Breaking Barriers With Art


Spoken Word Performance At Mukesh Patel School of Technology, Management & Engineering

It’s raining poetry and platforms to share it on! I’m not complaining though. Last week, I went to the Caferati Open Mic. This is the oldest of its kind in the city and the first one I ever went to. I’m afraid I messed up my performance a bit. But I’m going to blame that on the oil bath I’d had earlier in the day. It always tends to make me a bit groggy and slow and quite unlike myself. Even as I went up to the mic, I was in the pleasant haze of “It’s all good; everything’s awwight.”

Evidently my good mood must have made up for my lacklustre performance because I was approached by a group of youngsters. They were having a cultural festival at their college, they said, and would I come down and perform please? I laughed and I said,

“That’s a silly thing to ask a poet. Most of us, give us a table to stand on and say, PERFORM. And we’ll do it.”

Anyway, my breeziness had settled by the time I walked into Mukesh Patel College of Engineering two days later. A poetry performance to a bunch of engineers? This calmed me down a bit.

The event was themed ‘Equality’ so I picked Superwoman to perform. Besides, it had been awhile since I’d done that and I thought it would resonate with the young, vibrant crowd in the room.

I think it did. They let me stay on to do one more piece. And of course I had to sign off with my signature piece, Paper Plane.

This day made me very happy. There was the endorphin/adrenalin high of performing. There was the quaint campus charm of performing to an audience that’s seated on the floor around you. And I was very, very happy to be a part of something that broke down the rigid barriers between science and art. I met a lot of students who were talented singers, standup comics, dancers, musicians and poets. One of the other performances sparked off a loud debate on women’s rights, the LGBT movement and more. In the midst of the shouting match, one of the students leaned in and said,

“Very sorry if this sounds stupid. But I heard you saying something about ‘rape culture’. I don’t know what that is. Can you explain it to me?”

That was the highlight of my day. Art is fun and a real morale booster for me. But moments like these remind me that it also brings people together, transforms thought and shapes our lives.

It was a beautiful day.

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*If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

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