So, it is a rip off CoHo’s debut novel title. So was the title of my very first poem: Of Human Bondage (And sweat Glands).
I have had a lot of firsts at Meta this year. My first FanFiction. My first Tweeting competition (didn’t even know that it was a thing). My first Children’s Fiction. My first Book Cover designing (though I had plenty of help).
And my first poetry slam performance. Of course, I didn’t win—it’d be a miracle if that happened—but I gained enough confidence to continue doing it for as long as I can and will never miss an opportunity anywhere else.
I found out the theme on Monday, 15th February, when I was busy writing my children’s short fiction. I had second thoughts about entering it because I had no prior experience of performing and poetry was something that I was only just discovering. One of the main reasons was that I wanted to know how it would feel to perform poem, like in the book Slammed (which is a MUST READ, guys. It’s Colleen Hoover). I was really inspired by the poetry and when I looked it up online, I found some of the most amazing performances, ever.
So of course, I wanted to try it. And Meta gave me an opportunity to do so.
The theme was Sweating. I have a hunch as to who would’ve come up with such a bizarre topic.
I was in a zoology class when I thought of competing. I wrote the first draft for Of Human Bondage (and sweat glands) in about half an hour and developed on it. I was happy with it. I liked where I took it and got more confidence to perform it as I finished writing my final draft. I told my closest friends and they all agreed to be my initial audience and help me perform well.
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m terrible at memorizing stuff. Even though I wrote that, I missed in several places while practicing. I didn’t want to hold paper in front of me because I knew that by experience that I would still fumble and make more mess out of myself, trying to look at the paper.
Poetry Slam was initially scheduled on 17th February, Wednesday. When I went to register, I learnt that it was postponed to…maybe Saturday. Now, Saturday was a bad day because Japan Habba was on Sunday and since I was volunteering, I had to be there the whole weekend. When I heard that, I thought, “Ayyo! There goes my chance of my first performance!”
I caught this really sweet lecturer and asked her if it was really going to be on Saturday and told her that I really wanted to perform and I couldn’t if it was on Saturday. She asked me to go and talk to another professor and he told me to wait till the next day until things were confirmed. And I was so excited when it was scheduled for Friday!
So on Friday (today), I memorized the whole thing during class and after lunch, met with two girls in another class who really helped me bring out my emotions. I owe them so much :’)
The time finally came and I was shaking all over. I ate a plate of Pani Puri to calm my nerves but even that didn’t help.
The only thing that made me more nervous? The whole of my English class were there, as part of a classroom assignment. I sat at the back and tried not to draw any attention.
When my name was called, I got hoots from a lot of people. They were a really encouraging audience. They laughed at the proper moments and patiently waited and forgave me when I fumbled and got lost a little.
I will definitely do this more often. I loved being up there, even though my heart beat erratically and unnecessarily. It would help me build my confidence (not that I require it; just for public speaking) and I would learn a form of art.
I’ll put up the poem a little later this month!