Original Compositions by the members of the Book Club
Report by Mohini Khot
- Mohini Khot
It was after some years that we again had an Original Compositions session at the Book Club. Members got the chance to air their own writing talent. We were happy to see that 12 members sent in samples of their writing. In fact two sent in art works too. Virginia Naude, our very regular participant from New York, sent in a painting she did just a week ago when a barrel in her garden imploded after a snowstorm. Young Annika Maduraperuma, all of 13 years old and clearly a talented artist, sent in a still life (a bowl of fruit) and a lithograph depicting a cityscape. She joined us from Connecticut.
Kusum Gokarn, another of our very regular members who has often written reports of our meetings, recited three of her poems. Having published three volumes of poetry and been a career freelance journalist, Kusum is a seasoned writer. Her poems (“Neither / Nor”, “Love’s Victory”, “To a Bird in a Cage”) were nothing short of beautiful. Aruna Jethwani, another published writer who has written novels, short stories, poetry, journalistic articles and books on spirituality, yoga and beauty, offered two excellent thought provoking poems. “The Valley in Quest” deals with the situation in trouble-torn Kashmir while “Woman without Signature” speaks of the plight of the illiterate working class. Naina Athalye’s poems (“Black Hands” and “Stateless Not a Tourist”) stimulated awareness of the plight of the less advantaged. The balloon girl realizes, while she watches children play with the balloons she sells, that her hands are blackened by the work she does. The latter poem expresses the angst of the refugee / immigrant.
Dr Rekha Deshmukh joined us from Delhi with her poem which spoke of the warmth of friendship. Titled “Warmth of Friendship Shawl”, it enumerated the myriad aspects and forms of friendship through the metaphor of colour. Indu Kulkarni’s poems were romantic descriptions of nature, influenced by Keats. Monali Chatterjee, a young educator from Ahmedabad, sent in two poems dealing with Time and Nature.
Abhay Vaidya read out an excerpt from his book “Who Killed Osho?”, selecting passages describing Ma Sheela. Gautam Idnani, who we always rely on to inject humour into the most serious discussion, did not disappoint! He read out his very short story “Keel-in and Hanging” which he described, tongue-in-cheek, as a near tragedy!
Meena Murdeshwar’s writing proved to be delightful. Both her poem – “On being Presented with a New Cell Phone” – and her article (“The Shattered Image”) dealt with everyday life and were very humorous, eliciting laughter and applause.
The youngest presenter was 11 year old Kiran Maduraperuma who read out two of his poems. One was called “My Home” and the other “On Writing Poetry”. Unexpectedly, he writes that, while reciting poetry is a pleasure, writing it is not! In “My Home” he says he values his home because of the comfort level he enjoys there as a place where he can express his opinions and his wishes count.
The general impression was that it was a good session. There was laughter and appreciation. Several people suggested that we have a forum for our own members’ compositions at least once a year.