The Times Litfest is back! And after missing it multiple times, I decided to attend it this Saturday.
The Times Litfest is a 3 day, literary events filled, festival. There are book readings, discussions, and lectures on various elements of , mainly, Indian literature. It was from 4th to 6th December, at the quaint Mehboob Studios at Bandra, Bombay. It was organised by the Times of India.
I looked up the event list on www.timeslitfest.com and found there was a book reading session by none other than Gulzar.
Gulzar is one of India’s most well known authors. He is also a poet, a lyricist, and a film director. His short stories are a coveted by all avid readers, and although I haven’t read a lot of those myself, I decided to attend his session.
And it was beautiful. Gulzar read out Raavi Paar (Crossing the Raavi), a short story based during the India-Pakistan partition. The way he has described the chaos that was the partition era, and how a lot of people had to struggle to survive, brings is a certain kind of trepidation that, honestly, I haven’t experienced while reading any other book.
In a way, I think it was good that I hadn’t read Raavi Paar before, and the first time I did, was when Gulzar himself read it out.
Post the reading, there was a small Q&A session, and this what Gulzar had to say:
“Aankhon ko visa nahi lagta; main band aankhon se roz sarhad paar chala jata hu, duniya dekhne.”
“The eyes do not require a visa; with closed eyes, I go across the border everyday, to see the world.”