‘Meghalaya youth not afraid to be vulnerable’: An open mic event and a lesson for life!


By SHWETA RAJ KANWAR | September 06, 2018

A fine rainy Saturday afternoon saw the confluence of Shillong youth from all walks of life: budding poets to young professionals, singers and stand up comedians letting out their emotions and letting the world know that art and talent is still appreciated in a world that has no time to stand and stare, leave alone appreciate.

Shillong witnessed an open mic event on September 1, 2018 at Hashtag Cafe organized with an aim to give a platform to young, budding and talented youth specially writers. Founded on March 25th this year, The Unheard Voices (TUV) was founded by Mohammad Arshan and Adil Raza. TUV is active in kolkata , orissa, Meghalaya, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and more than 10 cities and 5 states all across India.This was TUV's first ever competitive open mike season in Northeast India.

The Open Mic event in Shillong was the 13th season and saw the participation of 13 young people from all over Meghalaya. The audience amounted to more than 30 people.

Sumona Majumdar emerged as the best performer among all 13 participants while each participant were also given a token of appreciation in the form of a certificate.

The other participants in the event were Garneth Camelia Rynjah, Veralana V. Synkong, Rapborlang Lamin, Chongneivah Lunkim, Kamesh Gareri, Shubham Singh, Wandarisa Kharkongor, Shweta Raj Kanwar, Jayanta Chanda, Roxanne Khongri & Eusaka Kharbyteng, Veronica Lalrempui and Trevor Garry Lyngdoh.

No sooner did the event ended, appreciation came in from all who went on to discuss how they were able to conquer their stage fear, talk to new people and even make new friends.

Trevor, one of the participants at the event said, "This was one of the best experiences of my life. I've never ever done a stand-up comedy before but I always had an immense interest of doing a stand up. There has never before been a platform for stand up comedy in Shillong. TUV provided me this platform and I've fulfilled my dream. I'm deeply indebted to them for that. I thank the organisers (Shraddha and Afreen) who were very kind and friendly. I highly applaud them for hosting this event. I encourage them to host more events to attract the Youth in the future. It was indeed a wonderful experience, a good one to cherish".

Another participant, Garneth Camelia Rynjah expressed her gratefulness by stating, "Today was my first ever live performance and I do not regret taking the chance. The crowd was very welcoming and patient. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was such a beautiful experience and I'm so grateful for this opportunity."

The best part about the event was that that there were some who had never ever recited their poetry before or never even made a public appearance and this was the only time they did so.

Keeping one's emotions before the public through various forms of art definitely requires audacity and these young people proved that vulnerability is nothing to be insecure about and that respecting each other's emotions while appreciating them is something that sets them apart.

The writer can be reached at shwetarajkanwar@gmail.com & shweta@thenortheasttoday.com