Today’s generation is becoming as materialistic as we can. I feel commercialization has extracted the beauty that exists in minimalism by leading to mass production and looking at the world in terms of numbers. People have stopped communicating with each other and they are getting lost in their lives. We speak, but there is no art in our language and we use clichés and recycled lines to communicate. This recycling is again a part of the materialistic world that many people try to overcome. We all try to make our lives more vibrant and add more meaning to it through the process of “finding art” in our lives.
Poetry is one such art form that inspires change. Young India is using poetry as an expression to create a beautiful rainbow which is inclusive and accepting. Leading this movement is a young writer, Chhaya Dabas, who has made a significant attempt to add such art to our lives and explore it herself. “Art to me means the ability to change through so little yet so much at the same time. One stroke can tell you about Picasso, one song could introduce you to Whitney, one word could make you fall in love with Rumi and one mudra can make you a muse. Art is a language, a culture, a movement in itself. It is nurturing and accepting and so personal yet so common at once.”
Chhaya has founded a blog platform named ‘Baatein’ that helps to decipher poetry and convert it into regular conversations. She attempts to create more conversations and add a little art to our daily chats that we indulge in. She was keen to start a regular blog, but WordPress seemed too clichéd as a platform, so she chose to use Instagram. Slowly, the poetry community grew and she had crossed international boundaries as she began receiving entries across the globe. “I plan to venture into YouTube videos, publish a bi-weekly magazine and open a store”, she commented.
She stresses on the importance of poetry as she says “Poetry is an expression supposed to narrate those feelings or secrets that common dialects can’t. It is supposed to show you something that your ordinary life and vision is missing. It is supposed to open up doors, your mind and your heart to new ways of life. A conditioning that teaches you to defy this translates into the way you see poetry and art in general. You see it as a rebellion, vigilantism, audacity and atrocity”.
Chhaya recently graduated in political science from Indraprastha College for Women in Delhi University and has made a conscious decision to take a gap year to build Baatein. She is currently working on an anthology of poems and a novel focused on her battle against cancer. Various media outlets such as ANI India, Her Saga, BBC have interviewed her. She always aims to make each day more productive than the last since she believes that “It is a small world, all we need to do is tilt our heads a little and find the magic again.”
Chhaya Dabas is now a speaker and a mentor at various events since she has achieved a lot in her youth and she connects with them easily. She has attended conferences like the ICan Conference, The Under25 Summit, Global Entreprenuership Week, Indian Youth Festival, etc. Such conferences provide the youth a platform to interact with each other and create connections. She has been to the ICan conference thrice and she was there this year too in January 2017. She mentors youth and motivates them to come up with unique ideas like ‘Baatein’. “There are many people who imitate and try to copy art but art is about being true to yourself. It is about looking into the mirror and feeling proud that you have achieved something unique”, she comments.
The world requires more creative ideas to enable a change. Chhaya’s unique idea challenges the thought that revolution can only occur when we pick guns, bombs and go to war. Revolution lies in our thinking and it can be influenced by art. Chhaya’s creation of Baatein is one such positive platform that enables youth to use poetry to spread love in this world filled with materialism.