The Air University Writers’ Club, keeping ancient traditions alive in modern form, organized and hosted “Metanoia” on 23rd December 2019, a poetry recital where the young poets from the university came together to tell their stories in self-composed poetic verse. The word itself is Grecian and signifies a positive psychological change. It is the process of experiencing a breakdown, being at the lowest of your lows or scraping rock-bottom and then liberating yourself through the subsequent positive psychological rebuilding and healing.
The venue for the occasion, the Air University Main Auditorium, was decorated bewitchingly. The lights of the entire hall were dimmed, and a single spotlight was shining on a cushioned chair on the stage. Next to the chair was a small table wielding a vintage typewriter and worn paperbacks to set the mood. A lampstand next to the chair furthered the cosy “living-room-esque” setting. The setup was comfortable, meant to evoke a nostalgia of childhood story-times where the adults wowed us, then young children, with fantastical tales from well-loved classics. Those same children, now adults, now presented a portion of their own Odyssey through their poetry and wowed the audience with their personal tales. As an added décor, the stage right near the entrance was decorated with sculptures denoting the letters “AUWC” to represent the Writers’ Club and adorned with warm fairy-lights to welcome anyone venturing into the venue and assure them that they were at the right place.
The arrival of the Chief Guests, the Director of Student Affairs, Madam Fazaila and Air Commodore (R) Muhammad Tariq Qureshi of the English Department, led to the commencement of the event. Twenty poets in total recited their self-composed works. AUWC’s immaculate Décor Team had graciously organized the written pages off of which the writers read the poems; the edges of the pages burnt as a writer’s soul when they pour their passion onto paper. The recital was broken up into two halves. After the first ten poets had presented their works of art, a short, animated video was played which was followed by the remaining ten poets. The poetry ranged across multiple topics, from depression and loss to personal relationships, self-discovery, and healing, with a gradually building push towards the event’s major focus; metanoia, the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self or way of life.
Following the poetry recital, a tribute performance to the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, was given by the members of the Writers’ Club. It combined famous quotes from Shakespeare’s greatest plays and was presented as a skit in memorandum of his poetic genius.
The event successfully concluded with an appreciative address by one of the chief guests, Sir Tariq Qureshi, who encouraged further forms of creative self-expression through both the written and oral word.
By Iffah Asif Mughal
Department of English