The second day of CLF being held at Panjab University, PU, started with a session on Mr. Kiran Nagarkar’s convention- defying work, Jasoda. At the outset, critic Sreenivasan Jain questioned the prolific writer about the craft of writing. Kiran feels that Indian writers, give excessive importance to research. & that while writing a novel, imagination comes first.
The 75 year old author has penned Jasoda which is a the story of how a woman negotiates poverty as well as patriarchy. Nagarkar said that there were degrees of poverty and Jasoda belongs to the bottom line. Yet, this incredible heroine survives. Talking about the murder of female infants which his protagonist is guilty of, Nagarkar said that making the woman kill the child purged the man of the guilt of murder.
” Today a major highlight was ‘Qissebaazi’ which is a mutilingual storytelling project of the Hoshruba repertory. ‘Qissebazzi’ expands & builds upon traditional storytelling. A multilingual platform with multiple performers , it is theatrical presentation , still distinctively storytelling. The same was performed by Danish Hussain & Manu Sikander Dhingra. A panel discussion -Contemporary Art of North India too was held on Day 2.” Said Mitul Dikshit, Chairman, Adab Foundation, which is organising CLF in Association with Department of English & Cultural Studies & Department of Indian Theatre, PU.
Hindi Poet Manglesh Dabral was seen in discussion with critic Mr. Asad Zaidi on his book ‘Naye Yug Mein Shatru’. Dabral read out his poems which had a unique blend of philosophy and humour. The title poem ‘Naye Yug Mein Shatru’ emphasized that the real enemy of the world was evasive & the corrupt people were merely his pawns. The venue fell silent for quite awhile after the poet finished reading his poem on the Gujarat riots.
The session of critic Rakesh Sharma with Author Nidhi Dugar on her book ‘Lost Generation’ brought to light the myriad professions which were indispensable in the past , but are losing out in the new world. ‘Lost Generation’ was a work of mourning for a world that would eventually die. From ‘Godna’ artists to ‘Rudaalis ‘,there was a whole class of people who had been relegated to the margin due to the changes sweeping the world. The attempts to interview the practitioners of the now- neglected professions were, no doubt , fraught with difficulties for Nidhi.
Book Until the Lions written by Ms Kartika Nair is based on the great Indian epic Mahabharata, which the author has told through multiple voices. Kartika was seen in conversation about her book with critic Annie Zaidi , who is also Festival Director of CLF 2017. Kartika Nair talked about the research involved in the writing of an altogether new Mahabharata & how she has to go through the foot notes in the Puranas. The book is a retelling of the epic from the point of view of the characters who had been hitherto unheard of.
Author Vasudhendra talked about his life and experiences in a candid conversation with Annie Zaidi. At the very outset, he revealed that the book Mohanaswamy was semi -autobiographical. The book portrays the challenges of being gay in a society like India. “I did not disclose my sexuality to anyone because I thought that concealing it was to my advantage. However, this period of denial resulted in depression and the eventual realization that the solution lies within oneself. Writing, he said, enabled him to accept his sexuality. It was society’s problem, not mine.” Said Vasudhendra.