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Poets lament decline in taste

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 14:42 IST
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“THE STANDARD of satirical poetry has gone down and originality in poems has become rare now. Earlier, poets used to be each other’s friends; today they can only be rivals,” lamented poets Surendra Sharma, Neha Sharad and Subhash Kabra while speaking to media persons before the Hasya-Kavi Sammelan organised at Sayaji-Vrindavan to mark the 10th anniversary celebrations of Hotel Sayaji on Sunday. Sharma said that previously Kavi Sammelans used to be the platforms for highlighting social issues.

“But these days humour and obscenity go hand in hand. Pure humour is vastly different from the superficial poetry mouthed by self-acclaimed poets these days,” he said.

Expressing concern over the sorry state of affairs prevailing in Indian society, Sharma said that we shift our garbage from one place to another instead of removing it. When asked about the professional attitude and demands of poets these days, Sharma said that earlier Kavi Sammelans were held in colonies and street corners and were open for all. The poets used to recite either for free or a minimal fee.

“Now programmes are held in hotels and organisers sell tickets to earn a profit. So what is wrong if a poet also charges more fee,” Sharma reasoned.

Neha, who has been writing poems and participating in poetry sessions for seven years now says that writing poems comes naturally to her. She agrees that youths today are less inclined towards poetry and emphasised that schools, colleges and universities must conduct poetry competitions.

Quiet happy with working for Doordarshan serials like Rangoli and Justajoo, Neha does not wish to be a part of the ‘Saas-bahu’ sagas.

Neha opined that genuine artists are those who experience all kinds of emotions in life and express them in their writings. She says that there are programmes when poets recite poems or satires about women and target wives, but she has been lucky to have performed with poets who respect women.

Daughter of a popular satirist Sharad Joshi, she has also published some poetry collections including ‘Khud se khuda tak’. Mostly she writes spiritual poems. As for satires, Neha’s favourite topic is Indian parliament. 

Another well-known poet Subhash Kabra says that poetry meets give him more satisfaction than working for television. Kabra says that humour should be a part of everybody’s life.