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Palette of poems

Laxma Goud's paintings came alive with Iqbal Patni's poems


WHEN A celebrated artist and a passionate poet meet, the rendezvous is bound to induce curiosity. And more so when a fusion of art and poetry is on the cards. Laxma Goud and Iqbal Patni (whose poem Bachpan was used by A.R. Rahman in his concert `I believe') created an interesting atmosphere at Daira Centre for Arts and Culture. Patni chose an innovative way to narrate his poetry. The paintings formed a perfect backdrop for the poetry, while the poetry enlivened the paintings.

As the art rolled on the screen Iqbal Patni recited his carefully chosen poetry in a lucid way. The paintings almost acquired a three-dimensional image with the highlighting of certain parts through computer graphics. The poems were simple and easy to comprehend.

Flair for poetry

"Poetry is elixir of the mind, it lifts the mundane to the sublime," said Patni before his recitation. For a man who has penned numerous nazms and ghazals this concept was challenging. He has been writing poetry in Hindustani (as he likes to call it) since childhood. Having the flair to coin lines he honed his skills under Ruhi Qadri. "I learnt the format and the meter and this helped me enormously," says Patni, who first thought of doing something with art when he saw his daughter's painting.

"I wondered how it would be if I made the paintings talk. I also needed a tool to take my poetry forward because my mentor believed talent is a gift from the divine and one should reach it to all people. So I sat with Atiya (of Daira) and conceived this project. The first Tasveer ki awaaz was held at Daira, the second at the session organised by Scribble and the third again at Daira. Laxma Goud was open to such a venture and sent me the transparencies. I chose about 14 poems (out of what I have already written) after repeatedly looking at the paintings."

The poems recited ranged on various themes and emotions - childhood, war, love though the poems predominantly revolved around women. The silence of the paintings, mostly figurative (Laxma's depiction of Telangana folk is well known), was broken by the poetic lines. And with the soft strains of music in the background the effect was fascinating. People and landscape, the gamut of emotions depicted in the paintings (some were Laxma Goud's early works), were matched by the poetic lines.

Ae mere ankhon ke noor, Khamosh samandar, Yeh jaate huye baadal mere paigam lekar jayenge, Mere mohabbat koi afsana tho nahin, yeh shyaam kyon udaas hai, Aaina mein ek chehra chupa liya, Bachpan, Ek aur sazaa daud ke chali (Kargil), Ye rishte were some of the nazms recited. One of the nazms recited Awaaz de rahi hai humko watan ki mitti was set to music by A.R. Rahman.

Painter impressed

"Unbelievably beautiful," was Laxma Goud's first comment at the end of the session. "You felt the plasticity and volume of the work well," added the eminent painter.

Patni has also written lyrics for Anaida's latest album and for Talat Aziz and Mala Bararia. He continues to be associated with A.R. Rahman and hopes more projects will fructify with the ace composer. He has plans to bring out his poetry in CD format. The effect of the spoken word is surely different and his style of narration is certainly his USP. Patni is open to more such fusion ventures in other cities, with other artistes in other disciplines as well. Perhaps in that way art and poetry will meet in perfect harmony.

RADHIKA RAJAMANI

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