Kaafiya: Delhi is a wonderful city. Along with its rich history and inexhaustible treasure of anecdotes, Delhi is also the land of poetry. Its glimmering urban hollows are filled with the whispers of innumerable echoes coming from the poetic soirees organised across the city. The air is filled with strange, low, melodious sounds as if the city is remembering and repeating to itself the murmurs of its archaic times. Exactly in the way a seashell carries the essence of its ocean home no matter where it is kept, this wonderful city has carried her poetry and history from her childhood to her young days. The few shining fragments of verses, which the jealous ages have left with her, are her only luggage.
But the ghettoization of poetry has resulted in its fragmentation among various groups. Thus, different circles of poets do not acknowledge the style of the others. Style is the man, that is, the unconscious expression of the writer’s own personality. It is the very soul of one man reflecting, as in a glass, the thoughts and feelings of humanity. As no glass is colourless, but tinges more or less deeply the reflections from its surface, so no author can interpret human life without unconsciously giving to it the native hue of his own soul. And any form of expression of soul should not be subjected to compartmentalisation, is our belief at Kaafiya.
Kaafiya addresses the suggestiveness of poetry, its appeal to our emotions and imagination rather than to our intellect. It’s not so much what it says as what it awakens in us that constitutes its charm. Aristotle was profoundly right when he said that “poetry is more serious and philosophical than history” ; and Goethe, when he explained poetry as “ the humanisation of the world.” At Kaafiya we believe that poetry is like a river in flood/ spate which gradually purifies itself in two ways, -the mud settles to the bottom, and the scum rises to the top. When we examine the writings that by common consent constitute our literature, the clear stream purified of its dross, we find that poetry is the expression of life in forms of truth and beauty.
Nothing but an ideal ever endures upon earth. Kaafiya, therefore, understands that it is impossible to overestimate the practical importance of poetry, which preserves the ideals of our civilization from fathers to sons, while men, cities, governments, civilizations, vanish from the face of the earth. It is only when we remember this that we appreciate the action of the devout Musalmaan, who picks up and carefully preserves every piece of paper on which words are written, because the scrap may perchance contain the name of Allah, and the ideal is too enormously important to be neglected or lost.
Kaafiya aims to make Delhi, the poetry capital of India and eventually the world by basking in the euphoria of its rich poetry because it is the history, and the only history, of the human soul. So let’s play truant with the present world and run away to live awhile in the pleasant realm of fancy.