HYDERABAD:The dais at Gallery Cafe, Banjara Hills, looked unusual on Wednesday evening. The audience held balloons and paper balls in hands. When they felt entertained, they hurled the former at the speaker on the dais. Luckily, the ever-sensitive Hyderabadi audience did not feel the need to use paper ball, which was to express their disapproval. So it all ended with blue and white balloons landing on the floor. This innovative experiment was titled the Spoken Word Challenge. The event featured 15 poets (some from the city poetry group K Se Kavitha), song lovers and other free speakers expressing themselves in Hindi, Urdu, Dakhani, and English.
Vijay Marur, CEO at Heartworks and India Public Relations and Communications, organised the Spoken Word Challenge at the coffee shop with an art gallery. The concept is inspired from ‘SoapBox’ Oratory, a raised platform on which one stands to make an extemporaneous speech about a certain subject which usually happens in London where people had to throw tomatoes for like and eggs for dislike. Marur, the mastermind of the Spoken Word Challenge, tweaked the game to give it a new spin. He authorised the stage to be open to everyone to say anything they desired, even if they did not write the piece. The panel of judges comprised emcees and anchors Deepika Mahidhara, Shilpa Nainani and Little Theatre member Burra S Prakash.
The one stole the limelight was the six-year-old Sasha, the youngest in the house, was showered with balloons. She recited AA Milne’s poem “Now We are six”. Vijay Marur informed that they will a live performance by two bands including Blue Soul, a pop band and an upcoming one next Wednesday, April 11, as Gallery Cafe celebrates its third anniversary.