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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Literature is a vitamin, don’t treat it like an aspirin: Akhtar

Javed Akthar applauded the enthusiasm of the organisers and the chief patrons of the seventh edition of Pune International Literary Festival oozed gratitude for the writer-lyricist’s presence at the inauguration

pune Updated: Sep 21, 2019 15:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Javed Akhtar (left) addressing the audience at the seventh Pune International Literary Festival, held on Friday, at Yashda auditorium, Baner.
Javed Akhtar (left) addressing the audience at the seventh Pune International Literary Festival, held on Friday, at Yashda auditorium, Baner. (Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)
         

Enthusiasm and gratitude were the dominant notes as literary incense filled the air on Friday at at Yashda Auditorium, Baner. Javed Akthar applauded the enthusiasm of the organisers and the chief patrons of the seventh edition of Pune International Literary Festival oozed gratitude for the writer-lyricist’s presence at the inauguration.

He credited literary festivals for taking the initiative and was pleasantly surprised to see a large crowd of youth at such events. “Now, literature is not an aspirin, you take one and headache is gone. It is a vitamin. If you read, hear and by-heart poetry, then it develops your aesthetics. Similarly with other arts. Developing aesthetics ultimately means to have a sense of beauty. Then you will not like exploitation and injustice because you will find it ugly. You will have better values.”

He shared that he feels honoured to be a part of an intellectual city which has seen the birth of modern knowledge, information, social and political awareness.

“In the last 73 years, we have made great progress. Anyone who says it hasn’t happened is totally wrong. In my childhood, a middle-class family had only a radio and an iron. Today, things have changed. We are moving forward. In this race of material prosperity to catch the train, we have left behind baggage on the platform. It includes literature, tradition, culture, language and aesthetics. I must plead guilty that my generation is responsible for it,” said Akhtar

He added that people of his generation earn 10 times more than their elders. But, at what cost? “Elders had given something that cannot be bought off the shelf. The love for folk art, folk music and mythology; ultimately this is what makes you, me and us. Our generation did not handover this to the next in line. We lost connection. Today, I see a revival but it is no thanks to us. The youth have realised that they have lost something really precious. Language and vocabulary has shrunk,” said Akhtar.

Akhtar is a true inspiration

Pune International Literary Festival 2019 was inaugurated on Friday at Yashda Auditorium, Baner. Manjiri Prabhu, founder and festival director, PILF thanked Akhtar for constantly inspiring her through his work. She said, “Your popular dialogue, ‘Main paanch lakh ka sauda karne aaya hoon ... aur meri jeb mein paanch phooti kaudiyaan bhi nahin hai’ from Trishul (1978) has been my strength to dream all along. I was in a similar situation when I started seven years ago. I would like to thank you for being an inspiration with your sheer existence and immense contribution.”

First Published: Sep 21, 2019 15:03 IST

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