I walked into the school with a broken heel but an unbroken resolve to make this a memorable night. I had to rush around bare feet while vigorously mixing squash.
“What an unromantic start to such an important event! So much for wearing this elegant skirt,” I thought.
As Rabia, Fatima and I swooshed around in our skirts, the time was ticking and every second was crucial. In all the rush we only got snippets of the rehearsed pieces but we had heard the slam pieces a million times. I knew more of their poems than I knew of my own. If I mistook a line for one of theirs like ‘Imagine dragons’ or ‘Is my hair okay?’ or ‘ We are here to slay’, I wouldn’t be surprised.
In the blink of an eye, the time had passed and it was 6:00 pm. A decent number of people had started gathering but it wasn’t what we had expected. I looked at Rabia with a worried look and she calmly said, “You’re focusing on the wrong thing”.
She was right. This night was about poetry and beauty and so much more. The audience was just an accessory. From then onward, it was nothing less than a fairy tale. Everyone owned the stage and even though many participants had confessed they had stage fright, I could see they were doing a pretty good job at ignoring it. All those hours at rehearsals suddenly knit together.
Each time someone went on stage, I let every rhythm, every rhyme, every beautifully crafted line sink. I prayed silently that nobody forgot their piece. I prayed silently that this wouldn’t end. I prayed silently that when I graduated from Lyceum, I would once again sit like this and relish in the fact that I had made a tiny, little contribution in getting a group of creative minds together and that ,somehow, I had made something magical happen.
When everyone had performed their pieces for the competition, an eager participant from Nixor shared her piece and then our judge, Yousuf Rehman A.K.A desi Eminem, baffled the audience by his unbeatable pace. Sana Rizwan, a Lyceum alumni painted a vivid picture of Karachi and Ilsa Rashid, a previous Slam Head, amused the audience by her piece on her choice to take psychology.
That night, even though we had three prizes, everyone was a winner for us. Emaan Khan and Hamza Aqeel bagged first position with their unique take on imagination through the eyes of an optimist and a pessimist. On second place, I had a tie with Hiba Nauman and I had to keep reassuring her that it was okay if she took the prize. I knew I was sacrificing on Nuzhat Tariq’s personalized Imagine themed dairies and a box of chocolates, but I found comfort in the fact that Ayman had made adorable Imagine themed bookmarks for all the participants.
As if there wasn’t an abundance of awesomeness in one night, Ms Nida performed her piece on Healing the World. As I heard Ms Nida perform, I felt nostalgic because I realized I would never again have such a mentor. Ms Nida had helped us not only in Slam Night, but in this journey as Slam poets. We never knew anything about Slam Poetry and here we were, the three of us, hosting an enchanting Slam Night.
I left with the backdrop which we were to divide among the three of us but more importantly, I left with a memory, a life event, a moment. This is where it all began. This is where the magic started.