Chandigarh: Some hail from as far as the US and Australia, though most are from Punjab, but love for Punjabi poetry brought 13 budding poets together on social networking site Orkut and they have now come out with a book.
These young men and women, hailing from diverse professions, met on Orkut and have released their collection of Punjabi poems "Kose Chaanan" (Warm Enlightenment), meeting for the first time at the book launch in Ludhiana.
Released in October by prominent Punjabi poet Surjit Patar, the book has evoked strong interest amongst the diaspora, setting off a keen desire to revive Punjabi poetry.
The Chandigarh-based publisher, Unistar, told IANS that the book was set for re-print as there were some orders from the US.
What began as an informal chat among like-minded Punjabis who wrote poetry has now developed into a strong community on Orkut - with nearly 4,000 members.
"We came in contact through the Orkut community, 'Punjabi Poetry'," says Parminder Singh who works as an administrator at a BPO office in Mohali. "It was at the book release that we met each other for the first time," he says.
The poems deal with a variety of topics ranging from romance to social issues.
"The community floated by a Ludhiana-based software development engineer, Amrinder Singh, attracted young budding Punjabi poets from all over the world and a few of us started exchanging our works," added Parminder explaining the features of the community.
According to Amrinder, who set up the poetry community in June 2006 with the aim of keeping Punjabi poetry alive, a few members soon suggested that the works could be published.
"It was then that I posted a message on the community, seeking poets who wanted to have their work published."
The serious ones, according to Amrinder, soon started submitting their poems on the community forum and members kept posting their reviews. The editing was also done by members of Orkut's Punjabi Poetry community that has a whopping strength of 3,978 members today.
Soon a team comprising six women poets and seven men emerged, each contributing five poems varying from blank verse to songs to ghazals.
According to Amrinder, while nine poets hail from different parts of Punjab, others were from the US, Spain and Australia. The meeting of these poets on the Orkut forum may have virtually started a revival of Punjabi poetry.
Twelve out of the 13 poets who have contributed to the book are in their 20s. Only one woman poet is aged 42 years.
The book cover acknowledges 'Orkut' by displaying the name prominently.