January 20, 2017 1:14:00 am
“What would have happened if I had not written; would it have changed the time I live in? It becomes imperative that you ask yourself what your writing has changed. And to get these answers, you need to look within,” said lyricist and poet Gulzar, at the inauguration of the 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) on Thursday.
He said that he found the title of Guest of Honour troubling, because keeping one’s feet on the ground is important: “I am disconcerted by many things, one of them is sitting on a high chair where your feet do not touch the ground. There is also fear on such occasions, if vanity and pride take over, then your feet will not be dirty; when that happens, the ink dries from your pen.”
The century-and-a half old corridors and lawns of the Diggi Palace was brimming with festival enthusiasts and book lovers. Other speakers included Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, and poet and cultural activist Anne Waldman. Waldman shared her thoughts to counter the “war on the imagination”. “I think there is a resounding response in the affirmative for creative acts as daily practice…to help awaken the world to itself, and that I think is the purpose of art and literature.”
Gulzar also suggested that JLF could focus on an Indian language every year. “It is unfair to call languages regional, they are all national languages. Currently, the most dynamic shayari in the country comes from the Northeast,” he said. The five-day festival themed “The Freedom to Dream: India at 70” expects to cross 3,30,000 visitors this year, with more than 250 speakers.
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