography, sufism, shayari and ghazals, and hailing from a punjabi family, Rahil works for Lenovo as the marketing communications lead.
Debdatta’s poetry is a gush of uninterrupted narration from the gut. She fondly holds on to her belief that lack of love is what makes the world ail. Poetry is her share of love-shower to a world distorted by doubt and addicted to cynicism. Her words are characterized by candidness and a childlike honesty. For a day-job, she writes scripts to provide a voice to brands. Despite a life bustling with excitement and activity – Deb takes time out to pamper pockets of void deep within her –Khaali khaali si do kamre, Ek mei mein hu, Ek hai mujhmei. Aatei jaatei To hai kayi inmei- Kuch chhutei deewarei, Kuch daraarein dhundte. Check out more of Deb’s writing at: Unkaheen.wordpress.com
Samantak Bhadra is currently working as a software engineer in Bangalore, India. He loves literature and is an amateur writer/poet/reviewer. He has also dabbled in journalism, social entrepreneurship and a few musical projects. His poems have been published in a few journals, in different parts of the world.
True to her contrarian nature, she writes of love in her prose writings and explores social realities in verse. Nandita Bose is the author of Tread Softly and The Perfume of Promise, novels in which she deals with love and relationships vis-a-vis the backdrop of social expectations and sanctions. Nandita is passionate about a whole lot of things that saner of which are dogs, good food and music. She dreams of writing a book of exquisite verse someday.
MAITREYEE B CHOWDHURY
Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a web columnist, poet and creative writer. She has two books of fiction to her credit, one of which was nominated for the 2013 Crossword Book Awards. Her work has been published in national and international journals and she has been mentioned as one of the contemporary poets of India, in the anthology of Indian poetry, ‘Celebrating India’. Maitreyee has an upcoming book of poems on Benaras.
Amruta Dongray is known to have an infectious spirit and a zest for all things artistic. An enthusiastic photographer, singer, dancer and a keen traveller, she endeavors to live a full life. Her book PASTPRESENT, which released in April 2013, is a book of verse. These verses are her ‘take’ on social and socio-political issues and are conveyed through commonplace objects, people and the environment. A reader in Mumbai describes Amruta’s writing as “simple to understand… reality with rhythm” and has touched a chord with the likes of Sai Paranjpye and Prasoon Joshi.
Tejaswini Gopalaswamy is a poet and writer from Bangalore. About how she came into poetry- ”My first introduction to verse was when at 6, I demanded an extra helping of pudding, and when refused, I sat in my favorite corner in my grandparents room and bawled till I had everyone’s attention. My grand-dad, a wise man, said ‘you won’t get your pudding if you sit here and scream. Instead use words so fine, you’ll have people listening to you in awe.’ He said, ‘Ask, how about some pudding for all my do-gooding, instead of I want it now!’ With a chuckle I’d forgotten what I was fighting for. While he was trying to humor me, I knew then the courtship with poetry had begun.”
Suchi Govindarajan works as a technical writer and also writes a monthly column for Deccan Chronicle/Asian Age. In her spare time, she pretends to be a photographer. Poetry is her first love. She hates brinjals. You can read her work at http://www.suchiswriting.com
Deevas Gupta is a poet, actor, short story writer and playwright too. He has been writing poetry in Hindustani for over 10 years now, drawing inspiration from nature and his own experiences and aims to draw attention to minor incidents happening all around us. He can be found performing his work at Urban Solace or on the web at thenazim.blogspot.com.
Debashish Haar is a widely published poet across the globe, and till recently was the editor-in-chief of the alchemy post magazine (now defunct). He has been published at Pedestal Magazine, Poetic Diversity, Texas Review, Verse Daily, Poetry Life & Times (where he was interviewed twice). Currently he works as a Data Scientist for an MNC at Bangalore.
Minal Hajratwala is a poet, writer and writing coach, making her home in San Francisco, California and Bangalore, India. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009) and editor of Out! Stories From the New Queer India(Queer Ink, 2012) . Called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by the Washington Post, Leaving India won a Pen USA Award, an Asian American Writers Workshop Award, a Lambda Literary Award, a California Book Award (Silver, Nonfiction), and was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Prize. From 2010-11. Minal was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in India. She was also a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at Columbia University in 2000-01. Minal is a graduate of Stanford University. She is a a founder of The Great Indian Poetry Collective, a literary press specializing in poetry.
Jessu John is an independent journalist. A columnist with The Hindu Business Line, one of India’s mainstream business dailies, she writes regularly on global entrepreneurship trends. Jessu’s special features are focused on technology, arts and impact sectors. Her poems have been published by The Rusty Nail and Sugar Mule in the US, as well as in two anthologies by PageTurners, an Indian publishing outfit. Jessu is also a long distance runner. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry.
Ellen Kombiyil wrote her first poem when she was eight years old. It was called Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon and she carried it folded in the pocket of her jean jacket until the ink smeared and the paper wore thin. It seemed to arise out of a mix of her thoughts and the rhythm of her body, walking home from school. Originally from Syracuse, New York, and a graduate of the University of Chicago, her poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Cider Press Review, Cordite Poetry Review, MiPOesias, Poemeleon, and Spillway, among others. She was nominated for Best of the Net 2012. Ellen is a founder of The Great Indian Poetry Collective, a literary press specializing in poetry, and teaches a weekly writing workshop. She lives in Bangalore with her husband and two children.
BAR HANKA LEONARD
Leonard was named after Leonardo Da Vinci and like his namesake, he is a great procrastinator. He has this grand dream to retire early and spend the rest of his life at a stone cottage in the mountains, playing classical guitar by the fireside. However, to retire, you first need a job and Leonard is currently jobless. But of course, he thinks he can always worry about it later.
Loreto is a performing poet, a singer, and a Kathak novice. She used to be an MBA student, and before that a Botanist at an orthodox Christian college. Thankfully, neither could break nor contain her odd streak. She now writes copy at an advertising agency. Her poems are confessions – of the alternate lives that she would have loved to live, and of emotions that cannot be expressed other than in verses. Most of them are written in a manic-depressed or unrealistically elated state.
Radhika Malaviya is a 12th grade, Cambridge A-level student, who is passionate about English literature, spoken word poetry, Odissi dance, theater and Indie Music. She loves reading, hates cooking and her favorite color is red. You can find her blogging at Yellow Cow Musings.
Shikha Malaviya is a poet, writer and teacher. She is founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Project, an online archive of Modern Indian Poetry currently under development, as well as The Great Indian Poetry Collective, a specialized literary press. Shikha is also a co-founder of Poetry in Public India, a poster project showcasing Indian women’s verse with fine art, in various public venues across India. Shikha’s work has been featured in Raedleaf, The Missing Slate, Sugar Mule, Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Water~stone Review, and other fine journals/anthologies. She also founded Monsoon Magazine, one of the first South Asian literary magazines on the web. Shikha believes in the transformative power of poetry, as a vehicle for raising social awareness and spurring change. Shikha gave a TEDx talk on poetry in Bangalore, India, in March 2013 and has organized the ‘100 Thousand Poets for Change-Bangalore,‘ event for the past two years, in conjunction with Atta Galatta. Her book of poems, Geography of Tongues, is slated for release later this year.
Mohan Pandey straddles the worlds of science, business and literature effortlessly. He is Director – Strategic R&D Operations (India) for a global bio-pharmaceutical company. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Education and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The Coporate Prophet (a fresh take on management and leadership, available on Amazon or Trulearn and Tripti (a collection of Hindi poems, out-of-print) are his published books. Yaade-Ghalib (a collection of ghazals) and The Timequake (a collection of English short stories) are in works.
Pallavini Patra loves reading, writing, movies, designing homes and being a mother. An Architect by profession, a poet by expression, a mother by designation and a free bird by destination, Pallavi’s tryst with the written word started when her father handed her her first book. Pallavini’s poetry is often romantic, at times contemplative, sometimes abstract, and always conclusively optimistic when they are about social issues. She loves reading contemporary and classic poetry with equal fervor, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost being some of her favorites.
Sudhakar Prabhu is a creative designer by trade, but is also infamous as a percussionist for many bands. He currently plays with the Chronic Blues Circus.
PUSH YOUR LUCK
PushYourLuck is a call, an urge, a conviction, an experiment. Basically, a theory that starts at nothing and ends nowhere. It’s a sum of bits of everything. In its form it’s like water. In content, it’s words, graphics, poetry, song, music, fun, evolution, inspiration, joke, tragedy, monument, puppeteer, puppet, God, dog and more. Naïve as they are, they (Jasper Daniel & Disha Kathuria) believe their work (mostly poetry and doodles) is a way of paying forward/giving back/reflecting times and moments around them, inside them.
The Rickshaw Muse is an invitation to embark on a journey of poetry and music. Three old friends, Pramod Shankar (poet), Loreto Maimoni (poet/singer) and Bar Hunka Leonard (musician/singer), form its three wheels.
Born and brought-up in an educated Bengali family, Sourav, at the early age of 8, found poetry as a mode of expression. His Hindi poems have been published in numerous newspapers, and almost every major literary magazine, which includes ‘वागर्थ’ (Vagarth), ‘वसुधा (Vasudha)’, ‘हंस’ (Hansa), ‘कृति ऒर’, ‘सर्वनाम’ – among many others. He has also authored three books – ‘अनभ्र रात्रि की अनुपमा (Anabhra Ratri ki Anupama)’, ‘उत्थिष्ठ भारत (Utthisht Bharat)’ and ‘यायावर (Yayavar)’.
Pramod Shankar is a fish-loving, backwater-riding, career nomad who writes poetry that refuses to rhyme. He also takes black-and -white photographs of very colourful stuff. Having published 2 books and turned 50 recently, he is finally taking himself seriously.
Snehashree Shendre is a Fashion Design graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology. She worked in the corporate industry till 2011, before answering her inner call to self discovery. Since then, her journey has led her to discover and explore her many abilities and talents such as writing and performing. She has been writing journals since school and blogs at holeinmybrain.wordpress.in, which is a collection of poems, and at beardmanweirdman.wordpress.in Among her many passions are photography and editing. Sneha has now reached a point in her life, where empowering women through her brand, SKIITCH has taken center stage, along with creating awareness through her projects in organic micro-farming.
Pramodh Shenoy is a Development Manager in a software MNC. Apart from that, music and song writing keeps him sane. He started writing poetry in his teens and then moved to song writing and having his own blog. Pramodh writes on different themes from Love, war and social causes to daily twists of life. More of a lyricist, he recently took up guitar, to give music to his words and is eager to deep dive into the professional scene. Has performed for alternative events like the last edition of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change and the Bhoomi Utsav, with his group, that includes his cousin, Sudhakar Prabhu, and Pramodh’s own 9 year old son, Sabyasaachi, who is following in his dad’s song writing shoes.
Shaurya Singh refuses to call himself a poet, an artist, playwright, or a filmmaker, although he writes poetry, paints, writes and directs plays and also makes short films. His work includes working closely with and coaching people who want to take charge of their lives and create the life that they desire. His vision is the creation of a community of people who will passionately build an alternative lifestyle based on emerging new-age principles. These include living close to nature, growing your own food, traveling and seeking adventure and self-expression through art. For now this vision may be in a nascent stage, but he foresees it to be the real revolution. Some of his poetry and paintings are featured on the blog, ‘A Formless Formation.’
SAURAV KUMAR SINHA
Saurav is an IT Learning and development expert, with good experience in setting-up, growing and managing Consulting/Professional Services divisions. Having spent most of his career working with and leading NGO teams in India, Saurav brings together the best of IT industry experience and the strengths of the Indian NGO sector. Prior to founding “Chal Bharat Chal”, Saurav worked with several NGOs as a part time analyst/Volunteer. In that role, Saurav conceptualized and drove the creation of many volunteer activities and organizations across India.
Reshma Thomas was a dreamer when she was in school. Nobody knew exactly what she was dreaming about, including herself. She often confused her dreams with reality and got the two terribly mixed up. Imagine the irony when she grew up to become a lawyer. The lawyer episode was a lot funnier than the adventures of Tom Sawyer. And then in the middle of a very high fever, she decided to be a partner in a creative agency called Purplemango. Now she gets paid to sit and dream all day, dreaming up ideas with pretty little words. And then she sits down to write them. After reading Reshma’s words, people tell her that she should be a writer. Some tell her with words, some with smiles and some with tears.
Andaleeb Wajid is a Bangalore-based author who likes to write about food, relationships, weddings, not necessarily in that order. Originally from Vellore, and belonging to a conservative Muslim family, Andaleeb finished her BA in English Literature and followed it with an MA in English Literature. Andaleeb’s first novel Kite Strings is a coming of age story, and can be downloaded for free from her website as a PDF. Her second novel, Blinkers Off, was published by Rupa in 2011. Andaleeb’s third novel, My Brother’s Wedding, was also published by Rupa, in May 2013, and is a light hearted look at the chaos inside a Muslim family during a wedding. Her fourth novel, More than Just Biryani, published by Amaryllis Publishers, is forthcoming in late 2013. Andaleeb also writes for young adults and her trilogy, Sepia, will be published by Bloomsbury India, with the first book forthcoming in 2014. Andaleeb is married and has two sons, who unwittingly add a lot of colour to her vocabulary.
RAJEEV (WAYFARER’S LYRIC)
Rajeev is a Bangalore-based poet, singer and musician, with over two decades of active involvement in the live and recorded music scene. His influences are Nick Drake, Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd, and more. The Wayfarer’s lyric project is a chronicle of musical phrases and lyrics-five albums that will feature songs written over a two decade period.
Neelima writes poetry and fiction. Her debut ebook ‘Unsettled’ has been published @ Indireads. She blogs poems and interviews poets at her blog http://neelthemuse.wordpress.com’.