Open Mic Exclusively For The Indian Languages In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Anusvara, the much talked of open mic event exclusively for Indian languages was organized at Cherry Blossoms Pre-school in Shree Vihar on the hot Sunday afternoon.

Open mic events have become the most popular medium for expressing oneself these days. The youth is attracted by its free nature, unlike the conventional style of performing arts. Like the rest of the country, Odisha makes no exception to it and such events have been engaging a delightfully increasing number of budding writers for more than a couple of years now. But, at the same time, it is being witnessed that the qualities of patience and reading with an approach of learning and growing better are not much cherished. Realizing this evolving problem, Anusvara is an attempt to address the issue.

Akshita Agarwal, one among the organizing team, said

This is a series of open mic of its own kind inviting people who write in any aboriginal language (or dialect) of the Indian subcontinent and want to not only perform but are also open to receiving some constructive feedback from the audiences as well as the people who have been contributing in the literary field in some or the other manner.

This series is organized by samskriya.org under Sambhasha, one of its programs dedicated exclusively to the Indian languages. It is basically a group of some young language enthusiasts which was formed in 2012 in Jaipur and is active in Bhubaneswar for the last 4 years after operating in Ranchi for 2 years. When asked about the idea, Aryaman Chetas, the founder coordinator of Samskriya, said that poetry and short-stories have started becoming like some strange product to be consumed by both its writer and the listener which is doing injustice to both the content and the language.

Shweta Agarwal, the founder of the Unmukt Foundation which has been supporting the group by providing them with a permanent space at Khandagiri to conduct their regular affairs, said,

One of the major reasons is that our education system gives linguistic science a secondary treatment and children are not given proper exposure to it at the right time.

Saurabh Ghosh of Advait Solutions, a US-based studies facilitator encouraging the group’s literary and research activities, said

We should respect all the languages, but we have to have our own languages flourishing above all because the world out there is looking up to us and this kind of mutual learning is just the first step in the desired right direction.

Utkarsh Jain and Abhinav Bhaskar further added that the group consists of many self-motivated student volunteers too who realize that language is not a mere medium of communication and that it carries a whole civilization with it.

Dharitri Priyadarshini told us that the city chapter of the group was started 4 years ago with just 4 members and like-minded people have been joining in since then. Answering the question of what was different in it, Ananya Chitransh and Sweta Mishra exclaimed with “Mandatory Feedback!” One is welcome to register for the event only if one is open to constructive criticism. It is made sure that the whole exercise is performed in the most suitable manner and the performers are encouraged. Some well known young faces in the literary circles of Bhubaneswar like Monideepa Sahu, Rhiti Bose, Shagufta Jabeen, Anup Agrawal, Balaram Behera are also closely associated with the group, some of whom acted as the chief commentators at the event and shared some insights from their experiences too.

Seeing the importance of the issue and the dedication towards writing in the mother-tongue, Gayatri Mavuru has offered the premises of her pre-school to be used for the workshops on different literary techniques and Anusvara event-series organized by Sambhasha. Gaurav, Anwesha, Sumit Kumar, Tulika, Shreya and others performed in four languages – Odia, Bangla, Hindi, and Urdu. Srijan Pandey hosted the event well in an interactive manner. Already a group member, Arunish from Gulmohar Writings offered the expertise of his team for the betterment of the new talent.

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A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: editor@odishastory.com