Being in love with one’s city and having the privilege to be its active resident is a fact of life that never ceases to be joyous.

As writers, getting the betokened opportunity to represent our eternal affinities to our place of birth and residence take on a humbling hue when the venue is one’s own educational home.

Such a beautiful moment came my way on Wednesday, 18th January, 2023, when my host university department, Department of English and Modern European Languages, University of Lucknow, invited me as an honourable alumni to recite my poem LUCKNOW – AN ODE TO THE CITY, in keeping with the city being its theme for a pre-Convocation programme.

Reuniting with beloved teachers and meeting new, beaming faces who represent the bright future of the department resonated on a personal level, as always. Receiving praises from contemporary students and holding a room full of intellectually astute individuals invested for those two minutes of recitation made a big difference. The other performances from students and teachers were the launchpads that naturally boosted my confidence.

Thank you for the memories and to the beginnings of a robust, creatively prodigious 2023 for all.