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Jaipur Literature Festival: Keeping the feet on ground important, says Gulzar

JLF 2017: Throughout his address, Gulzar drew an analogy of a boiling kettle for the process of writing.

Written by Mohammad Hamza Khan | Jaipur |
January 20, 2017 8:32:11 am
Jaipur Literature Festival, jlf, jlf 2017, jaipur lit fest, lit fest 2017, jaipur literary meet, jlf, india news, jaipur news Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje along with Anne Waldman, Namita Gokhale, Gulzar and others during the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival at Diggi Palace, in Jaipur on Thursday. (Source: Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) opened in Jaipur Thursday morning with lyricist and poet Gulzar’s address on rumblings within a writer. “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,” Gulzar said to an audience of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, poet and cultural activist Anne Waldman, and thousand others.

Throughout his address, Gulzar drew an analogy of a boiling kettle for the process of writing. He said the rattling lid on boiling water is the rumbling within, and the bhaap (steam), is writing and poetry. He said that he finds the title of Guest of Honour disconcerting, as he then becomes conscious 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 legs do not touch the ground. It is important to keep your feet on the ground. There is also fear on such occasions, if the feet rise above the ground, and vanity and pride take over, then your feet will not be dirty; and when that happens, the ink dries from your pen.”

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He said that you cannot mislead the society, as it has collective consciousness. “It is not possible for a single man to mislead zamana, because the society has a collective consciousness, and then it summons you to answer. Then you have to answer to it.” Gulzar suggested organisers that each year, the JLF should focus on an Indian language. “There are nowhere as many flourishing languages as in Hindustan. And if it is possible, every year, one Indian language should be in focus. The most dynamic shayari in the country currently comes from the North East. It is unfair to call languages as regional, they are all national languages,” he said.

Jaipur Literature Festival, jlf, jlf 2017, jaipur lit fest, lit fest 2017, jaipur literary meet, jlf, india news, jaipur news JLF 2017: People attend one of the sessions. (Source: Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

Reading out her poems, Anne Waldman, also a keynote speaker during the inaugural session, said that the task of writers is to wake up the world. “I think there is a resounding response in the affirmative for creative acts as daily practice.to help wake the world up to itself and that I think is the purpose of art and literature.” She added it also involves countering the “war on imagination.” The five-day event themed “The Freedom to Dream: India at 70” expects to cross the figure of 3,30,000 visitors this year with over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, among others, in attendance.

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