A weekend with the Word Warriors

Last month (yeeeeeah, better late than never xD), I spent a Saturday afternoon at a rad event called Poetry Menu II, which took place at this nifty place called the Tattva Bistro, and was hosted by the Word Warriors. The Word Warriors are a group of slam/spoken word poets based in Kathmandu, and are, of course, rad as well. Here, I shall share the observations, opinions, and experiences I had during the course of the event.

The first thing that got me about Poetry Menu II was…

…the crowd atmosphere.

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(note: all photos are borrowed from Dad’s camera. Oh, and if you appear in any of them, please say hi in the comments, omg!!)

I felt a bit – okay, a lot – nervous and shy as I first saw the people buzzing around near the entrance and, in entering, taking in the audience inside. After all, I was fourteen, not Nepali, and inexperienced in the field of poetry and talking to mavens who “ate poetry, breathed poetry, and s*** poetry” (as I heard from a snatch of a statement by a passing Word Warrior).

But I liked that everyone felt expectant for brilliant things to happen next, as I was. It also struck me as the modern version of the council of Areopagus, in which Greek philosophers used to meet, because it felt that some people around me were in deep thought and wanting to toss their ideas around. Plus it looked like a cool kids community meet-up! Speaking of cool kids, the next observation is of them.

The people.

The people were a sophisticated ensemble pieced together by black and white and eager, poetry- and art-passionate minds. I loved them, all of them with the beautiful minds and faces – but only from a distance.

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I guess this is because they were all caught up in their own thoughts, stuck together in their own cliques, and I, on the other hand, was too focused on the event, which, I guess, was just okay? Maybe… But I regret not professing my love for them telling them I thought they were very fascinating and marvellous, and how I wished to become friends. I did make three friends, though, of whom I’ll write about a-ways down.

For now…

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The venue.

The Tattva Bistro is quintessentially a cramped hangout for the comfortably outlandish artist; consequently, it was packed to the gills and bursting at the seams. Like I said before, Poetry Menu II had been like a cool kids meet-up, and of course Kathmandu has got a lot of cool kids. It also kinda felt like a can to a bunch of sardines, albeit a very expression-filled, angsty, marvellous case of a sardine can at that.

My feelings during the spoken word/poetry performances.

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I was entranced.

Though, to be honest, on some performances I had let my attention wander away from either because their words told me to go and be free, or I couldn’t just connect to them. And yet… Some others held my attention on the shoulders and told me to sit down at their feet and listen intently to them, because what they were saying was important, and how the performer said it was important, too.

Though I have forgotten most of what their poetry was about, and have only snatches, I saw that everyone who presented was a treasure chest, and it was amazing to be there when they opened a part of themselves up for us to see.

Feelings during the music numbers.

So, there were four musical acts during the event, two being from the open mic, myself included 😛

The first one I nicknamed Spaceman, because, I’d forgotten his real name (it’s Abhi), and he played his songs with this detachment to reality, much like an astronaut floating in outer space.

Another was a song sung in tandem with a poetry performance, which was a quite fascinating pair.

The third was when I volunteered myself up, because, why not?, and sang ‘Heroes (we could be)’, by Alesso, and ‘Price Tag’, by Jessie J. I chose them because I wanted to share the messages of those songs 🙂

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Sharin’ that message ryt there.

The fourth and last one was this beautiful acoustic open-mic lady called Sudishi. Boy, I know she is gonna go places with that wonderful voice and guitar-playing of hers.

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The friends.

Yup, I told you guys I’d be talking about the friends I’ve made, and here they are! But, just before I introduce them, let me just say that making connections with them was my highlight, because I, in my comfort zone, usually just sit quietly in my own thoughtspace and wait for something to happen. However, this time, I actually talked to them, and in doing so, I realized there was more to just taking part in the program.

Now I’ve got that clear, here are short descriptions of those three friends…

  • Noor – Like I said, I was really nervous when I stepped in. But, when this Word Warrior welcomed me to the event with a smile, I knew I was gonna be alright. Although that was our only interaction, I guess I consider him as a friend. Also, he reminds me of Hugh Laurie.
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He loved my brother as well!
  • Biplav – I found out about this whole event through a poster posted in Instagram by this guy. He recognized me there immediately, and I found he’s the type of person I like talking to, the type that’s curious, considerate, and cheerful. And he has also got quite a fascinating personality.

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  • Bowler Hat Girl/Astha – Her act was one of my favourites, so I was excited to tell her just that, and to introduce myself! And I really wanted to get to know her, plus the other people who performed; of whom were worthy to get to know. But, I sadly had to leave right after the event ended, so I only met her, even just to swap names and Instagram accounts. (She is on the second photograph in this post.)

I really hope the next Word Warriors event comes up soon so I can meet them all again!

In conclusion, I really enjoyed going to the Poetry Menu II. And besides finding it rad, I think it was a great avenue to celebrate poetry and the arts together with people who share the same passions! Now I’m looking forward to going to the next Poetry Menu III 😀

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