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Mangalore: I Came to Seek Inspiration from Konkani Poets - Gulzar


Mangalore: I Came to Seek Inspiration from Konkani Poets - Gulzar

Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Jul 9: It was an evening of intellectual enrichment as renowned poet, script writer, director and lyricist Gulzar delivered an inspiring talk on the nuances of poetry, as part of the James and Shobha Mendonca Endowment Lecture on Poetry-2012 at SDM College here on Sunday July 8. The talk was organized by Kavita Trust.

Gulzar's talk on poetry was not only enlightening, but also entertaining and a delight to all those present. The entire talk, chiefly in Urdu, was lively, interspersed generously with thought-provoking and delicate poetic verses ('shayaris') and a dash of humour, complimented by an animated, informed group of listeners.

Addressing a packed audience consisting of his fans, the litterati and poetry enthusiasts, Gulzar began by thanking Kavita Trust for orgnizing the talk. Referring to a statement made earlier in his introduction by William Pais, trustee, Kavita Trust, wherein he termed Gulzar's presence in Mangalore as a 'jackpot' for his fans, Gulzar said in a lighter note that he was happy to a be strong 'horse' that could be a 'jackpot' for Mangaloreans.

Referring to some of the noted Konkani poets who were present on the occasion, he said he had come to take inspiration from them. "What inspiration can I give you, it is I who have come to be inspired from the Konkani poets," he said.

He said it was a tough task to define poetry, and that it is like life itself that goes on, finding its own way. "One cannot define poetry scientifically or gramatically. It is like saying there's life because there's breath, but mere breathing is not life."

"There are rhymes and meters in poetry, but poets discarded rhymes long back. Then there came the blank verse, where meter, and not rhyme, was important. But now, even meter is diminishing in importance, and what we have is prose poem. We read J Krishnamurti and Osho and say they are poetic, hence, poetry is all about the feeling, the 'ehsaas'," he said, citing a descriptive passage from Thomas Hardy's 'Two on a Tower'.

Poetry "kabhi music ka haath pakadleti hai, kabhi painting ka," (poetry goes hand in hand sometimes with music, sometimes with painting) he said, adding that one cannot put boundaries on poetry.

"Poetry is ethereal, it is found in the most ordinary moment. We react to a moment physically and not emotionally, but beyond the physical is a different experience - the feeling of pain. It is the pain that inspires a poet or a painter to expression. It is like boiling water in a closed container, it wants to break out and escape from the lid," he said, quoting the following lines of his poetry:

"Ek khayal ko kaagaz per dafnaya to
Ek nazm ne aankhein khol ke dekha
Dheron lafzon ke nechey wo dabi hui thi
sehmi si
Ek madham si
Ek awaaz ki bhaap udi kaanon tak
Kyun itne lafzon main mujhko chuntey ho"

"The poet is in a dilemma - he has to express his thoughts without actually expressing them in clear terms. He looks up to see whether his readers understood his meaning. Whereas, a prose writer, fiction writer and historians can reveal what they have to say," he said.

Reiterating the earlier point that poet finds poetry in ordinary things, he again recited heart-touching lines of a woman lighting the lantern as the evening shadows lengthen. She is waiting anxiously. The lantern burns and gives light, unlike her heart which emanates only smoke when it burns for her beloved.

He went on to give yet another example, of a flame, beautifully describing the way it shivers and dances delicately in the wind. "Poetry is like stretching yourself after a good sleep. It emerges slowly."

He said the feelings that a poet expresses are present and felt by everyone, but one needs to be aware of them. A woman who is constantly taunted by her mother-in-law for not bringing enough dowry unknowingly traces the shape of a necklace on her dinner plate. The feeling of pain is inside her. "Awareness of the pain is important, and next comes the medium which may be poetry or art," he said.

"Poetry has many faces - it may be epic, prosaic, direct, indirect - their sensitivity and delicacy are all different. They speak of the origin of that particular poem," he said.

"We can learn from Konkani how a language emerges from a struggle. A lot of injustice has been done to Konkani. It has no strong base like other languages, and has struggled throughout. It was a victim in the hands of foreigners too. This struggle is expressed in the works of Konkani poets. I congratulate all those who are working for the preservation and promotion of Konkani," he said, inviting a huge round of applause from the audience.

He went on to speak of Goan Konkani, which he said he loves and enjoys thoroughly.

He concluded his talk on the question whether a poet should write when his city was in turmoil, when it was being plagued by violence. "The poet expresses his pain inside, the pain he has assmililated," he said.

It was then time for question-answe session, wherein members of the audience asked him a variety of questions, from his views on translation, wherein he said it is not possible to translate every poem, to the difficulties in adhering to deadlines as a lyricist-poet. To the latter, he replied that a poet or a writer is a professional as anybody, and he learns to meet deadlines as he is paid for it. "I am satisfied with my work, and I stand by it," he declared.

Prior to the talk, sponsors of the programme and other dignitaries were felicitated, among whom were Shobha Mendonca's mother Celine Nazareth, Rohan Monteiro of Rohan Corporation, principal of SDM College of Business Management Dr Devaraj K, and noted Konkani writer from Goa Damodar Mauzo.

`Vinchnnar Kavita' - a collection of poems by Sahitya Akademi Award winner and president of Kavita Trust, poet Melvyn Rodrigues was released by Gulzar on the occasion, in the presence of his wife Averyl and son Gavin Rodrigues.

At the end, Melvyn Rodrigues, president, Kavita Trust along with other trustees presented him a copy of the book  'The Land Called South Canara' by William Pais, who had introduced Gulzar to the audience at the beginning.  

Kiran Parmar compered in Hindi, and also recited her poem on Gulzar. Singer Anita Dsouza who was among the audience sang a few lines from a couple of his popular Bollywood songs.

 

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Comment on this article

  • Sharon Rego,

    Sun, Jul 15 2012

    cannot just let go off without saying a few words to this great legend, last time I saw him was when he accompanied Late Jagjit Singh ji at a concert for his 70th birthday...feel honored to see him at my hometown, thanks to all who made this happen..

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tony Ferros, Jeppu, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 11 2012

    It was indeed a lifeful evening where we had privilege to hear the Gulzar sahab, who depicted the life through his impactful ‘khayal’ (thought) in his poetry/lyrics sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. It has been a moment of pleasure when we hear his lyrics, whether it is of 60s, 70s.... or today’s. Gulzar sahab expresses: ‘.... Poetry is found in the most ordinary moment.’ Thats why in the lyrics ‘maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune’ he tells ‘choti baateim choti choti baathon ki he yaadein badim’ (Anand).

    While introducing Gulzar sahab, Kavita trust trustee William Pais rightly opined that his poems are ‘jeene ki waja.’ Most of his lyrics (in cinemas If we hear them seperately they are soulful poems too) on life which we heard are sensitive & impressive. In lyrics ‘Tujse naraz nahi zindagi hairan hoon main’ he says. And he continues by saying, the state of sorrow gives in life - ‘Mile jo humein dhoop mein mile chanv ke thande saaye’ (Masoom) also. ‘Ae zindagi gale laga le, hum ne bhi tere har ik gam ko gale se lagaya hai Hai na.....’ he asks life, but has regards also, because ‘tera sahaara mil gaya hai zindagi’ (Sadma).

    We can give a plenty of such examples.

    I thank Kavita trust for providing us a wonderful evening of ‘khayal’. It would have better if organisers gave opportunity to some more people who were eager to hear Gulzar sahab, which is a rarest opportunity.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Melvin Peres Kaikamba, Kaikamba, (Bendore)

    Wed, Jul 11 2012

    Kavita Traust has given an opportunity which is marvellous one. The elderly prolific Poet of our times have given a great inspiration through his poetical presentaion of the Subject about Poetry. It is wonderful expression. Thanks to Kavita Trust. Thanks Andrew.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Austin Prabhu, Nantur/Chicago

    Tue, Jul 10 2012

    Great job Kavita Trust and Gurkar Melvyn Rodrigues. I missed all that fun and knowledge that's what happens when you leave Mangalore!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • L N Rego, Bendur

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    His knowledge is like a ocean, we were privileged to be inspired from this great Poet of our times.
    Congratulations Melwyn & Team for the efforts taken to organise such a memorable programme and introduce us to this great personality.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pradeep Menon, Calicut, Kerala

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    I was one of the fortunate persons who got the opportunity to attend the programme. Words aren't enough to express my feelings after getting out of the hall. The rains which lashed the coastal town of Mangalore were as if to suggest the disappointment of mother nature that the programme was over. Hats off to the legend. Thanks to Kavita Trust and all connected in conducting this programme for making this day an unforgettable one for all.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Reena Pinto, Bejai, Abu Dhabi

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    Congrats Melvyn and the organizers who invited the great poet and lyricist Gulzaar to Mangalore. Wish I was present in the audience to enjoy the rich evening of beautiful poetry. Melvyn all the konkani speaking people are proud to have a poet like you in our midst. Melville and I treasure the book you gifted us.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • MAR, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    Good to see MANU after so many days, MANU we miss u in Bahrain , Come back soon ,
    MAR
    Mangalore

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Walter Dantis, Kinnigoli/Bahrain

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    It's a real privilage to all Konkani writers/ poets that Gulzar visiting Mangalore and adressing the gathering!
    Many Congratulations Melvyn and the Organizers!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar., M

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    A poet of this stature believe me
    speaks from a certain 'level'.Living in a world
    'surreal', 'imaginary' and mostly 'beautiful', it takes a lot sometimes to come back into the world of harsh realities! Salutations to the great Gulzar Saab from withstanding this assault so successfully as is evident from his famous poems, lyrics and ghazals. May god grant him all his good wishes.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Placid G. Noronha, Bejai, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    The statement made by the famed poet, writer and director, Gulzar that "I have come to be inspired from the Konkani Poets" speaks volumes of the tremendous progress and achievement of our poets and writers in the literary field. Kudos to Melvyn for the beautiful bouquet of poems and wish for many more in the coming years.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • judy pinto, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    Congratulations to the Organisers.The"aadaan pradaan" of languages and literature is the need of the hour & this program is the best example.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naresh, Mangalore/ Bangalore

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    It is indeed inspiring to see a person of such stature in the literary world such as Sh Gulzar Saab to come & encourage our language & skill sets of Konkani poets....Thank you Daiji world for bringing out a detailed report on this function, all of us are blessed indeed

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jerry Rasquinha, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 9 2012

    The evening with Gulzaar was such a beautiful evening no one knew how the time passed by until Mr.Gulzaar concluded. His words were music to ears and the delicate issues of life he touched were such a great treat to the heart. At that moment the whole world seemed to be poetic.

    I assume it was the best evening of my life. Thanks to Kavita Trust. Kiran Parmar did an excellent job.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

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