Poetry that a poet has forgotten

Updated: Jan 13, 2020, 08:27 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

The latest edition of Main Kavita Hoon will see Kavita Seth recite verses of Dr Bashir Badr, who is suffering from dementia.

Kavita Seth
Kavita Seth

Kavita Seth interacted with Dr Bashir Badr last year when she visited the ailing poet in Bhopal. "He is bed-ridden and complains of dementia. He can barely talk and doesn't remember his own poetry," laments Seth, who will revisit the Urdu writer's work for the January 18 edition of Main Kavita Hoon.

With her recurrent music series, Seth aims to put the spotlight on a poet, and those creations of the artiste that deserved more attention than it was destined to receive. "The motive is to be a bridge between music listeners and those poems that have been forgotten in old books. Often, people don't know who has written a ghazal. Some of Dr Bashir's verses are so [defining] that they are more prominent than the entire ghazal," she says, before reciting a few of them for us.

Dr BashirDr Bashir Badr

Seth recalls Badr's work as that which explored romance. Her selections, then, for the Sunday concert include umpteen poems that discuss love and loneliness. "I've spent months working on the compositions of other poets. But, with his work, I could compose eight songs in a single day. That's because his work is free-flowing and beautiful."

The passion project, which began as a web series before moving to live concerts, had previously trained attention towards late Punjabi poet, Amrita Pritam. Month after month, Seth hopes to similarly highlight the work of poets, with each concert being dedicated to one artiste only. "I hope Dr Bashir's sons can come for the concert and share memories of their father. There will be a few more people who will talk about him at the event."

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