One of the ‘firsts’ for me this year was the commercial installation of my short poem Optimism.
It has had the most amazing reactions. That’s made me look at the poem in a new light and read it to boost myself after disappointments. Considering I’d ignored this poem since it was first published in Raincheck Renewed in 2004, this installation has provided a new beginning in many ways.
An example of the response I’ve had:
A few days after the installation a neighbour knocked on my door. ‘Your poem!’ she exclaimed.
‘What?’ I wasn’t sure what she meant.
It transpired she’s been to the hairdresser to have her highlights done. ‘There I was, sitting at the shampoo basin, when I look up at the wall in front of me. Your poem! There. I read it – it was wonderful’.
Yes, my poem had ambushed her.
This was the brilliant idea of the owner of the hair salon, Thomas Gaughan, who selected this poem as artwork for his wall. Thomas said he’d wanted something inspirational. He’s really pleased with the effect and says that his clients love it. “Great words from Kavita that lift you up when you need it most.’
I’m proud too, because as my first commercial poem installation, it’s sited where you least expect it. Where the words come to you when you’re not in a ‘reading’ frame of mind. The context is surprising, just the way I like things to be!
I’m really glad that so many people are having their spirits lifted at the shampoo basin.
Pictures are of the installation at the William Thomas Gaughan hairdresser in London.
Graphic design by Tim Barnes of Chicken Print Design
Installation by Danillo Cooper
Vinyl cut wall transfer produced by Omni Colour
And a note about the project in the shape of a happy tweet or ‘life-sentence’ published in Mslexia December 2017:
Theme this year: Freedom
Breaking News: Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive in 2018.
Here’s a poem I published back in 2013 that referenced this struggle, among other things.
may buy a tool-kit and know how to use it
may change the washer, adjust the stopcock
swap the ball bearings
fix the leaky spigot with a spanner.
A woman may suggest to Nature
that for the next millennia
men become pregnant
a facetious fractious suggestion;
the woman knows her pleas
are just venting, as ineffectual
as hammering water.
A woman may not drive in Saudi Arabia
may not bike unless in a ladies’ only park
may not be seen in public without a male protector.
A woman must also be fertile
dribbling out male heirs;
she may spout songs in private
and dance in full Dior, smeared with make up
for her mirror and other ladies to see.
A village panchayat in Punjab declares
that mobile phones given to girls
leads them to pre-marital sex;
boys can have cell phones and call for help
when they’re in trouble, but females,
young things, must take it on the chin,
remaining on the drip-drip of advancement.
A woman there thinks: what if instead of aborting
female foetuses, the nozzle was turned off
as if by a spell, a sorcery; no babies were born
to the women of this village, then the new elders
all men, would die out without replacement
and further afield too the taps would be fixed just so
by the women who knew how.
(After ‘Woman’ by Arun Kolatkar)
First published: ‘Feminist Times’ | November 2013
Get Your Free Download This Weekend: September 16 and 17.
(available in the UK, US, India, and worldwide)
The Whole Kahani’s anthology was published one year ago in June 2016.
Love Across A Broken Map has had great reviews, some of them wonderfully detailed, and the ‘The Whole Kahani’ collective has been invited to read and hold workshops at several literary festivals.
To celebrate one year of success, Dahlia Publishing has now released an eBook edition.
If you haven’t yet read this “engaging volume that eschews stereotypical stories about the experience of the South Asian diaspora in Britain”* then now is the time to download it.
Love Across A Broken Map is available for free downloads this month:
on September 16 and 17, 2017.
Write to me with your comments on the book, it’s always good to hear your views.
More on The Whole Kahani here: http://www.thewholekahani.com/
Reviews of the anthology:
The Short Story
Byte The Book
The Book Review India
Read a Group Interview with members of The Whole Kahani at:
*from James Holden’s review in The Short Story
White Water Falls © Richard Long. Photo: Rajat Jindal
With heart as calm as lake that sleeps – a collaboration with Caroline AreskogJones
Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham, once the ‘country’ villa of the artist JMW Turner is being restored and will open again to the public later this year.
Caroline AreskogJones made two beautiful subtle silent films as portraits of Sandycombe Lodge prior to the refurbishment process.
The first, With heart as calm as lake that sleeps, includes a script written by me.
The second film is ‘diagram of a geometrical perspective on memory: after Turner’
More details about the progress at Sandycombe Lodge: http://www.turnerintwickenham.org.uk/
See more work by Caroline AreskogJones: https://www.carolineareskogjones.com/
An Exhibition of Paintings by Paul Wuensche and
Poems by Kavita A Jindal
The Old Sorting Office Arts Centre (OSO), 49 Station Road, Barnes, LONDON SW13 0SF
Exhibition runs 28th September – 26th October
Final Week | Private View, Reading & Closing Party
Wednesday 19 October 2016 | 6.30pm – 9:00pm
OSO Arts Centre, 49 Station Road, Barnes, London SW13 0SF
Poetry reading at 7:00pm.
Launch evening was on Wednesday 28th September 6.30 – 9:00pm with Poetry reading at 7:00pm
I am delighted that this collaboration with the artist Paul Wuensche has come to fruition. The exhibition features poems that were inspired by the sights and sounds in my garden and observations made on my walks along the Thames towpath.
At the launch evening I gave a short reading of some of my poems on this theme. The exhibition space allows for only a few poems to be displayed, to complement the paintings.
Since last year Paul has been observing and painting the ordinary streets of Barnes from his car (converted into a mobile art studio), resulting in a collection of bijoux paintings, that celebrate the trees, the houses, the cars, and even the phone boxes of Barnes throughout the seasons.
You can preview some of the work here: http://paulwuensche.com/the-streets-of-barnes/.
We’ve produced a little pamphlet as a memento of the project. It also served as the exhibition programme at events. It was so popular that copies of the booklet are stocked in the Barnes Bookshop.