Chandigarh, November 7, 2015: The third day of Adab Foundation’s Chandigarh Literature Festival 2015 celebrated poetry and verses, with many sessions and interactions centered on the art. Sudeep Sen, Jeet Thayil, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Sampurna Chattaji, shared with the audience interesting aspects of their own writings, and discussed how Indian poetry in English has a new identity and space. Akshaya Kumar, a critic and professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, spoke to Sudeep Sen, describing Sudeep’s contribution to poetry as an “act of sustained poetic endeavour.” Sudeep’s new book is titled ‘Fractals: New and Selected Poems (Translations, 1980-2015)’, and the poet talked about how translation has helped poetry from across the country reach readers, asserting the fact that a poem always wins if it is well felt and well constructed. “But it is more important not to lose the rhythm in translation,’’ said Sudeep, adding that poetry is a different kind of reality. In an interaction with the author of ‘When God is a Traveller’, poet Arundhathi Subramaniam spoke to Nirupama Dutt about her new collection of poetry. The book, said Arundhati, was both a journey and homecoming in different ways, and she likes to think of the divine as part of the daily menu and not as a cuisine, and her poems invoke God as a device. Myths she added, are “wonderful companions”, as they unlock many areas of our lives. As for poetry, Arundhati says it’s verbal choreography, which stays with you long after you have read it.
Poet, musician and Booker Prize nominated author Jeet Thayil was in conversation with Jennifer Robertson about ’60 Indian Poets’, an anthology of Indian poetry in English, which he has edited, and which spans 55 years of Indian poetry in English, bridging continents and generations and seeks to expand the definition of Indianess’. The collection includes a range of contemporary poets who live and work in various parts of the world and in India, including 27 women poets. Reading poems from the anthology, Jeet mentioned that he wanted to keep the collection contemporary and include poems which were modern and were written in the kind of English one hears in everyday life. “The world of Indian poetry is enormous and the book is a tribute to the poets who were lost to Indian poetry,” said Jeet, who spent close to three years working on the anthology.
In another session, Parvati Sharma, author of ‘The Dead Camel and Other Stories of Love’ spoke with writer and critic Aditya Mani Jha about the themes of her stories which explore the unsaid, and unfinished nuances of love. The conversation revolved around the themes and characters of the various stories, how certain characters are struggling to please everyone, which says Parvati, is like “inflicting violence upon oneself.” The author talked about various images that she has used in her stories, one of a dead camel that evokes a kind of melancholia in the readers.
Film lovers were treated to the film ‘Qilla’, followed by a question and answer session with the director of the film Avinash Arun, who discussed the creative process of writing of the film, which was critically acclaimed at the Berlin Film Festival. The film tells the story of the coming of age of a school boy who is forced to move from one place to another because of his widowed mother’s job. “The film is about a child, but it is not a children’s film and I believe the more personal a story, the more universal it becomes.” The day also saw the screening of NH-10, and an interaction with its director Navdeep Singh and screenwriter Sudip Sharma.
The final day of the festival will start at 10.30 am at the Chandigarh Club.
Saturday, November 7, 2015