Updated: Sep 18, 2020
The Kalinga Literary Festival, The largest celebration of literary spirit in India, held a live session on the 29th of August, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. which was titled ‘Women Poets & Words that Inspire.’ This live session comprised of renowned and celebrated names such as Smita Agarwal (poet, professor and singer), Rachna Joshi (poet, editor and reviewer), Deepa Agarwal (poet, author and translator), and Jayshree Misra Tripathi (poet, teacher and litterateur).
Jayshree initiated her journey of providing a platform to her work by collaborating with PepperScript, an independent publishing house which publishes fiction, non-fiction as well as poetry in both Hindi and English. PepperScript harbours diversity in every form and aims to vocalise each and every distinct and brute voice which holds the capacity to move and instill emotion, just like Jayshree’s. And, in times like these where the world is undergoing rapid shifts and ripples, PepperScript believes in sharing with the world the chasms of imagination and thought to make life a tad breezier. Jayshree's distinguished collection of poetry, Trips and Trials, which she published with PepperScript, is a widely celebrated and renowned piece of literature. This paved the way to her most recent collaboration with the very same publishing house with her rendition to the changing mannerisms of the world amidst a pandemic, Uncertain Times. PepperScript is proud to have writers such as Jayshree Misra Tripathi on board in the quest for storytelling.
The session commenced with an introduction of each of the renowned poets. Jayshree was introduced by Debamitra with the following words: “…Jayshree followed up her MA in English from Delhi University in 1978 with a PG diploma in Human Rights Law from the National Law School of India University Bengaluru. She has taught English language and literature, been an examiner in English for the diploma of the International Baccalaureate Organisation, and was their trained consultant. Her recent collection of poetry, Uncertain Times has just been published by PepperScript Publishers, who had also published Trips and Trials, a selection of songs and poems in December, 2018…”
Jayshree, the distinguished author of Uncertain Times, initiated the recitation session of the wonderful panel with a quote from Pablo Neruda's ‘Keeping Quiet,’ which has been quoted all over the world in the times of the pandemic,
“and we will all keep still for once on the face of the earth,/ let's not speak in any language;/ let’s stop for a second,/ and not move our arms so much./ It would be an exotic moment/ without rush, without engines;/ we would all/ be together/ in a sudden strangeness./ which aptly set the mood for the recitation session.”
She further stated that the live session will be based on the poetry of women and the environment, hope and wellness.
Through the course of this session, beautiful pieces of composition were performed by each of the celebrated women poets, leaving a lasting impact on all of the listeners and viewers. And, following the recitations of Smita Agarwal, Deepa Agarwal, and Rachna Joshi, Jayshree Misra Tripathi performed four beautiful pieces of poetry that she had written recently, each of which was deeply embedded in the social scenario of the current unstable times that our world preoccupies. Her first piece was titled, ‘Mid-March Rains,’ based on her experience of a rather shocking heavy rain on the 14th of March. The second poetry was titled, ‘The Virus,’ a beautiful piece on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of many people. The title of the third piece of poetry recited by her was ‘Lockdown Blues.’ This piece was about how the lockdown imposed on the world has impacted it and made a significant difference. It ends on the note of healing and how there is still hope left. Her final piece is a nostalgic one, titled, ‘With Time,’ and it distinctly captures the emotions of meeting someone after the passage of a significant amount of time.
Following the recitation of poetries, a discussion commenced in response to the comments from the audience through the course of which, Jayshree shared the atrocities her great-great-grandmother had to face, having gone through the traumas of a promised child marriage as well as widowhood at the age of only ten. She further shared how her great-great-grandmother transgressed these struggles and eventually found her own distinct space in society.
The session ended on a beautiful note with the promise of more future sessions as engaging and spectacular as this one where solidarity was found and experiences were shared in a manner so comforting that it left a lasting impact on the audiences the live session.
You can check out Jayshree Misra Tripathi's poetry collection on Amazon India.