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Being a judge at a Slam Poetry Event : Jaspriya Gandhok

I was a judge at a Slam Poetry EveInstagramnt held on 28th August in Pune, in the company of two of the most accomplished and talented poets I know – S M Mehdi Imam and KC Vlaine (@kcvlaine).

This event was organized by The Yellow Room (@the_yellow_room_pune), in collaboration with BITS – Pilani, with the top performer getting a chance to perform at BITS – Pilani’sannual Poetry Slam, titled Purple Prose.

It was an evening of some outstanding performances. Beautiful venue @thejackfruittree37 and great hosting by Simran Khurana (@metaphors_unfurled) lifted the whole experience to the next level. It was a pleasure to see so many young poets, and some not so young, take the stage to showcase their best work. The event witnessed poetry in different languages, genres and forms and the range of work surpassed expectations. It was heartening to see poetry not just surviving, but also thriving.

From around 30 participants, it was challenging for the judges to select the top four performers and the scoring was very close, with extremely narrow winning margins. To ensure fair assessment and ranking, after the first round, a few selected poets were called on to perform for the second round. And instead of making things easier, the second round only increased our difficulty as all the poets stepped up and raised the bar a notch higher.

But what has to be done, must be done. After consolidating the scores of both rounds, all the judges reached a consensus to finalise the top-four performers. Himadri Sharma took the top spot with a powerful poem in Hindi, backed by an equally moving performance that cause goosebumps in the audience. 2nd spot was awarded to Anubhav Bansal, whose humour and easy style was highly infectious. 3rd and 4th spots went to IshjotJaggi and Vedant Rathor respectively.

After being hit by COVID, like everything else, poetry went online but offline events are making a comeback and Pune has a buzzing scene for poetry and other literary forms. To keep a track of all the exciting events that are happening around the city, you can follow @the_yellow_room_pune, @thehjackfruittree37, @poets_of_pune, @nukkadpune and @bullockcartpoetry.

I am a certified Emotional Wellness Coach, TEDx speaker and Learning Facilitator with over 20 years of experience, with expertise in designing and delivering bespoke learning solutions for individuals and organizations across industries. My ability to empathize and listen without prejudices helps me to make impactful connections with my clients. I believe that each person must invest in improving their relationship with themselves. Creating one’s identity and finding a purpose in life can lead to harmony and balance in one’s life. I am passionate about helping people find their voice, express themselves and overcome self-limiting beliefs.

To know more about my work and how it can help you, you can connect with me on:

WhatsApp: +91 7798307094

Instagram: @jaspriyagandhok


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