I didn’t win any position, but it didn’t matter as much to me because I was there for a purpose which was accomplished beyond its expectations
I had goosebumps all over my hands, and my legs were on the verge of either shivering. Nervousness was overpowering me like a thunderstorm. Yes, that was quite the beginning of my first slam poetry experience, not just in the best mass communication college, but also in my entire life.
Maadhyam, the annual literary festival of Symbiosis Centre for Media & Communication had opened its registrations and I spotted an event that I thought fit me – The Spoken Verse. Ever since I was a child I’ve written poems only for myself, but now I thought it was time for me to try out slam poetry. I came to know about the selections a day before they were going to happen. I was a complete newcomer to the art. After writing and ‘attempting to prepare’ a poem in one night, I finally came up with something.
The next day I found myself sitting with a couple of my friends and seniors in the audition room. Everyone who was performing was so brilliant with their words and expressions; subtle yet amazing. I knew that I wasn’t there with the aim of getting selected but just to get my words out there.
Fast forward to me standing outside the auditorium revising my poem as the only person to represent the batch of 2020 in slam poetry. Also, with a very bad case of jitters, everyone was telling me to calm down and I almost did, but then I heard the announcement to get backstage for my performance.
When I went on the stage, all my batchmates cheered for me. And then I started, with all the confidence that I could gather. I did end up skipping a few lines though, but didn’t stop anywhere – it was an incredible experience.
I didn’t win any position, but it didn’t matter as much to me because I was there for a purpose which was accomplished beyond expectations – the purpose of participating in more than debates; the purpose of getting the words inside of me out there. I came know that there are more people listening than I imagined, that my seniors are wonderful poets, that it’s not at all a big deal to get nervous and most importantly, that I must not stop myself from gaining new experiences.
Ritika Dwivedi (Batch of 2020)
Photo: Ankita Chawla (Batch of 2019)