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Mangalore: Kavita Fest provides enriching experience to poetry enthusiasts

Mangalore: Kavita Fest provides enriching experience to poetry enthusiasts

Pics: Ramesh Pandith
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (NM)


Mangalore, Jan 12:
The 8th edition of ‘Kavita Fest – 2014’, hosted by Kavita Trust at Town Hall here on Sunday January 12, was truly an enriching experience as it brought together a host of poets from across Karnataka, Goa and Kerala, apart from providing a platform for budding talents. The event was organized in association with Konkani Language and Cultural Foundation.
Eminent Kannada writer Vivek Shanbhogue inaugurated the day-long festival. In his key note address on the topic, ‘Poetry and freedom of expression’, he said, “The state has often seen poets as being 'dangerous'. Poetry which is written on revolutionary topics tends to influence the minds of readers and inspires them to act. History is a witness to poetry playing the role of a harbinger of change and critic of misrule or governance.”

Commenting on the style of writing poems, Shanbhogue said that the change should also be in the way poems are constructed. He said, “Break the form, exercise freedom of having your own and unique style of writing poems which is beyond meters and old forms,” he said.
In response, Jerry Rasquinha and Antony Barkur opined that freedom should come with responsibility to face the consequences. Antony said, “It is not enough that the poet criticizes on issues or is offensive, but what is important is to face its consequences as well.”   
A collection of poems titled ‘Anjurachem Paan’ by Andrew L D’Cunha was released on the occasion. Basti Vaman Shenoy was present.

The finale of Rohan and Lavita Monteiro All India Konkani poetry competition was also held, during which 31 young poets from various places and communities presented the poems of various poets. 
At 3 pm, poet Sanjeev Verenkar presided over a multi-lingual poetry session. Here, poems in Konkani, Kannada, Tulu and Beary languages were presented and discussed. The evening also witnessed a folk dance by the Kudumbi community led by Yedapadav Gopal Gowda.   


The valedictory was held in the evening. Delivering a thought-provoking valedictory address, renowned Kannada critic Dr Rahmath Tarikere said that though he had accepted the invitation to attend the event with hesitation as he does not know Konkani, he could understand the essence of the poetry presented at the Fest.

Lauding the efforts of Kavita Trust and particularly its president poet Melvyn Rodrigues in organizing the event, he said, "Kavita Trust is doing the work of a university in promoting poetry. It has been a unique experience."

Speaking on how poetry unites people, he said, "In India we have so many things dividing us - culture, language, religion - but through language and literature people from different communities are brough together here today. I congratulate the organizers for doing such good work.
"How poets handle cultural pluralism is important. My mother tongue is Urdu but my language of expression is Kannada, and today I am sharing my thoughts with Konkani poets. This is the unique essence of India. This multi-lingualism is an extension of our multi-culturalism. This poetry event is not just a confluence of language but also of cultures and religions. Konkani has a variety of dialects and so also Kannada. It is a connecting point that goes beyond religion and culture. Religion cannot bind us," he said.

"Kannada is composite concept. Poets from various backgrounds like Marathi and Konkani have contributed to Kannada. No matter what our mother tongue, we should go beyond such differences. Different dialects of languages are not a problem, but problems are created out of them, hence we need a mechanism to maintain the pluralism. Politics is seeping into language, where one dialect is said to be superior and another inferior, for instance, north Indians make fun of Madrasi and Kannada movies mock Kannada spoken in north Karnataka. Many think Muslims speak Urdu, but there are many Muslims whose mother tongue is Kannada or Konkani. Hence, language and religion have no connection," Dr Tarikere said.

He explained four methods by which one could arrive at a mechanism to maintain the plurality of languages and ensure that all languages are respected equally. These methods were:

1. Go deep into your own language but at the same time join hands with other languages. "Do not become an island. There is no need to become a flag of your language, instead be like a creeper that has roots in your garden and gives fruits in the neigbour's house. Literature brings us together," he said.

Translation should be encouraged between Indian languages. "Cultural essence is maintained when a work in an Indian language is directly translated to another Indian language. English is both a window as well as a barrier. It takes our literary works to the world, but it also discourages people from learning the original language. It does not capture the essence of our culture. Everyone knows about Shakespeare, but people hardly know the best writers in Tamil or Konkani," he said.

3. The third method is internal translation, where a work is translated culturally. Elaborating the concept, Dr Tarikere said, "Kannada writer Da Ra Bendre brought Marathi culture into his works. Muslim writers like Sara Aboobakker bring their culture into their work, which is unique. For example, 'Wazu' cannot be translated as 'washing oneself to do puja', it has to be retained as Wazu itself. This way people are brought closer together as they understand each other's culture.

The fourth method is multi-lingualism among poets and writers, which is seen mostly in poets in border areas and mystic writers. "Here many languages are blended in one single composition. The text is multi-lingual, for example Da Ra Bendre used both Kannada and Marathi lines in his works.

In conclusion, he said poetry fest was an experiment in strengthening democracy, wherein poets from different communities and regions were bonded through Konkani. "This is beyong religion, language and culture. Kavita Trust through Kavita Fest is doing the work of strengthening democracy silently and I congratulate them," he said.
On the occaison Dr Rahmath Tarikere honoured poet Yusuf Abdulla Sheik with Mathias Family Poetry Award, which consisted of Rs 10,000 cash, memento and a certificate.

In acceptance speech, Yusuf Sheik thanked Kavita Trust for bestowing him the honour and appreciated the efforts of Kavita Trust and Melvyn Rodrigues in promoting Konkani poetry.
Felicitation to winners

During the valedictory session, winners of two categories of competitions were honored by the chief guests. In the Rohan and Lavita Monteiro All India Konkani poetry competition, the final round of which was held in the morning session, Amline J D’Souza, Sushmitha Pai, Goa and Jaison Sequeira, Gurpur bagged the first, second and third prize respectively. In addition, consolation and special prizes were given to other participants.
The winners of the Late Charles and Theresa Rodrigues Memorial All India Konknai poetry writing competition - Vaibhavi Balachandran (first), Austin D’Cunha (second) and Devshree S Kamath and Varun D’Souza (third) were given prizes.
Earlier in the day, the event began with a procession accompanied by band from St Anne's Higher Primary School students led by their teacher Vijay.

President of Kavita Trust Melvyn Rodrigues welcomed the gathering. Eric Soans Barkur compered the event. Secretary Kishoo Barkur proposed the vote of thanks. Anant Ammembal and Basti Vaman Shenoy were present.


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Comment on this article

  • nayana adarkar, panaji goa

    Wed, Jan 15 2014

    sarva dharma sambhav
    sarva konkani lipi ekbhava
    Great event. I attended this fest most of the year with same enthusiasm and get to learn so many things regarding how to organize a programme. The kavita fest team works very hard to make it a successful event.
    Thanks and
    Congrats to Melvyn and team of Kavita trust

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Henry Lewis, Sastan/Kuwait

    Mon, Jan 13 2014

    Congrats to the organizers of Kavita Fest to uphold the traditions and the culture to the future generation is the duty of us all no matter how hard it is kavita fest gives encouragement and inspiration to all so that the traditional values along with the cultural preservation. I once again wish every best and congrats
    There may many of its kind in the future.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • naveen kulshekar, mangalore

    Mon, Jan 13 2014

    Ek bhov opurbaechem kareakrom -Kavita Fest!.Xri Melwyn ani tachea pongdan hem karyem itlem sobitaen mandun haddun festak ailelea sorvank ek dadoskai dili! Kavita trustak xeabax mhonntam. Zo poreant Melwyn bab asa mhaka dista amchea konknnint zaite zonn kovi zavn udetole ani konknni maek soboitole.

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  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Mon, Jan 13 2014

    I had been to Kavita Fest.
    There Sri. Vivek Shanbhogue said the 'poets have some connection with the unknown'. I asked him to throw more light on it and whether the disconnect between a world of 'reality' and 'imaginary' caused
    problems to the poet in real life.
    Sri.Vivek replied that a poet need not sit on the mountains and he has to be in 'touch with reality'
    that is what is the known!.
    However, he was right in the first instance! Though not in the mountains -a poet has to be alone
    if he has to come in touch with the 'unknown'! The subtlety of such tender nuances cannot be explained sometimes even by the poets!
    One of the guests during his talk mentioned said that he certainly 'thought' of what others might 'think' of his works and hence chose words with much deliberation! Some poet this!
    What however, stood out was as many have opined here was the 'dedication' and 'commitment' of Melwyn Baab in the proceedings!
    A personality absolutely capable of taking care of budding writers in the society.Three cheers Melwyn Sir!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • CGS, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 13 2014

    Thanks to Melwyn-Averyl Rodrigues and their dynamic team for organizing such a wonderful and unique Kavita Fest (Festival of Poetry)Congratulations to our brilliant poet Andrew L.D'Cunha on releasing of his "Anjurachem Paan"
    (A Fig Leaf)a collection of poems.
    It was a great event and a very special occasion in which many young poets from Goa,Mangalore and other regions have participated and enjoyed the fest with full vigor and zeal.Good luck and best wishes to Kavita Trust which has won the trust and love of the entire Konkani World.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr. Edward Nazareth, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 13 2014

    Congratulations to Melwyn Rodrigues, the pillar who built Kavita Trust. He is now shouldering the major responsibility of popularizing the Konkani poetry through Kavita Trust. Let all Konkani poets get the benefit of the enthusiasm and energy spent by Melwyn Rodrigues through Kavita Trust. All the best to Melwyn Rodrigues, his beloved wife Aurel, who are nurturing the trust.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald sabi, Moodubelle

    Mon, Jan 13 2014

    Pictures says it was a great event!! Long live Kavita Fest!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Simon Lobo, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 12 2014

    Greetings to all who helped for the successful Kavitha Fest event. Special thanks to Melvyn Rodrigues and his team for their time and energy in planning and conducting the event/

    Simon Lobo

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

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