A blunder of Poetry – Po’try

Bangalore got its own Poetry Festival this year. Considering the fact that the city has a strong and vibrant poetry community that thrives in the bookstores, cafes, and parks; a poetry festival was in fact due and perhaps should have even come earlier than now. The festival was liked by most of the attendants. I must most sincerely thank the organizers for such a Herculean effort.

There is one more thing that must be spoken about. A book was specially commissioned to be unveiled at the festival. Po’try was released as an anthology of poems that were shortlisted from the entries that were received in response to the poetry contest conducted as part of the festival. The entries were supposed to be in English, Hindi, or Kannada and required the number of lines to be more than 25.
As per the claim made by the publishers, some 300 poems were received out of which 159 were shortlisted to be published. The selected poets were asked to pay a sum of 1000 INR for 5 copies of the book. They were given a transaction code upon payment and were told to collect their copies after the unveiling of the book during the last session of Day-1 of the festival. 159 poets – 5 copies each, this amounts to a bare minimum of 795 copies of the book. However, the publisher company brought only about 50 copies to the festival. What followed reeked of complete absence of professionalism, humility, or any kind of empathy for the poets who had gathered to collect their copies. At this point, I must disclose the name of the publishing partner of the BPF 2016Raindrops Company headed by one Mr. Bernard Dsa. Though such a company must be ignored and not be given any kind of reading space on social media, I thought it prudent to write about the experience I had with them so that the people who are coming next are aware of the narcissism of the company. Rest of the evening of the festival was spent in remorseless series of selfies by the publisher while the poets stood by another poet who somehow had volunteered to keep 2 copies of the book on display so that people could come and get a photo clicked with the publisher holding their book.
Click. Done. Return the book. Next!

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I got hold of the book 2 weeks after I had forgotten about it. Though I was never much excited about my poem getting published in the book, it was still a good feeling to have the book in my hands. However, after having a glimpse of the inside pages, that feeling was short-lived. The book stands out for its shoddy editing, floundering the rules of the contest laid down by the organizers themselves, publishing same poem multiple number of times under different poets’s names and titles. Horrid editing will be an understatement. This book has not been edited at all. There are poems that are in Hindi but published in Roman script without any transliteration marks. In spite of all these blunders, the biggest irony of this book would be the strong-arming of the contributing poets to pay up 1000 INR in advance without giving them a control on the number of copies they wanted. Raindrops Company sent a sermon that the poets would need 5 copies each and hence they must pay 1000 INR in advance to receive those 5 copies. The company didn’t stop there. It wanted to spit in our face, so it priced the book at 180 INR on Amazon.

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I still had sympathy for the poets who had landed up in the hands of such a terrible publisher and hence went on to read all the poems except 3 or 4 poems written in Kannada. Well, I found a silver lining. Please find below the list of 58 poems that I loved from the book. If you have already decided to not buy the book, try looking for the poets on facebook, they might be kind enough to share their published poems with you. Please note that this is not a ranked list.

  1. Hark! - Abhishek Kumar Singh
  2. Empty Piece of Paper Flutters Around - Dr. Aakash Dhruva
  3. Cracked & Splintered - Aishwarya Soni
  4. प्रतिबिंबित - Akanksha Bumb
  5. Distant Vespers - Amrendra Pandey
  6. I am Indeed - Ankit Mishra
  7. These Kindnesses - Ankush Banerjee
  8. पहाड़ और समंदर - Anshul Nagori
  9. Unfettered - Apoorva Viji Shivaram
  10. Aquarium - M. Ashitha
  11. Deathwish - Ashvani Sachdev
  12. Scatterbrain Syndrome - Avani Jain
  13. The Unchanted Souls - Dr. Debashish Sengupta
  14. She-An Unparalleled Work of Art - Debarati Saha
  15. वाद विवाद  - Gaurav B Gothi
  16. Antarctica - Gaurav Chauhan
  17. खून पतला हो चला  - Gaurav Tiwari
  18. Ice'scapades - Gayathri Rao
  19. Sun's Story -  Ilu
  20. प्रकृति हूँ मैं ही  - Jaya Srinivasan
  21. A Cuckoo Calls - Lovie D'sa
  22. Does a Bonsai Tree Dare Dream?  - Lynessa Coutto
  23. Theatre du Reve - Praveen Dhawan
  24. जन्मदिन  - Priyank Anand
  25. It was a Dream - Mahima Prasanna
  26. Bliss in solitude  - Mahua Sen
  27. Back Home  - Maitrayee
  28. Twilight - Mallika Bhaumik
  29. The Pendulum Heart - Mihika Shankar Shivni
  30. All Things Put Aside - Nishu Mathur
  31. Pacification - Nitish Nair
  32. The Impossibility of Us - Purnima Gopalakrishnan
  33. Sitting There - Rahul Raghunath
  34. कर्ण का धर्म   - Rajesh Joshi
  35. याद है सिर्फ  - Ranjana Tripathi
  36. A Trilogy of Musings - Rashmi Jejurikar
  37. Circling into the Center - Reshma Mudirakkal
  38. Us and Them - Rohit Nand
  39. Journey to You - Aimey Maggie Augustine
  40. Chikku Mara - Sandip Mondal
  41. No filter - Shachi Srivastava
  42. Death - Shruthi Vishwanath
  43. The Oracle - Shyni kp
  44. Meet - Srinivasacharya Darbhasayanam
  45. Disclaimer - Siddharth Shukla
  46. On My Grandmother - Sihi Nagathihalli
  47. A Disjointed Symphony - Simran Sethi
  48. Father  - Sindhu Verma
  49. The Earth you Fought - Soujanya K.
  50. Cry of Wicked Souls - Sarala Balachandran
  51. Saudade - Sreeparna Chattopadhyay
  52. Inheritance - Suganya Lakshmi
  53. थोड़ा और पकने दो - Tarundeep Kaur
  54. तलाश - विभूति/Vibhuti
  55. निशब्द - Vidya Krishna
  56. A gloomy rose - Vignesh
  57. H.O.M.E - Yamini Acharya
  58. Declarative Memory - Yumna Harisingh Jawa

 

This is not to suggest other poets were not good. Yes, there were a few who should have been more serious with their contributions but perhaps the publishers didn’t deserve better. Nevertheless, congratulations to every poet who has got published. Good Edit-Bad Edit – You are a published poet now and you have our best wishes.

 

 

 

Mandatory Disclosure – Writer’s poem was also published in the Anthology.