Monday, 28 February 2005


Menka Shivdasani, poet, friend, in her column in The Daily Star, Bangladesh, writing about the recent Kala Ghoda festival.
The Literature section, co-ordinated by R Sriram, Managing Director & CEO, Crossword Bookstores Ltd, was packed with a variety of events - multilingual poetry readings as well as one by poets writing in English; a creative writing workshop, and even, for the first time, an SMS poetry competition.

As Jerry Pinto, poet and one of the judges of the SMS competition pointed out, with mobile phones having become very common and the Short Messaging Service so popular, writers needed to look at language in new ways and adapt to the times. The purists might have been horrified -- after all, when you are sending out an SMS, grammar and spelling are not priorities. The entries that came in, however, were quite remarkable -- sometimes, even haiku-like, as one of the other judges, the poet Marilyn Noronha commented. Peter Griffin, for instance, came up with this one, and ended up with first prize:

cellular creature
now part of my D.N.A.
gladden my heart: beep.

Manisha Lakhe and Annie Zaidi, first and second runners-up respectively, used SMS techniques to perfection -- though these were 'poems' you certainly would not be able to read aloud!

Check them out...

Cud v b like that *ship
Boldly c-king cvlizashuns
So v don't disturb
Old ways of life?
Let's just love and leave - Manisha Lakhe

tis d wkend;wot plans?
nt sayn d nyt's alpyn
& wintr rustls twixt d sheets.
nt sayn d windO stares insomnac,@ d hiway.
nt sayin i w8,dd u 4get?
only askn-
tis d wkend;wot plans?
- Annie Zaidi

All three winners, as it turned out, were Net-savvy members of the literary site

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