Experience of First Poets Meet and Greet Over Coffee in Guwahati

A picture of Kaveri Banikya, Palash Borah and Sneha Goel.

Universe has conjured up a meet in the city of Guwahati, where poets and poetry lovers from all over the city assembled at Qmin, Aurus Mall on 7th October at 4 pm precisely. The weather could have been more favorable, the overcast sky told me to hurry up or I would not reach in time. I have printed out four of my best poems and arranged them serially knowing there would be a time limit and I would recite as many as possible. I knew I would not waste the precious few minutes given to me in introducing myself. “My poems would speak for myself,” I thought. It feels so good when people listen to you attentively, isn’t it?


I reached on time, 3.45 pm, and as I entered the venue, rain greeted me messing up my nicely done hairdo. While I was wiping off my wet body, I was welcomed by beautiful ladies but they were strangers to me. I tried looking around for Kaveri who has got me into this situation and as I could not find her, I quietly took a seat at the back. Being an introvert, it always takes a toll when it comes to mixing up with unknown people. After fifteen to twenty minutes I saw Nitisha and my face ignited. Finally, a soul I know. As soon as she saw me, she gave a smile and extended her warm and soft hand which was all I needed to feel the sense of belonging.


Tinat Ma’am extended her gratitude to the owner of Aurus Mall, the Manager of Qmin, the Manager of Vivanta Group, the GPlus and the Pencil for sponsoring pens and notepads. She extended her gratefulness to all the poets for making it to the event in such unfavorable weather. Her beautiful smile, radiating face and sparkling eyes told how she enjoyed each moment of life; a truly happy person I had met after a long time. Given my history with depression and how it creeps in through the tiny cracks whenever I give in to the circumstances, I had been feeling low for several days. I realized happiness is highly contagious, meeting the happy people over there kicked the happiness mode on in me.


The poetry recitation began with Mehzabeen Hussain’s ‘I Write’. She stressed the importance and need to write as well as introduced us to her accomplishments which is highly commendable. Riya Choudhury mesmerized us with her original compositions and the Golden Era–Bollywood songs making us hum and dance. Her singing and music were a welcome addition. Pompa Chakravarty, former Judge of the Foreigners Tribunal, was an inspiration for all. She loves art and poetry and even rendered a song by Rabindranath Tagore. When I heard of her fight against cancer, it taught me that a warrior never gives up no matter how difficult the going gets. She was present till the end of the event with a beautiful wide smile and ear for all the presenters.

Poets Meet and Greet over Coffee at Qmin, Aurus Mall in Guwahati Assam
Poets and Poetry Enthusiasts at Qmin, Aurus Mall

Upasha Baruah Phookan, wife of a distinguished police officer, talked about her ongoing project in several government schools in Assam where she provides value-based education to the students. She even invited us to be a part of this noble cause. I would love to be a part of her project whenever possible. Talks on the importance of spirituality and self-love by Mrs. Mrinali Barbara and Banashree Borah respectively were eye-opening. Though I consider myself to be a spiritual person, not a religious one; I have never openly spoken about it. Mrs. Mrinali talked about the power of spirituality, compassion and giving. Apart from poets and singers, we had painters and digital artists like Queen G Talukdar who is an advocate by profession and Chiranjib Barooah who is a well-known poet also; and the dynamic host cum artist cum speaker, Kaveri Banikya.


Poetry soaked with good food and ambiance is something a poetry lover couldn’t resist and this attracted Rishta Sureka di to the event. Though she was the last, her gazal-style rendition was music to ears. I am glad she joined us. I had a long chat with her after the event. Poetry, yes, a woman named Poetry Khakholia Mundra told us the story behind her interesting name and it was great to know more about her on my way back home. 


Palash Borah told us about the remarkable work they are doing to uplift the transgender community of Assam. Hearing the plight of the community, I was overwhelmed with sadness. Aren’t we all humans first? We need to remind ourselves again and again. Though we are still struggling to get equal opportunities as men, I think women should come forward for their support because no one knows the pain of comparison and belittling remarks better than a woman. 


Debabrata Rajkumar who works in the field of prevention of climate crisis and runs Nature’s Orbit, presented his first poem which he wrote especially for the poetry meet. Pragya Maya Sharma captivated us with her poem ‘Khudgarj’ where she innocently says that there is nothing wrong with being selfish, to live for oneself even if it is for a day. Nitisha Beria, the one who made me feel comfortable, and Sarita Dhirasaria introduced us to their businesses Murabbaa Studio and Boutique as well as their love for art, music and poetry. Tripti Kabra, who has a lot of titles in her bag, presented her poems on self-love which were practical and substantial. The couple, Samarth and Megha Anand, talked about their love for poetry. Samarth has already published his anthology of poems ‘And Still I Rise’ and he encouraged his wife to present a poem that she wonderfully did for the first time. Otherwise, she likes to keep her poems to herself. Graceful Sutanuka Deb Roy recited a poem by Rabindranath Tagore. Malati Gurung presented her poems in a lovely traditional attire which everyone adored.


Salma Hussain, a post-graduate in law, recited a heart-touching poem that talked about a loving bond between her and her father as she remembers when she was three years old and how she misses that. Anjana Jain amused us with her unique style of rendition and humorous poems, not to mention it was her daughter-in-law who encouraged her to be a part of the event. Polly Banikya, Mrs. Inu Sarma, Smt. Jayshree Buragohain and Smt. Deepika Devi Kalita recited some of the wonderful poems that I wish I could have deciphered which I always regret whenever I listen to the poets in their regional languages. Sonali Dey recited the poem which gives her strength in tough times, Where the Mind is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore. Siukanya Kalita was the last presenter who talked about her work and writing career while reading out an excerpt from her recently published article in Eastern Chronicle, she was the one who recorded the videos of poets and I thank her for this tiresome effort.


The event ended with the speeches of the hosts Tinat ma’am and Kaveri ma’am. Interestingly, they share a similar past of resurrecting from the deathbed. They even told us how this rare experience changed their lives positively. I took home memories of the fascinating world of poetry with a desire to attend such events more often and the words of Mehzabeen ma’am echoing in my ears, ‘write, write and write’.

Poets Meet and Greet Over Coffee at Qmin, Aurus Mall in Guwahati, Assam
Group of creative people with host Kaveri Banikya in elegant green and black suit; and host Tinat Atifa Masood in gorgeous red gown

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” An apt saying of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic. His works include plays, poetry, literature, and aesthetic criticism, as well as treatises on botany, anatomy, and color.

About the blogger:


Sneha Goel is the founder of Young Story Weavers. She is an author, poet, blogger and educator. She teaches story writing, poetry writing, other forms of creative writing, academic writing and English grammar to children of all age groups including adults. So far, Sneha Goel has mentored more than fifty students in their story-writing and poetry-writing journey. Recently, three of her students—Pahael Goel, Lakshita Mundhra and Mahashree—wrote a fantasy novella ‘The Land of Mourns’ under her guidance. She takes pride in being a single mother of two daughters, Pahael and Gaurvi. Pahael Goel has earned a name for herself in the field of literature with her unique ability to write gripping stories two of which are published in anthologies by Scholastic India.


  • Poetry Khakholia Mundra

    Sneha you write so well each words of your that i read now took me to yesterday’s event . You are simply awesome and a beautiful soul.
    Thanku from heart that i met you and got to know about you, your pains and struggles. But then this weaving of your words captured and captivated me and that’s the spark u have which illuminates everyone’s life whom u meet. God bless you today and always.

    • Thank you Poetry ma’am for your love and appreciation!

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