‘See you again’: Kasauli lit fest draws to a close on a poetic note
Hardly, any eye was left dry, when a clip on the poem which, author-journalist Nirupama Dutt, who knew Pritam well, described the poem as one which perhaps garnered as much attention as her ode to Waris Shah.Updated: Oct 15, 2018 17:21 IST
“I will meet you yet again/ How and where/I know not/Perhaps I will become a/Figment of your imagination,” Punjabi poetess Amrita Pritam’s words resonated in the hearts of all the audience and were indeed the indisputable highlight of the concluding day of the Khushwant Singh Literary Fest.
Hardly, any eye was left dry, when a clip on the poem which, author-journalist Nirupama Dutt, who knew Pritam well, described the poem as one which perhaps garnered as much attention as her ode to Waris Shah. Divya Dutta’s rendition of the Punjabi version of the same left the audience wistful of the love shared by Amrita Pritam and painter Imroz.
“She was to Punjabi literature what Ismat Chugtai was to Urdu literature,” said Dutt and went to her recite Pritam’s poem on cigarette, “There was a pain/That like cigarettes/ I inhaled quietly/ Just a few poems remain/ That I flicked along/ With ash from the Cigarettes’.
To this, Divya Dutta narrated an anecdote about how Sahir Ludhianavi would smoke half a cigarette and Amrita Pritam put the other half to her lips considering it as an unacknowledged declaration of her love.
Bridging the gaps
With his strong opinions on government and politics, the session ‘Memory in the Age of Amnesia’ by filmmaker Saeed Mirza enthralled the audience. Talking about his book with the same title where he encountered ‘unheard voices’,
Mirza said it was not about outrage but debate. “It is about accepting desire, questions and dialogue,” he added.
Famous for ‘Albert Pinto ko gussa kyun aata hai’, Mirza spoke on governance and said, “There isno country in the world that has dealt correctly with the minorities. You judge any country, whether it is civilised or not, by how it treat its minorities.”
Stressing on importance to uplift the weaker sections, he said, “If you don’t take care of the weakest sections before the others, the government is clearly not doing a good job.” “I’m 75-year-old, I am scared of nobody,” he quipped talking about his controversial sections in the book.
At ‘The Plurality Personae’, Wendell Rodricks drew the audience to rabbit hole of his memories. “I lived in a chawl as a child where there were no toilets. The trauma of having to use unhygienic toilets in the dark left me with a lingering fear of using toilets let alone public one,” the Goan designer, bestowed with Padma Shri in 2014, said.
He is credited with the revival of traditional Goan Kundi sarees and was the first to design eco-friendly clothes. On his learnings in life, Rodricks said, “One should do things differently but remember to do it from the heart.”
Bashing body shaming, he told the audience that his store has replaced measurements with terms like, small, medium, voluptuous and voluptuous goddess. On Section 377, Rodricks said, “I have been fighting for Section 377 for decades. I am glad it happened because we deserved it.”
Of monuments, yoga and begums
At the ‘Wow! To Heritage and Water Conservation’ panellist Jutta Jain-Neubauer took the audience through water monuments with unique architecture. Yoga buffs were also treated to an inspiring session titled ‘Yoga: A Symphony of Life’.
“I found the session with Rajivi Mehta on yoga absolutely awe-inspiring,” said Roop Singh. Author Manu Pillai spoke on ‘Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji’ with historian Ira Mukhoty and also threw light on begums of the Mughal Empire.