Amidst a gathering of people from various creative fields Chirag Bangdel’s chapbook of poems Fermenting Flowers was launched by renowned poet Manjul at The World Bank Public Information Center on May 6.
The programme started with the chief guest ‘Manjul dai’ (as the emcee of the evening Bidhata Rai acknowledged him) lighting the panos. Bangdel then recited some of his poems, which are close to his heart but not included in the book. This was followed by readings of some of the poems in his chapbook.
Talking about the book, Bangdel elaborated on how it came into being. It was at an exhibition at NAFA when Bangdel chatting with Manjul and Laya Mainali, when the latter two decided to pull Bangel to their respective fields, one to literature the other to art. “Manjul dai told me that if I didn’t publish my poems then he would put a curse on me and so I had to come out with a book,” said Bangdel.
The poems were well received at The International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia in which Bangdel took part in 2007.
Mostly short, the poems were also well received by the audience present and it was Manjul dai’s appreciation as he clapped and nodded his approval with the lines when Bangdel read that made the programme livelier. And there were even Manjul’s favourites which he requested Bangdel to read out. Smiling and thoughtfully listening to the poems were special guests Mukesh Malla and Jan Salter.
Malla, an art critic, commented on Bangdel’s works saying, “I was very much touched by the poem Papa that Bangdel just read.” He added he didn’t have words to comment on it.
Elaborating on Bangdel’s works both as an artist and poet he said, “Chirag is one of those artists who doesn’t work spontaneously, he keeps things inside himself and then creates after much thought.”
Besides the book’s launch, Chirags’ eleventh solo exhibition ‘Tattva, Series Four’ which includes multimedia and collage art was opened. Abstract work mostly on Buddha’s eyes, prayer flags in a deep red bac-kground form the exhibition which is on till May 25. — HNS