The two-day annual Pondicherry/Auroville Poetry Festival 2022 themed ‘equality/oneness’ presented by Pondicherry Poets opened on 21 December at Sri Aurobindo Society’s exquisite Heritage building Matri Niketan (previously Academy House, restored by INTACH).
Hosted and conducted by P/APF founders, Gayatri Majumdar and Anju Makhija, the event featured poetry recitation of Sri Aurobindo’s poetry by Rathirekha and Malcolm Boyer, and devotional music by Mollika Ganguly (Hindusthani classical), Buvaneswari G. and Prof. Smita Agarwal (of Allahabad University). Dr. Beloo Mehra delivered an engaging talk titled ‘Gender Equality–a Spiritual Perspective’, while Anju Makhija presented the Vishendevi Award for Creativity to 14-year-old Sanjeevan patient, Deepak, which was received by Dr. Jayaramesh. Welcoming the guests, Shweta Rajurkar narrated the historical significance and restoration process of Matri Niketan.
Attended by over 40 people, including 20 renowned poets namely Mani Rao, Paresh Tiwari, Rochelle Potkar, Gopal Lahiri, Rita Nath Keshari, Sivakami Velliangiri, Jagari Mukherjee, Ashwani and Shinjini Kumar, Geetha Nair and others from Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Trivandrum, Bangalore and elsewhere, this year’s Festival highlighted the need for equanimity in these troubled times and respect for our environment in a poignant way. P/APF 2022 associates included Indian Novels Collective, People for Pondicherry’s Heritage and The Brown Critique.