Being a writer and poet has always had me interested in attending poetry and literary events. This year, as I reconnected with poetry after many years I felt a sudden desire to organise a literary event of my own.
It was, I can say good fortune that this year, I got exposed to the spoken word community and poetry circuit in the city. For this opened up the doors to the formation of my own literary community known by the name of Limits Make Things Too Small. I didn’t just want this literary group to be any group; I wanted to define it, have a meaning for which it stands out.
This name has been taken from the title of my poetry book that has been published and formed the theme of the event – overcoming obstacles and limitations in our life. Of course this was also the name of a poem that I had also written as well!
However, as easy as it may have been pictured in my mind organising and hosting an event is extremely stressful, especially when it’s your first time! Right from planning, coordination and multitasking, I don’t think I could have done any of this had it not been for the amount of teamwork that I had.
I roped in celebrated personalities to be apart of this event such as film-maker-Amole Gupte, Poet & Author, Menka Shivdasani, Film Critic and Journalist – Mayank Shekhar and Advertising legend, Gerson De Cunha to be the star guests of the evening. It was important for me that everyone who attended this event, budding writers, experts, bloggers, comedians, and artists absorbed something meaningful.
The first step of my process was to find a suitable venue where I could host this event. I decided to host the event at the prestigious library and heritage structure-the David Sassoon Library & Reading Room. It seemed like the perfect place, with its décor and art like ambience. The best part was the amount of support that I got from my venue partners and the enthusiasm that they showed towards this event.
As emails exchanged, I patiently waited for a date so that I could really get the event work started. When I got the news that May 13th was the date selected for the event I was overjoyed and immediately began my work.
As it was my inaugural event, I wanted it to be a large-scale event so I decided to also have an open-mike performance as well with a predefined list of 20 performers. More importantly, this event had popular and trending poets whose work had even caught attention in the media and reached millions of views. In addition to this, I had mugs and key chains with the logo of Limits Make Things Too Small created for the event. I also had to make a special standee for the event.
The line-up for the open included:
Welcome Notes by:
Karina Pandya Founder -Limits Make Things Too Small
Kaushik M Oza -(VP David Sassoon Library
1. Aranya Johar
2. Aishwarya Geete
3. Rakesh Tiwari
4. Hussain Haidry
5. Sudeep Pagedar
6. Simar Singh
7. Kunal Jhawar
8. Ramneek Singh
9. Darshan Rajpurohit
10. Mohammad Sadriwala
11. Zoran Saher
12. Neeraj Pandey
13. Jackie Thakker
14. Faizan Faizz
15. Ababil Hussain
16. Karthikey Sehgal
17. Zoheb Khan
18. Apoorva Arya
19. Anjali Bhushan
Supporters: I also thank Dwijal Mehta, Sunny Chandel, Kunal Jhawar and several others who supported the event.
Stall: A special stall was put up by Story Mirror was also put up at the event. Story Mirror is an Indian based online story portal, allowing people to freely read, write and even submit their poems, stories, short stories, lyrics, real life incidents etc.
The entire event was FREE and open to the public and was featured in the Hindu newspaper. Details of the event was also made available on many websites such as Mera events, Events Brite, Youth Ki Awaaz, Meet Up and of course Facebook. Zoran Saher, one of the guest speakers from the event also helped to promote the event through his posts on Instagram and Twitter. On the day of the event, there were all sorts of people who had come to attend. In fact, a talented photographer -Ashwathi Pillai really was able to capture the humanity of different moments of the event through her lens. Mark Benjamin of Culture Machine and his team were also there to scout for some talent.
Being the host for the evening, I opened the event expressing a lot of gratitude towards the venue partners who were extremely instrumental in encouraging me to make this event possible. I then addressed the surprisingly large crowd with a speech about how we all fall into situations and get trapped by our limited beliefs and past experiences. It is very important to overcome these self-imposed hallucinatory limitations that we place upon ourselves. I also spoke about how poetry was an outlet for me to express my emotions and shape my career.
Menka Shivdasani shared many insights about poetry and recited her poem Crystal. Her words resonated well in the crowd and her performance was seamless and energetic. Her words from her speech were deep in meaning and sensitive and she highlighted the importance of writing poetry and writing.
Amole Gupte, one of the most popular film makers of movies like Taare Zameen Par, Stanley Ka Dabba and also known for his memorable performance in Kaminey as an actor spoke about how important it is to overcome personal challenges and limitations. He even shared some insight about the work about his upcoming film, Sniff and his journey as an actor and director.
Mayank Shekhar, who is one of the foremost film critic in India. Also an author, he read excerpts from his recently published book “Name Place Animal Thing”. The audience was in splits as he covered his experience some prominent film personalities like Salman Khan.