Bengaluru Poetry Festival: Pop, Pope and poetry! Usha Uthup takes centre stage

Bengaluru: The third edition of Bengaluru Poetry Festival came to an end on Sunday, but the unparalleled energy displayed by the participants and the audience would continue to be the talk of the town till the next edition.

With the soothing voice of singer Kavita Seth bringing the freshness to the festival and film director and music composer Vishal Bhardwaj ending the festival with a powerful session on his book Nude, the festival hosted over 50 artistes from various states, countries, genres, style, and forms.

The biggest draw of the day was the session ‘One Two Cha Cha Cha’ hosted by veteran singer Usha Uthup. With over 1,000 songs to her credit in 18 Indian and eight foreign languages, Uthup was the only singer to be invited to Rome by the Pope, the audience was apprised.

Having overcome her inhibitions and limitations, Uthup called her journey as singer ‘magical’. On her rejection over her voice, she said, “I realised my limitations and made it my strength. I am proud to say that I am a night club singer.” 

The celebrated singer further discussed about her meeting with the late Bollywood actor Dev Anand and how amongst the three sisters, she was the only one to have been influenced by Hindi film music.

Well, she gave credit to her neighbour Jameela. “Her beauty had a mesmerizing effect on me. I always wanted to be like her. She used to play Hindi cinema music and not only that, I learnt making salwar kameez from her,” she added.

Concluding the session with the award winning song, Darling from Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf, she praised actress Priyanka Chopra for her discipline and professionalism.

Classical music, a joining force
Talking at one of the sessions, historian Ramachandra Guha advised the young generation to cultivate interest either in literature, art or music, the three manifestations of human existence.

Classical singer Amarendra Dhaneshwar, who enthralled the audience with Bhakti compositions in the Hindustani Classical music, said, “Adaranga and Sadaranga were court poets in the Mughal Darbar. They composed Khayal style of music which was popularised by them. It replaced Dhrupad,” he said. The composition by saint poet Tulsidas on Ayodhya was sung by Dhaneshwar and had a spellbound effect on the audience.

The poem Banishment penned by Tibetan poet Bhuchung D Sonum reflected the traumatic experience of the occupation of Tibet by China and the forceful exodus of Tibetans. 

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