Logo & Illustrations for Pune Poetry Slam, 2014

The “Pune Poetry Slam” move­ment offi­cial­ly began at November of 2013, when a group of school stu­dents — inspired by west­ern poets like Phil Kaye, Sarah Kay and Anis Mojgani — decid­ed to start their own small slam ses­sions in the city. Ever since then, the Spoken Word cul­ture of Pune explod­ed city-wide, invit­ing poets of many ori­gins and pro­fes­sions, from dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try.

I decid­ed to illus­trate some of these most reg­u­lar and amaz­ing poets of the year ’14 as a means to cel­e­brate their art.

I also designed their logo as you see in the back­ground and Facebook page.

PPS auditoriumCover / Scene made in Blender. Logo made in Inkscape.


ManasiManasi Nene is cre­at­ed the PPS move­ment at the age 17. Her poet­ry is like a shot of vod­ka — take it as a shot and it makes you high, but go slow and it slow­ly eas­es you into the zone she demands you to be pulled in. Her writ­ing is bril­liant, her rhythm is addic­tive, and they make for the per­fect encore. A lot of her poet­ry is Social Justice dri­ven, although now she has also expand­ed into fur­ther, some­what inspi­ra­tional and spir­i­tu­al side of the art.

Recommended Poetry — Half My Love Poems


Mayank Susngi calls him­self a “Traveller”, and right­ful­ly so: As a pho­tog­ra­ph­er and film-mak­er he loves cap­tur­ing the essence of the places he vis­its in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try. He tru­ly “expe­ri­ences” life in its var­i­ous hues, in ways most of us could only “know” about intel­lec­tu­al­ly but nev­er “under­stand” first-hand in ways he does. His jour­neys, deter­mi­na­tion and vision is reward­ed in the devel­op­ment of his vast human­i­ty and spir­it, that unrav­el into mas­ter­ful­ly craft­ed poet­ry and pho­tog­ra­phy that he hap­pi­ly shares with who­ev­er shows inter­est in them. His poet­ry tru­ly is a sin­gle dew-drop in which the world is reflect­ed.

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PriyamPriyam Redican is no stranger to words, whether in their blunt use or the sub­tle­ty of their mean­ing. She is capa­ble of reach­ing into the con­tem­po­rary sens­es that poet­ry needs today. This was proven when she was fea­tured by many lead­ing media and news out­lets, such as Scoopwhoop and NDTV.

Recommended PoetryThe Tiranga (in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Being Indian)


Chandrakant Redican is a social­ly empa­thet­ic sci­en­tist and writer, teach­ing chil­dren in vil­lages and vol­un­teer­ing in envi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion. As a poet, he thun­ders on stage in rap­port his audience’s applause. Most of his works are con­tem­po­rary in nature, and some go beyond that to tru­ly become a seri­ous expe­ri­ence of his thoughts and feel­ings — which is impor­tant in his works, con­sid­er­ing he finds him­self deeply root­ed in the local cul­tures.

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Shantanu Anand, while most­ly head­ing their own Airplane Poetry Movement with Nandini Varma, has been an imper­a­tive force in help­ing PPS expand. Along with his fer­vor for find­ing the best untold sto­ries in the city and help­ing give them a plat­form, he is a poet devot­ed to the art of Performance Poetry, and loves to break tra­di­tions and taboos to allow main­stream accep­tance of this emerg­ing art­form. His poems are straight­for­ward, sim­ple and sin­cere, allow­ing the art to be as palat­able as any pop-media.

Recommended PoetryPoetry Lives

NandiniNandini Varma isn’t just a poet. She’s a time bomb. Gentle voice packed with pow­er­ful com­po­si­tion, she fire-crack­les so vibrant­ly and so clear­ly to remind you that if you don’t think this valu­able moment is real then you’re prob­a­bly not pay­ing atten­tion, and if you’re not pay­ing atten­tion then you’re not going to know what you’ve just missed. From ship­wrecked hearts to the anguish of a bul­ly, she makes each sce­nario — every sto­ry — sacred for hav­ing “been”.

She was one of the first to help Manasi expand the PPS move­ment, and co-found­ed the Airplane Poetry Movement along­side Shantanu Anand, a Spoken Word art move­ment ded­i­cat­ed to reach as many regions of the coun­try as pos­si­ble. She also holds many projects under her belt, like Project Roobaroo, to hold com­mu­ni­ca­tion and arts events between peo­ple of India and Pakistan.

Recommended PoetryWish I Could Talk To My 12 Year Old Self


KCKc Vlaine is Pune’s most con­sis­tent per­for­mance poet. Sometimes he com­i­cal­ly points out how absurd it is to dis­crim­i­nate against homo­sex­u­als. Sometimes he has a con­ver­sa­tion with his butt about the issue of body image. When he’s not slam­ming, Kc works as a sound design­er at Rolling Stache stu­dios. In this world where everyone’s doing all they can to get that lit­tle bit of phys­i­cal inti­ma­cy, Kc asks for anoth­er kind of inti­ma­cy — the inti­ma­cy that one can only get by bar­ing one’s soul to anoth­er per­son, and he does it beau­ti­ful­ly.

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ApurvApurv Inamdar is pas­sion­ate film­mak­er and film con­nois­seur, also with keen inter­ests in Astronomy. The sto­ries that peo­ple hide in their poet­ic lives inspire him to do what he loves: retelling them to the world in his cin­e­mat­ic zest. His mis­chie­vous decep­tions, a tint of inno­cence, words that shoot straight­for­ward like an arrow, and the com­pas­sion­ate winds that rise in its wake, have become hall­marks of both his poet­ry and per­sona. Sometimes he loves to exper­i­ment with con­cepts for their own sake, like nar­rat­ing a sto­ry from the eyes of a necrophil­i­ac (because an artis­tic imag­i­na­tion has no bounds, yo), and often emblem­at­ic of the sil­ly, com­i­cal and whim­si­cal, as well as the somber, seri­ous and falling-into-rever­ies. Like a Christopher Nolan film.

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AashnaAashna Iyer takes full advan­tage of telling sto­ries and her obser­va­tions of lit­tle things in life that usu­al­ly go unno­ticed, but when tak­en into a dif­fer­ent con­text stand out with their depth in rela­tion to our every­day lives. That, I believe, is the hall­mark of her imag­i­na­tion. She can project the kinds of feel­ings in their full clar­i­ty onto things we nor­mal­ly take for grant­ed, and helps clear the lens­es we see from, with sub­tle and sim­ple but pow­er­ful­ly strung lines. Her poet­ry is almost always endear­ing and humor­ous, and some­times so per­son­al it comes a lot clos­er to home than one would imag­ine.

Recommended Poetry My Life Is A Box

SrijanSrijan Dubey, a quin­tes­sen­tial Liberal and an engi­neer­ing stu­dent, has swift­ly emerged as a strong voice of both rea­son and com­pas­sion in the poet­ry scene of Pune. He per­son­al­ly prefers to remain with­out hav­ing to stick to labels, and wants to see things as they are, open con­ver­sa­tions for their poten­tial and appre­ci­ate bril­liance for its mer­its. Most of his poems are high­ly pro-social, with a tang of inno­cence in them, and while his poems are most­ly inspired by per­son­al expe­ri­ences, his writ­ing allows us to imag­ine hav­ing been in his shoes — and most of us have. He demon­strates the dark­est hours we’ve all been through, and slow­ly reveals the hid­den strength we’ve all had all along even though it’s been hard to find.

Recommended PoetryBlue

SovitSovit Subedi may not be from India, but he has been part of the Pune Poetry Slam scene since the incep­tion. He looks up to Rives, a Spoken Word poet, as his role-mod­el, which explains how utopi­an, per­son­al and cre­ative his poet­ry can be. Sometimes he pro­cras­ti­nates on his stud­ies by writ­ing a poem on Procrastination, and some­times he cre­ates blue­prints for imag­i­nary towns where hov­er­boards are a pri­ma­ry means of com­mut­ing. The most com­mon thing about major­i­ty of his poems is that they all pro­vide a very eccen­tric, but not too far from real­i­ty, mes­sages of hopes and dreams. He encour­ages his audi­ences to break away from con­ven­tion­al ways of think­ing, and shows them how some things that seem impos­si­ble may in fact be things that are with­in reach from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. Sometimes he breaks away from these themes too, just to bask in the every­day goings of the world, look­ing deep into the lives of peo­ple we sel­dom think about.

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