Thursday, June 17, 2021

When Telugu took centre stage

In a great honour for the city’s cultural scape, Mamidi Harikrishna, director, Department of Language and Culture was recently invited to speak at the Multilingual Poets’ Meet, organised by Central Sahitya Academy in New Delhi. In a meet that witnessed a gathering of 30 poets from across the country, Harikrishna feels proud in being the only poet representing the Telugu language.

“Telanagana poetry, though is rich in culture, has not had many opportunities of being represented on a national platform, but, I’m happy that things are changing now,” says Harikrishna.

Fascinated with poetry since his boyhood days, he recalls, “The first poem I wrote was at the age of 13. It was a Telugu translation of an English poem and was published in my school’s magazine Keratam. Once I got a taste of poetry, there was no turning back.”

On what poetry means to him, he says, “Poetry is an aesthetic expression of life. Any and all emotions can be conveyed easily and also beautifully through this medium which is what attracted me to it.”

His renditions of Matti Chekkina Shilpam and Aaku Pachhani Poddu Poddu along with their English translations were highly appreciated along with his Fusion Shaayri, which he claims to have introduced. It’s not easy to come up with a new concept in a field like poetry. Explaining his idea behind it, he says, “Fusion is the need of the hour. Be it language, art or culture, fusion has taken root in all fields, but, when it comes to poetry, we tend to stick to its purest form. My idea behind Fusion Shaayri is to simplify it in such a way that people from different age groups and cultures can understand and enjoy them.” His works are an entertaining mix of poetry, shaayri and various dialects, with the Telugu language taking the centre stage.

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