Nuance, longing and poetic repartée

In tribute: (top) Poets Jeet Thayil, Karthika Naïr, Jane Bhandari, Ranjit Hoskote, Mustansir Dalvi and Menka Shivdasani read out Chandak Chattarji’s translations Six poets walked a bookstore to read Bengali poetry. For most people, this is not a sentence that inspires an adrenaline rush. Irrespective of language, a poetry reading is to be approached with caution. It can either be enriching or make you reach for the hip flask in the hope that glugging will not just make the event bearable, but also disguise your -rolling. No one in the audience for the launch of Six Bangla Poets , a slim volume of poetry translated by retired educationist Chandak Chattarji, seemed to have a hip flask. The setting was the beautiful Kitab Khana in the ’s Fort district, a wood-panelled, book-lined oasis in a of vanishing spines and bookshops. Chattarji’s translations would be read out by six contemporary poets: Jeet Thayil, Karthika Naïr, Jane Bhandari, Ranjit Hoskote, Mustansir Dalvi and Menka Shivdasani. While poetry’s popularity has grown online, this is rarely reflected in the offline world of book and sales. The audience for Six Bangla Poets was mostly made up of friends and familiars. […]

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