The Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI) organised a two-day fest titled ‘Lexicon 2023’. With the opening of the gates of Lexicon 2023, the barrage of creativity and art in its truest form came to the surface. The fest was inaugurated through the profound words of the Head of the Department of English, followed by JMI Vice Chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar (Padma Shri), Mr. Jeet Thayil and the ELA Advisor.
Jeet Thayil, in the inaugural, mesmerised the audience with a collection of his poetry.
On Day 1, the following events took place: Panel Discussion on ‘The Nostalgia of Barbed Wires’, Slam Poetry Competition, Street Play Competition and a band performance by Gargi’s choir group, Euphony.
In the panel discussion, Mr. Sarabjeet Garcha commenced the discussion by linking the experience of ‘barbed wires’ with the concept of religion and death. Next, Mr. Subhro Bandopadhyay brought in the theme of the fest ‘hiraeth’ in his speech and charmed the audience with his humour. To quote a panellist, Mr. Sango Bidani, ‘it is a sense of nostalgia for a root which is never fulfilled and cannot be fulfilled’. Ms. Madhulika Liddle brought in an entirely new perspective on ‘barbed wires’: for the wires to symbolise privacy more than exclusivity. The discussion was moderated successfully by
Prof. Anuradha Ghosh. The host Shivangi Sarkar concluded the discussion by reiterating the recurring subject of ‘not having a home to be nostalgic for’.
After a short break following the discussion, Slam Poetry Competition began, which oversaw the participation of over thirty students from various universities across New Delhi. The event began with the introduction of the judges for the event, Dr. Saba Mahmood Bashir (Faculty, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia) and Dr. Akhil Katyal (Ambedkar University Delhi) and concluded with the announcement of the winners. The first prize was awarded to Qaiser Nabi Baba (MA Sem 4 Department of Economics JMI), the second to Kariha Javaid (BA Programme, Gargi College) and the third position was shared by Anusha Salam (Department of English, Sem 2, JMI) and Anahita (Gargi College, DU). Special mentions to Primughda (DU), Farzan Ghani (JMI), Sadaf Sulayeman (JMI) and Rayan Chakrabarti (St Stephens, DU).
The Nukkad Natak or the Street play started off soon after. In total, six colleges participated on the first day, namely SGND Khalsa (DU), IIT Delhi, Kamala Nehru College (DU), PGDAV(M) (DU), Motilal Nehru College (DU), and Bhagwan Parshuram Institute of Technology (BPIT) Delhi (according to the sequence of performance). From cautioning the audience and the Judges of the evils of generational abuse by the women of Kamala Nehru College to believing that healthcare, too, is a noble pursuit and must not be harshly judged, by IIT, Delhi. Moreover, Avaran, the dramatics society of BPIT created impactful imagery for the audience where they talk about the different issues an orphaned child faces. The competition was adjudicated by Madiha Musarrat and Shariq Aziz. The performances were so alive and energetic that no one could help but connect to them.
However, Brecht’s famous invention of the alienation effect was chosen to jolt the audience out of anything serious or triggering. The songs and music of every team were so aptly chosen and heavy with important messages that it left the audience baffled, clapping and whistling with awe. The first day of the Nukkad Natak, safe to say, was asuccess!
The day ended with a vibrant and engaging performance by Euphony, the choir group of Gargi College, Delhi University.
On day 2, the fest began with the screening of the documentary ‘Ruuposh’, which was accompanied by a panel of Prof. Shohini Ghosh, Mohd. Fehmeed and Zeeshan Amir Khan. The panellists elaborated on the process of the making of the documentary. With a fulfilling session of Q&A from the audience, the screening was an enriching experience.
Moving further, the next event of the day was a talk on ‘Galvanising Graphic Literature’, wherein the panel consisted of Dr. Sakshi Wason, Siddhesh Gautam and Vishwajyoti Ghosh. They explored the ins and outs of the creation and consumption of Graphic Literature with Amber as the student moderator. The place of comics in academic circles was discussed and with active participation from the audience the event was an engaging one.
Following the aforementioned was a series of evoking performances in the Open Mic Competition which was judged by Sanjana Chawla and Syed Ali Haider. The event brought in the largest competitive crowd among all the events, and was managed by the host Syed Taqui Haider. The hour-long event had participants performing poetry, song and dance. The first position was acquired by Parvez and Sahil for their instrumental performance. Syed Ali Naqvi stood second for his poetry and the third prize was bagged by Karia Javed. Several others received special mention for their mesmerising performances.
Consecutively, the Nukkad Natak continued with the rest of the participating teams giving their enrapturing performances.
The fest came to a close with the Valedictory Ceremony with Mr. Manu Joseph as the Chief Guest. The ceremony was also graced by the presence of Dr. Simi Malhotra and Dr. Shuby Abidi. The winners of the events of the two-day fest were felicitated and the day was concluded with musical performance and dance performances.
Overall, the event was a successful one with students and faculty from not just the university but all around Delhi attending in huge numbers. Additionally, the stalls set up by students and small businesses were an added charm to the two-day fest, Lexicon 2023.