Celebrating power of unity

By Ayushman Singh Jamwal – Senior News Editor in CNN-News18 and Winner of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019

(Published on 4-June-2019)

What has the power to unite when truth no longer holds the influence it had once. In the post-truth and alternative facts era, the division of communities through politics and violence has become a strong and potent force. The recent terror attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka and the vitriolic election we just had, have pitted people against each other, sown distrust and fear in the public sphere. From newsrooms to social media to living rooms across the nation, the rift is evident and continues to grow.

Art has the influence to seep into the darkest recesses of our hearts. Poetry, prose, and music have the strength to enlighten and unite us by mining out and binding us with our common empathy. With that pursuit in mind, The Oxford Bookstore in collaboration with Wings of Verse hosted a poetry festival titled ‘Samagiya’ (Sinhalese for Unity) on Saturday, June 1, celebrating the power of humanity in these turbulent times.

The event featured a vibrant list of poets, activists, and musicians from all walks of life and across generations. A mix of verses with beautiful and diverse imagery with the universal message of strength in unity. Shaurya Chakra recipient and eminent poet Lt Colonel Shyam Sunder Sharma read beautiful poems from his book Adrift. Celebrated poets and authors Nirmala Singh, Renu Mishra, Satbir Chadha, Kusum Goswami, JNU linguist Bishakha Sarma, Aparna Jha, and Pria Vanjul were also in attendance and recited vivid verses in English, Hindi and Urdu honoring the fortitude and spirit of kinship.

(Ayushman With Poetess Nirmala Singh)

Political analyst and columnist Gunja Kapoor took a break from politics after a long election and recited her vibrant and poignant poetry on the human spirit. Gunja said:

“In an environment where we have rapidly lost the subtleties of communication and promptly resort to virulence, poetry provides the opportunity to communicate our deepest emotions without eroding the dignity of language. It was an honour to interact and share poems with other talented artists, and I applaud Wings of Verse for uniting us on one stage to pay tribute to the strength of unity.”

Youth power was also on display at ‘Samagiya’ with music. Hindustani classical singer-songwriter Arman Ali Dehlvi, a common showcase of Sufi festivals, the Jaipur Literature and Urdu Heritage festivals paid a stunning tribute to the power of ‘Asmita’. The young and zealous Delhi-based band Mantash breathed life into the verses of Kabir with music and left audiences in awe with their Rajasthani classical music.

(Ayushman With Mantash Group)

Ayushman Singh Jamwal, curator of Samagiya and Founder of Wings of Verse said:

“Elections, politics, communal tensions, from the news to our everyday lives, vitriol leaves a bad hangover. Poetry, music and art are powerful cures,”  “I wanted to get poets from different backgrounds, generations who write in different languages to highlight how unity and brotherhood are universal ideals no matter how much fuel divisive narratives are given.”

Wings of Verse holds regular poetry and music symposiums to give artists a platform to promote ideas for a more socially conscious society.

Celebrating ‘Naari Shakti’ with the power of art

By Ayushman Singh Jamwal – Senior News Editor in CNN-News18 and Winner of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019

(Published on 3-May-2019)

The Oxford Bookstore in collaboration with Wings of Verse hosted a soulful evening of art titled ‘Conquerors’, honoring the power of women and the many roles they play as nurturers, teachers and leaders.

The event was curated by Wings of Verse founder, poet and CNN-News18 senior news editor Ayushman Jamwal. The evening opened with the recitation of vivid verses by noted poets and performers like Arpan Khosla, Naveen Chourey, Samrudhi Dash, Dr Renu Mishra and Dr Jatinder Bhogal. With the power of poems, the writers presented a profound and creative critique of society and the roles women are trapped in and relegated to. An unshackled woman is a powerful force of nature the world seldom witnesses, but when it does, it moves all of society in the right direction. This powerful message resonated in the verses of the poets.

(Poet Dr Jatinder Bhogal)

The poetry reading was followed by a spirited musical performance by Mantashan 8 member Indian classical music band. They sang verses of Devotee Kabeer, honoring the everyday strength of women, and wooed audiences with their zeal & talent.

(Ayushman With Mantash Group)

The event ended with a riveting debate on women’s reservation chaired by Supreme Court lawyer, writer and activist Avani Bansal. The vibrant debate with proponents, opponents and many viewpoints engaged the entire audience, as it swelled with more and more enthusiastic participants. Avani Bansal said following about event:

“Such events are essential to revitalize debates and discussions on women’s rights, and requires the participation of people from all walks of life. Kudos to Ayushman and Wings of Verse for organizing such a platform for writers and activists.”

(Avni Bansal)

Ayushman thanked everyone with following words:

“Words and good intentions are all that a writer has. Only when united with other artists does a thought and purpose grow into something more significant. That is the mission of Wings of Verse.

(Aysuhman Singh Jamwal)

Wings of Verse holds regular poetry and music symposiums to give artists a platform to promote ideas for a more socially conscious society.