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Caferati, Open Mic Gurgaon: Speak for two minutes and win hearts
Inspite of being a city comprising of mostly immigrants, Gurgaon is very conscious of cultivating cultural and intellectual activities. The citizens celebrate every festival with extra zeal. Hobbies are pursued with a lot more vigour. An outcome of the same vigour and interest is Caferati - the Writer's Forum, which not only has a virtual Facebook page but this group of poets, fictionist and writers meet every second Saturday of the month to talk for two minutes. They recite, sing, dance, play and just entertain the audience for two minutes.

I was fortunate to witness the second anniversary of the Gurgaon group, which organised its Open Mic forum in Apparel House, Gurgaon. From 7 year olds to people well past their prime, everyone had the same joy and anticipation one sees in a stage artiste. The small room had a microphone and couple of chairs, yet the atmosphere was jolly, laid back and familiar. First timers at the meeting were hurriedly jotting down poems from their smartphones, while the seasoned poets of the forum were chatting, waving and making the first timers feel welcome.

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Before sitting down, one had to take a slot to speak via writing on a white board. Everyone present at the room had to speak, but there were only two rules - personal work only and no profanity. Nicky Chandam, the organiser and host for the evening instantly made everyone at home with her humour and broad smile. Rekhaji, the first performer played piano for the audience, although she is an adept poet and has two published books under her belt. She was followed by Barbara, who enthralled the audience with her German poem translated by her, 'thoughts are free, no one can kill it.' Other poets such as Sanjeev, Ketan, Neyaz opened up their hearts and the audiences mind with their words.

From hindi poem 'Indradhanush', 'Umeedey' to 'Monkey to Mars', the audience looked within themselves and were also taken to Mars. First timers like Ruchi Phool, who is a business analyst and Shansita Das Sharma, who studies in Shikshantar recited like pros. Reena Das Sharma, mother of Shansita said, “It is for the first time that she is reciting here, but it is nice that they are giving people this opportunity. People who are low on confidence or needs a push can perform and work on their confidence.”

Nicky Chandam, who is from Manipur and well versed poet herself, talked about the group and said, “The idea for such a platform in Delhi and NCR was encapsulated by renown Dastango - Dan Husain. Caferati is actually a forum for writers. However, the platform is extended to all performing artists who can stage their performance in 2 minutes. This is a unique platform of its kind. One can view myriads of talents from different genre at Caferati, which is the beauty of Caferati.” She also pointed to the fact that people from all walks of life come together for this event, which was actually initiated in Mumbai, Prithviraj theatre by Peter Griffin. Amongst many, eminent comedian Maheep Singh, who has made a name for himself actually started from Caferati.

It is just the right platform for people who write and wants to win hearts through their words.

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