Baatein's first open mic.

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

Yesterday, Baatein opened its doors to aspiring poets and artists to try their hand at spoken word or loosely put creative acts. The latter might be more apt for Conversations by Baatein', the name given to our events and performances, for the space often sees a diverse milieu of creators and artists. In the past, Our stage has welcomed a student activist, a filmmaker, a mental illusionist, musicians, an 80-year-old poet and a 14-year-old writer - all in one place - to share their stories with a curious audience.

Dr. Puran Singh Dabas reciting poetry at 'Conversations by Baatein' at Dilli Haat.

It has been three months since we announced a full-time operation mode for Baatein. And so far, it has been the best idea we acted upon. We successfully organised our first 'Conversations by Baatein' of the year on 1st of Feb; collaborated with ST+Art India to host a poetry evening as part of their festival on 24th Feb and are travelling to Punjab University end of this month to take our 'Conversations' to newer grounds and audiences.

But such spaces, as much as we may want them to provide a stage to all, often get limited by number of performers and of course time. But Baatein is meant to grow beyond limitations and categories. We aim to create a space accessible and relatable. A space for thoughts, expressions, art and conversations.

With the same yearning and joy for open spaces, inclusive and diverse stages and a need to revive conversations beyond linear and digital channels, we came up with the idea of hosting monthly open mics for our growing and cherished community. The one we organised yesterday, served as a test run and oh what a wonderful flight it was.

Baatein and CoHo Spaces came together to organise an Open Mic at their wonderful venue in Sushant Lok. Set against the backdrop of a vivid sky and a rare canopy of trees offering a shade and comfort, Baatein welcomed the wonderful performers and a poetry-hungry audience to its first Open Mic of the year.

It still baffles us when our words and ideas travel beyond an assumed geography. It also humbles us and makes us grateful for this gift to be able take conversation to offline spaces.

Yesterday, we had a 21 year girl, who came all the way from Kota to perform. She also performed a ballad for her first love, also present in the audience. Another performer, named Nikhil, travelled all the way from Lucknow to spill some poetry. He was nervous and excited and we were unabashedly proud of him and grateful that he chose our stage for his first performance.

The evening began on a wonderful note. The breeze was flirtatious and the sun soothed any jitters or palpitations common to entrants. The team at Baatein, interluded the performances with some in-house poetry and humour. Vishal brought with him a guitar and some Kishore Kumar tunes and Mohit Butta, a revered beatboxer wowed the audience with his performance - an ode to Gully Boy.

We can't thank CoHo spaces, the performers and our audience enough. We hope Baatein is always remembered as a space for conversations, without a form, theme or criteria. It is a place made by and for you.

Thank you for making our first Open Mic a resounding success. Hope to see soon at the next one.

Lots of love,

Team Baatein