Aditya Mankad’s love affair with the verse began when he was in college. He wrote poems and published them on his blog but was not a performer then. When his job brought him to Bangalore, he discovered Spoken Word Poetry and was soon inducted into the huge community of poets in the city.
Being a natural lover of the stage, he came to enjoy spoken word poetry so much that he was moved to start a poetry community in Ahmedabad. Aditya started ‘Povera’ (‘poetry’ and ‘truth’ in Latin) with a few friends. Povera aimed to provide a platform for performers in the city. Through Povera, they also created a series dedicated to mental health and spoken word poetry called ‘Alohomora’ – the motive is to create a dialogue about mental health, abuse, and to create a safe space for people to share their stories and their work.
Aditya believes that his first spoken word performance was not his best and although it felt like a dead-end to him, he bounced back soon with a third place at a poetry slam. Performance poetry encouraged him to experiment with genre and form unlike his previous experience with the art of poetry. He also experiments with themes in his poetry and writes about any topic that catches his fancy. He believes that poets should not be limited by the pressure of writing only about the things they have experienced.
Performing on stage and interacting with the many spoken word artists in the city has made him a lot more humble. Organising poetry events has made him understand how the poetry scene in the city works. It has also helped him broaden his horizons in terms of understanding a wide range of topics. He feels that poetry could become the medium to talk about important social topics that would otherwise remain unspoken. Aditya also swears by the power of performance and believes that one can connect with a person emotionally when they see them perform.
Aditya is extremely dedicated to poetry and puts his complete effort in learning and practicing his art. He tells us that he makes it a point to dedicate time to poetry every day and practices his poems on a daily basis. This shows in his beautiful works and his words will leave you spellbound no matter how many times you witness his performance.
Written by Anagha Bharadwaj.