Inter-School Art and Poetry Competition – ‘Art Poetica’

“Consciousness is a vast ocean of time, space and eternity: It is also a tiny island caged in my individual entity.”

Dr. P.N. Kirpal

The Annual Dr. Prem Kirpal Memorial Inter-School Art and Poetry Competition – ‘Art Poetica’ was hosted by Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram on 23 November 2019, in loving memory of the former Chairman of the DPS Society, Dr. P.N. Kirpal. 

The Chief Guest for the day was Mr. V.K. Shunglu, Chairman of the DPS Society and DPS R.K. Puram Managing Committee. Honorable Justice B.N. Kirpal, Member of the DPS Society and former Chief Justice of India, was the Guest of Honour, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Aruna Kirpal. Other honourable dignitaries who graced the event included Admiral M. M. Chopra, Dr. K.B. Shankar, Dr. Sudeepta Ghose, Dr. Usha Luthra, Mr. Promod Grover, Prof. B. P. Khandelwal, Dr. Ms. Kiran Datar, Ms. Vrinda Sarup, Dr. D. R. Saini and Mrs. Khader.

The Principal, Ms. Vanita Sehgal, the Heads of the English and Art Departments, Dr. Atika Dayal and Mr. Amit Rajput welcomed the guests.A total of 29 schools participated in six competitive events, exhibiting unparalleled creativity and a fervent love of literature and art. The events were as follows:

Blend Art was a magnificent mosaic of poetry, drama, and art. Here, participants from classes XI-XII recited, dramatised, and painted the essence of a poem on a social issue or theme. This event  was judged by: Ms. Nin Taneja, a passionate and accomplished artist, who has worked for the conservation of sparrows with the Nature Forever Society; Ms. Nupur Kundu, who received the Junior Fellowship at the Ministry of Culture and the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award; Dr. Pramod Kumar Gupta, Registrar of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade; Ms. Sakshi Juyal, a contemporary, jazz, and kathak dancer who has performed at various international shows; Dr. Sangya Gupta, who has held reputable posts at various institutions including the Vision IIT Training Institute, Allahabad and Mr. Sanjay Sharma, manager of the Dance Studio ‘Studio Popcorn’ in Jaipur.

Inverse Rhapsody involved the recitation of lines from a poem by students from classes VI-VIII, expressing the dominant as well as opposing emotions in contrasting tones, with colourful shades of drama. A pair of participants from each  school passionately portrayed numerous rhymes derived from children’s stories. The judges for the event were: Ms. Anisha Bhandari, a Literature graduate and a manager of Story Bees; Ms. Saroj Chawla, assigned the position of English Lecturer by the Delhi administration; Mr. Aakshat Sinha, organiser of the ‘Identity Art Marathon’ which included more than 40 multi-disciplinary art events. 

Lime-in-Rhyme gave amateur poets a remarkable opportunity to create limericks based on verbal inputs within a time limit, followed by an on-stage recitation. Participants of classes VI-VIII  competed with great vigor to showcase their exuberant poetic skills. The event was judged by: Ms. Ishani Nakra, the Marketing and Relations Manager at Planet Education; Ms. Gayatri Luthra, a mentor of a group of young children who run the SOS (Save Our Society); Ms. Manisha Gupta, the current MD of LOGIHQ Training and Publishing. 

Lyrical Canvas had participants capturing the dominant emotion of specific lines from a poem, and conveying its meaning and underlying metaphors through a caricature. They symbolised the comedic verses with great artistic insight. Students  were divided into two categories: classes VI-VIII and IX-XII. The judges for the event were: Ms. Safia Zahid, the Assistant Creative Manager at Business Today Magazine; Dr. T. Sangameshwar Rao who is currently training students in Film-making and TV Production, and had a solo exhibition in South Carolina and Mr. Pankaj Guru, who was awarded the French Government Scholarship in Arts, and organised the Russian Cultural Exchange ‘Fire Flower’ in 2018.

RuneAssay was an on-stage poetry discussion for students of Classes IX-XII from comprising two rounds. The first round tested the participants’ appreciation of the  poem ‘Where the Mind is without Fear’ by Rabindranath Tagore provided to them beforehand. The second round encouraged the students to critically evaluate the  poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost on the spot on the basis of autobiographical overtones, title justification, use of poetic devices, rhyme scheme, etc. in 30 minutes. There was an emphasis on philosophical and analytical discussions about the theme, style, and relevance to present times and narrative voice. The event was judged by: Ms. Anavisha Banerjee, the Treasurer of the Shakespeare Society of India, who has published articles in various books; Ms. Garima Sehgal, currently a freelance trainer and counsellor, who has imparted soft-skills training at the Police Training Academy, Delhi; Mr. Kumar Sandeep, a Director, Co-Founder, Speaker and Trainer at Corporate Connect India and Dr. Manish Sharma, currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Dayal Singh College, who has published several books.

Stage-A-Verse challenged students from classes IX to XII to write a script in verse on the basis of a visual prompt, consequently enacting it. Participants  performed eloquent rhythmic compositions riddled with humour and poetic finesse to explore the themes of empathy and environmental conservation. The judges for the event were: Prof. Ramola Kumar, a proficient poet and academician, as well as the Dean in the Delhi School of Communication; Ms. Shree Lahiri, a Consulting Editor at New Global India and an Assistant Editor at exchange 4 media and Ms. Shubhagata Kumar, the Additional Director General, Directorate of Systems, Indian Revenue Service.

The Closing Ceremony was initiated with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp and the felicitation of the guests. 

The Principal began her address with a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci, “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, but  poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” She talked about how art is not what one makes, but how others perceive it; it inspires, educates and encourages one to think out of the box. She spoke apropos the philosophical and symbolic themes of popular poems such as ‘Where The Mind is Without Fear’ by Rabindranath Tagore and ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. She talked about the mysterious aura that envelopes art, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ and Van Gogh’s ‘Café Terrace at Night’, and the diverse interpretations such works embody for different people. Quoting Pablo Picasso, she said that, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up.” She concluded her speech by urging the students not to lose or give up their talent, but to employ it the right way. 

The Cultural Programme commenced with a mellifluous song by the school choir about believing in hope and light even when darkness prevails. The Expressions Theatre Club prepared an enlightening play on Mahatma Gandhi in honour of his 150th birth anniversary. The spectacular performance highlighted the struggle of a young boy discovering the truth within himself, and the need for today’s generation to assimilate Mahatma Gandhi’s message of truth, peace, unity and non-violence. 

The Chairman, Mr. V.K. Shunglu, addressed the gathering  by expressing his appreciation for original plays written by the students and staff themselves, which place importance on creation rather than imitation. He coined this as a transformational change that emphasises on creative writing as a skill that must be imbibed in children irrespective of language barriers. He underlined the significance of art and poetry, and encouraged all educational institutions to teach the art of creative writing.

He, along with Dr. B.N. Kripal, released the Literary Club’s annual magazine, The Bubbling Cauldron. 

The Award Ceremony was conducted by Ms. Abha Chona. The winners of the events are as follows:

Blend ArtFirstSpringdales School, Dhaula Kuan
First Runner’s UpVenkateshwar International School, Dwarka
Second Runner’s UpSomerville School, Dhaula Kuan
Inverse RhapsodyFirstSpringdales School, Dhaula Kuan
First Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Rohini
Second Runner’s UpVenkateshwar International School, Dwarka
Lime-in-RhymeFirstTagore International School, East of Kailash
First Runner’s UpThe Mother’s International School, Kalu Sarai
Second Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Indirapuram
Lyrical Canvas (Category 1)FirstTagore International School, East Of Kailash
First Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Vasant Kunj
Second Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Bulandshahr
Lyrical Canvas  (Category 2)FirstDelhi Public School, Dwarka
First Runner’s UpTagore International School, East Of Kailash
Second Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Indirapuram
Rune AssayFirstTagore International School, Vasant Vihar
First Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Noida
Second Runner’s UpThe Mother’s International School, Kalu Sarai
Stage-A-VerseFirstDelhi Public School, Noida
First Runner’s UpDelhi Public School, Indirapuram
Second Runner’s UpThe Mother’s International School, Kalu Sarai

The Overall Prize was bagged by  Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan

The Vote of Thanks was delivered by the Head of the English Department, Dr. Atika Dayal. She thanked the dignitaries for gracing this occasion and the participating schools for their enthusiastic contribution to ‘Art Poetica’. 
The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem.