Bridge

Introduction of Poet

Aquila 

Writing poetry which reflects my perspective is my interest and need. I find comfort in crafting my politics and emotions into words. I am associated with feminist groups for many years now and my personal life draws from feminist politics.  Being a member of Parcham, I hope to continue engaging with emerging issues. 

I am interested in film making. 

The poem ‘Bridge’ is in keeping with the political atmosphere in the country where hate is being spread when what is needed is a celebration of friendship. 

खरी जात-खरा धर्म

Introduction of Poet

Shraddha Ragunath Matal

I am a student of Ruia College, studying in the 11th std.  I am 16 years old. 

My poem is about the fact that even in modern society, caste and religion take precedence over humanity.  I want to spread the message of unity. 

Friendship of the Moon and Sky

Introduction of Poet

Suvarna

I am a member of the feminist group Forum Against Oppression of Women.  I like to develop humanity and spread love which can allow to everybody to live with equality, respect and dignity.  I work as an Assistant Teacher.

Dosti Chand our Aasman ki is a poem of the people who live in a space where only human relationship is important for daily life. Same way as moon (Chand) and sky ( Aasman) are true friends. In life besides any political or social disturbance  nothing has changed between this friendship. Although government plays many games to break this friendship it is unsuccessful. 

This time when i will come to your town

Introduction of Poet

Rabiya 

I was born in Allahabad where I studied upto the 12th std.  I continued my education from SNDT University in Mumbai.  My interest in writing poetry developed from reading poetry of famous poets.  I continued my education after my marriage in 2010.  It wasn’t easy but I was determined.  I completed my Masters and plan to pursue a PhD.  

The poem is a memory of my life in my village where we celebrated festivals together.  Religious differences did not divide us then.  However, the situation has changed now and through this poem I want to remind people of the earlier times

The Meeting

Introduction of Poet

Neha 

I am from Mumbai.  I moved to Mumbra a few years ago.  I am a naturopath.  Along with my studies, I am interested in Shayri. My poems are informed by my experiences and society.  

This poem is from my memory of college where I was the only muslim student in class.  The poem is about my experience of making friends with non Muslims. 

Till a few years ago

Introduction of Poet

Sunita Bagal

I have completed my MSW.  I have been working in the social field since the last 32 years.  I began my activism with the student movement.  I also work on women’s issues, rural concerns especially issues of farmers, water, livelihood and Self Help Groups of women in Maharashtra.  

I am from Osmanabad. Here people participate in celebrating festivals across religions.  During Ramzaan, we used to wake our neighbours with film songs and the drums, we would go to the Masjid to break the fast.  However, after the Babri Masjid demolition, the atmosphere has changed. This poem is a remembrance of those times.

Parcham’s Diary 2019

Jashn – e – Dosti

A celebration of friendship

This year’s notebook / diary is a celebration of friendship, of diversity in the country, challenging forces which seek to divide us along religion, language, caste and other artificial divides.  

We have been horrified by news of the abduction, rape and brutal murder of an eight year old child, of a teenager being killed by lynch mobs because of his religious identity, of killings in the name of the cow and honour.  Hence this diary with the theme of friendship. Friendship which transcends the artificial divides of religion and caste.  

The poems in this notebook are a reminder of our shared culture, of the joy of celebrating each other’s happiness, what has often been referred to in the past as ‘the Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb’ as in the poem of Sunita. Rabiya rues the lost relationship to growing up into an awareness of identity but ends much like Suvarna with a hope that friendship will survive all attempts to divide.  Shraddha’s poem questions why in times of modernity, instead of progressing towards a humane society, we are giving into caste politics. Aquila’s poem is a dream of a bridge between communities using the power of language.  

The diary is multilingual with poems in Hindi, Marathi and Urdu which have been translated to English by our friends. When we thought of this notebook, we knew that we wanted this to be a multilingual book, reflecting and celebrating the diversity of language in our country. 

This notebook was a result of a poetry workshop conducted jointly by Aquila and Rabiya at the Parcham office in early 2018. We wish to thank the CSR of Godrej, especially Poulomi Pal for the grant to Parcham which enabled us to conduct the workshop and to take up an office space which is making so much at Parcham possible.  

We would like to thank the translators for the brilliant work of translation of the poems.  A huge thank you to the volunteers of the Rainbow Club of Parcham who did the art work for the notebook. 

Thank you to Sana Borgave for helping us with the layout of the diary.  

Parcham’s backbone are our volunteers.  Thank you Sitaram Shelar for everything you have done through the year and to get this notebook printed.  Thank you Kaveri for the fundraising you did which helped us get the diary printed. Thank you all our very generous donors who make our dreams possible.  

In solidarity,

All of us at Parcham