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Words and music flow through poetry fest

By August 6, 2018No Comments

Source : Times of India

BENGALURU: It was a beautiful medley of words and music at the third edition of Bengaluru Poetry Festival. On Sunday, attendees got a taste of regional creativity — from Tamil poetry by Perumal Murugan to Nilim Kumar and Samir Tanti’s Assamese verses and Tibetan Bhuchung Sonam whose words revealed the untold stories of Tibet and Tibetans in exile. Author and historian Ramachandra Guha, introducing a talk by musician Amarendra Daneshwar, said, “Music, art and literature are the three most creative manifestations and my advice to youngsters always has been to cultivate interest in one of the three great traditions to sustain themselves outside work. I sustain myself outside my work with my classical music.”
On Saturday, actor Shabana Azmi regaled the audience with a reading of her father Kaifi Azmi’s acclaimed poems. “Kaifi was against communalism of all sorts. He didn’t believe that majority fundamentalism was better than minority fundamentalism. He said the fight between ideologies was created to create a schism in the society. This holds particularly true for us today. We need to steer away from a movement that we are seeing in India, where issues are being viewed via a Hindu-Muslim lens,” Azmi said.
Usha Uthup brings the house down
If there is one memory that people will carry from Sunday’s session, it will be of Usha Uthup egging everyone to sing along with her to hits, be it the 70s cult classic Dum maro dum, or her National Award-winning song Darling from Saat Khoon Maaf.
Recalling her initial years as a night club singer in Kolkata, Uthup said, “In Trinca’s, I used to perform for all the big names in Kolkata and I remember Amitabh Bachchan and Kabir Bedi coming in to listen to me.” Crediting Dev Anand and his production company Navketan with giving her the chance, she said: “It was Dev Anand who approached me when I was performing in Oberoi hotel in Delhi and asked me if I could sing Hare Krishna Hare Rama.” An interesting revelation the Padma Shri awardee made was of her friendship with actor and politician Kamal Hassan. “Kamal used to have a Matchless bike on which we’d ride to the beach (in Chennai). We would watch the sea while eating sundal (boiled channa) and raw mango slices,” she said before joking, “When I recently asked him about why he entered politics, his response was, ‘You keep quiet. All that you want to do is go to Marina (beach)’.”
The festival ended with an engaging session with film director Vishal Bharadwaj who spoke about his new tryst with poetry.

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