A weekend in Delhi well spent with poetry and chai

So, what did I do last weekend in Delhi?

man reciting poetry
The Oxford Book Store is a good place to spend your weekend in Delhi

Well, I enjoyed chai and poetry at the Oxford Book Store in Rajiv Chowk. And if you are in Delhi in March 2019, then you must plan your visit there.

To me, the Oxford Book Store had always seemed to be a place for books and chai. You just entered this place, picked up a book and settled down with a cup of chai. If you liked, you could also have a big samosa at the store!

But this weekend, I was in for a surprise.

When I reached that place, I found it packed with people waiting for a poetry session to begin. Now this was a surprise to me. I had never seen a poetry session in progress in this happy place.

But yes, that Saturday, people were all over the place waiting for Nicky Chandon, the MC, to start the proceedings.

I have met Chandon before several times at Antisocial in the Hauz Khas Village where she used to organize her open mic sessions regularly.

Nicky is a young woman from Manipur and is the main force behind this amazing initiative called Leipung.

Nicky Chandon

This Saturday, Nicky was holding yet another session but this time it was in the Rajiv Chowk.

I asked Nicky about her Rajiv Chowk initiative.

‘The idea is to get better talent on board Leipung,’ she said,’ and the best place in the city is the Oxford Book Store.’

I agree with Nicky here. I have seen crass and vulgar people present their stuff in the Hauz Khas Leipung and that was putting off many people, me included.

But what’s Leipung?

Leipung means ‘adda’ or ‘pad’.

This is a Manipuri word and refers to those spots where people come and exchange ideas.

You can also read about this long dead Indian princess who met me in this Indian fort!

Back to my weekend in Delhi program

So here I was at the Oxford Book Store attending the Leipung.

Oxford Book Store
The audience at the Oxford Book Store

There were nearly forty odd people at the venue, each armed with a poetry, prose or some work of fiction. I could also see a couple of westerners waiting for their turn.

And boy, I was amazed when the open mic session began. I had never imagined that Delhi would have so much talent. All these years, I had thought of Delhi as being a very rude city, always interested in money and politics. But that Saturday, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw so many people-young and old- showing their talent.

So, what are you waiting for? Would you like to recite poetry one of these weekends? Then why not contact the Leipung fellows at www.octavefoundation.org?

The next session would take place in March, stay tuned to know more.

Have a nice weekend in Delhi folks!

Meanwhile, have a look at this 3-hour tour of Delhi’s iconic Red Fort :http://www.indiatraveltip.com/delhi-red-fort-tour-love-walking-weekend/

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