Kavita Fest 2011 Satiates Creative Thirst of Poets and Poetry Enthusiasts
Pics by Savitha B R
Report by Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Karkala
Karkala, Jan 10: The 5th editon of the annual Kavita Fest 2011 organized by Kavita Trust was held on Sunday January 9 at ‘Nisarga’, in Nakre, Karkala in the courtyard of George Castelino. The synergy of the green and virgin environs of Nakre and that of the poets assembled both young and not so young, was more than what one could ask for at a Kavita festival. It was indeed a festival of poetry in the true sense of the word because the entire day the poets and poetry enthusiasts listened, talked, read and breathed only poetry.
The two poetry sessions and the symposium on ‘Why should I read poetry’ provided enough fodder for thought for all the participants at the festival apart from giving a glimpse of the creative minds of the poets to the connoisseur of poetry. One could not ask for a better milieu than this, where the creative minds of the participants are challenged and made to ponder over, may be for days and months to come, until another Kavita Fest arrives.
The poetry session was inaugurated by chief guest K Narayana Kharvi, President, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, guest of honour Edwin J F D Souza, Executive Director, Konkani Institute, St Aloysius College, President of Kavita Trust Melvyn Rodrigues and Kishore Gonsalves, Secretary of Kavita Trust, by showering rose petals. It did not stop just at that. All those who were directly and indirectly involved in Kavita fest were invited to the sage and to put the rose petals in a big pot filled with water, a symbolism of poetry to that of a floating petal on water.
Walter Nandalike, Editor-in-Chief of daijiworld.com, Arun Sakhardande, (who presided over the multi-lingual poetry session), Joseph Mathias, (sponsorer of the Mathias Family Poetry award), Wilson Kayyar, who provided the beautiful backdrop for the fest, Averyl Rodrigues, Treasurer,Kavita Trust, Vitory Karkol, William Pais, Pundalik Marathe, the hosts George and Reena Castelino, and organizing committee members Naveen Lobo, Deepak D Mello, Boniface Sequeira and Joachim Pinto were some of the guests who completed the inaugural session of the Kavita Fest 2011.
Kishore Gonsalves, Secretary of Kavita Trust, gave a rousing welcome to the guests to the Kavita Fest 2011. Speaking on the occasion the guest of honour Edwin J F D Souza lamented that some popular Konkani poems have failed to come to become a rage among people as they have not been tuned to music. He suggested “in order to popularize Konkani poetry we have to bring them out in the form of music. Only then such poetry will play and live in the lips of the common people”, he remarked.
He likened a poet to a firewood covered with ash and said “the burning coal is visible only when the ash flies off. For a poet it is necessary to have a thinking capacity, passion and a vision”. He also said that we need to have people who read and appreciate good poetry which would be prove to be a source of inspiration to a poet. He also said that a poets can derive inspiration from many cultures and need not depend on a single culture to enliven his creative impulses.
Chief Guest Narayana Kharvi commended the efforts of Kavita Trust in congregating all poets under one roof. He promised full co-operation and support of the Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy for anyone who want to work and contribute for promoting Konkani language and culture. He said “today Kharvi Lokved is alive because it is kept alive due to the concerted efforts of more than 40 Konkani speaking groups, who have worked diligently in that direction. It is the bounden duty of every Konkani person to preserve and promote Konkani and keep it alive and thriving”.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by a symposium on “Why should I read poetry?” and Shakunthala Kini and Maxim Lobo presented their papers on the subject. H M Pernal presided over the symposium.
Shakunthala R Kini in her paper said that at a time when values are on the down side, we need to read poetry to keep our enthusiasm for life on a higher level. Poetry will be like a mirror that can reflect the true happenings in the society and make people respond in a responsible way. “At a time when inhuman tendencies prevail, hatred, crime, terrorism, violence, political and religious fundamentalism, violence in the name of religion, race, language and region has come to rule the roost, corruption, scandals, nepotism and all other sorts of ills have come to exist, people need to read poetry as it is the only effective weapon of combating all these ills that plague us. Poetry can shake even those whose conscience is as hard as a diamond. Poetry creates good attributes among people and that results in the existence of a better society”, she reasoned.
Maxim Lobo in his paper stated there is a general feeling among people that in a consumerist and customized society of today people may not have time to read poetry, which he said need not be true. He said “I have come here to talk on the topic first as a reader and then as a poet. Some people may read poetry for personal satisfaction, some to kill time and others just as a hobby. But it has to be accepted that every poet wants his creation to be published, which means that others should read them. It is for this reason we find in Konkani more writers but less readers”.
Giving a list of reasons on why people should read poetry he said “poet is a normal person. But poetry is mysterious. Poems is the condensed form of prose. Poetry can be read in a short period unlike other literature and for today’s generation which always lives on the borderline of time management poetry is the best thing to read”.
He further added “poetry is entertaining, poetry tell the reality without hesitation, poetry invigorates, it takes people to the top of the world by taking the reader to a different world and that is why we should read poetry”.
Moderator H M Pernal responding to the views of the speakers said there is no doubt first and foremost, people have to read poetry for their own satisfaction. He also said “reading is an experience, an experience is a learning and learning is a process. Reading brings awareness among the readers which is necessary for keeping the society on a fine balance. Poetry is a sober communication and that is why it should be read”. Though H M Pernal disagreed with some of the issues raised by the speakers it was felt that the poet is the first reader of his/her poems and one reads for self satisfaction. In the discussion that ensued the participants asked questions and also offers their views.
The much needed tonic after a threadbare discussion in the symposium was provided by the youth poetry session. 12 young poets bubbling with energy and enthusiasm gathered in one stage to read out their poems. Young and promising Konkani poet, who is a well known name in Konkani poetry, Wilson Kateel presided over the youth poetry session. Venkatesh Nayak, Wilson Kinnigoli, Jossy Bajjodi, Munna Taccode (Clement Fernandes), Waseem Khangavi, Siddhi Gawas, Supriya Bhagat, Kavita Revadkar, Purushotham Verlekar, Nazmeen Baig, Akash Telgu and Wilson Kateel presented their poems. Their poetry covered diverse topics from sea, nature, god, cars, place, environment and also romantic poetry (with a tinge of irony?) and the audience feasted on the creative energy that flew from their minds in the form of poetry.
The post lunch session of the Kavita fest began with multi-lingual poetry session presided over by Arun Sakhardande. Well known poets Eddie Sequeira, , Shivananda Shenoy, Arthur Pereira, Vasudeva Bhat, Paresh Kamat, Maya Kharangate, U A Kasim, Anisa Fathima, Raghu Idkidu and winner of last year’s Charles and Theresa Rodrigues Memorial award Pradnya Kamat recited their poems, again on a range of subjects. Poets like Raghu Idkidu (Kannada) Anisa Fatima (English) and U A Kasim (Beary) added variety to Konkani and their combined efforts had a cathartic effect on the audience.
For the closing ceremony Pundalike Naik, Convenor, Konkani Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi was the chief guest and Roy Castelino, President, Konkani Prachar Sanchalan was the guest of honour. Melvyn Rodrigues, in his welcome address said that the main aim of Kavita Trust is to bring Konkani poetry to the standard of poetry of other languages and the annual Kavita Fest is an intensive efforts to spot and bring to light Konkani poetry talent.
George Castelino and Reena Castelino, presented the late Charles and Theresa Rodrigues Memorial all India Konkani poetry competition for students award to the winners. The winners Kavitha Fondekar, Divya Vivek Nayak and Rufeena Fernandes were the first, second and third prize winners of the competition respectively. The three winners were given a cash prize of Rs. 2000/-, Rs. 1000/- and Rs. 750/- each respectively.
Pundalik Naik conferred the Mathias family poetry award 2010 in absentia on poet Kashinath Shamba Lolienkar for his contribution to Konkani poetry. Nutan Sakhardande received the award on behalf of Kashinath . The award carried a cash prize of Rs. 10,000/-, a citation and a memento. While Trustee Averyl Rodrigues gave a brief introduction of the poet and award, William Pais, Trustee Kavita Trust read out the citation. Nutan Sakhardande read a message from Kashinath expressing his gratitude for selecting him for the award by bending the rules (presenting award in absentia). In his message he said “the very consideration of his name for the award itself was a great honour to him.
The translated work of Stephen Quadros “Janna Mahakavico Yashodhara Charita” was released at the same stage by Roy Castelino. Speaking after releasing the book Roy Castelino said he neither a poet nor a writer. But is involved in Konkani activities and would always support the cause of Konkani.
Stressing on the importance of poets and writers he said “poets have succeeded in creating revolutions and this is evident from our own history. Literature in any form is required to awaken and make us aware of our duties“. He also added that to bring newness in literature we need literature of other languages in Konkani and he commended Stephen Quadros for his efforts in translating Yashodhara Charita into Konkani.
Pundalik Naik in his address pointed out that it is the efforts of organizations like Kavita Trust which has helped Konkani to stand on his own legs. He said the he has always supported the idea of translating
books of other languages into Konkani, which he said is a must for improving our own language and bring it to the level of literature in other languages.
Pundalik Naik said last year has been a rewarding one for Konkani because Konkani writer Baki Baab Borkars birth centenary is celebrated as a state event by the Government of Goa and second Arun Sakhardande has won Sahithya Academy award for his book.
Pundalik Naik also stated “ in Mangalore Konkani poetry has its own tradition and heritage. It was late Louis Mascarenhas who brought discipline to Konkany poetry. Later Cha Fra D Coasta continued the work and took poetry to greater heights. Fortunately now Melvyn Rodrigues is continuing in the footsteps of these legends to keep that tradition alive”.
Dwelling on the topic on what happens if we do not write he said “when I write something I do not write only about me. I will be writing from my experiences about the feelings of my great grandfather, grandmother and a few generations before which means I will be leaving a rich heritage of literature to posterity. If writers do not write there will not be anything for the next generation to bank upon in terms of literature”. He concluded that there is always a place for Mangaloreans in the hearts of Goans.
Victor Mathias (Vithory Karkal) proposed vote of thanks. Eric Soans compered the programme.
The stage programme was followed by a cultural programme. Shreeguru Kala Sangam, Ponda, Goa, presented “Zagor”, a dance-drama as part of the entertainment programme.
George Castelino and Reena Castelino were the perfect hosts of the Kavits Fest 2011 as they catered to the every needs of the participants and the poets.