Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Karachi Literature Festival !

I smiled at the rush of young girls over Hussain Naqvi, who just came out of Maharani (hall) after his book launch named "Home Boy" by Oxford.

Well, he is young, smart, rich, British national and now famous too.

I cant blame the girl's sudden crash on him...hmm....only I tried to find some real readers in them all.....lol

Do you want me to write the list of participants and the events we had in these two marvelous days...(21 - 22 March) ???

hmm...lets not..because if I do the whole programme will take up the whole space...

but you can find the whole programme list and participants list on www.klf.com.pk.

Please do visit the column which has all the introduction about the authors and participants on : http://www.klf.com.pk/about.html

But...I can write about my pick list...belive me I never saw so many literature related people together under roof before.

And to whom ever I turned or talked...turned out to be a writer or publisher.

As I met Muneeza Shamsie in Ladies rest room with her daughter who is also a new young author...

I had my attention towards...

Urdu Writers :

Shams-ur-Rehman Farooqi (from India),
Intizar Hussain (who refused to give me his autograph as for him I should have his book),
Iftikhar Arif,
Zehra Nigah,
Fahmida Riaz (who never missed a chance to smoke on stage between disscussions),
Kishwer Naheed(gave so many true and rigid facts about women)
Masood Ashar,
Arfa Syeda Zehra and
Fatima Hussain.

English Writers : Mohsin Hamid, Muhammad Hanif, Aamer Hussain, Maniza Naqvi, Hussain Naqvi.

And there were so many more.....

Arfa Syeda Zehra gave me the best autograph and Muniza Naqvi gifted her novel to me as her heroin name in that novel was Hajra and asked me to write to her about the novel once I finished it...Novel is " The matter of detail".

"hmmm....I am over dosed....", Ahmad Safi (son of legendry writer Ibn-e-Safi) told me.

And I felt the same.

The whole festival was divided in two halls and simultaneously having events.

I think this is how these festivals works.

Somtime...only...it was hard to make choices when I had to choose between, "Reading and Conversation with Iftikha Arif" and "Book Launch of Look at the City from here, edited by Asif Faruqi".

My vote goes to Iftikhar Arif though I kept missing the other event.

hmm....found it a little rude to put Mohsin Hamid and Fahmida Riaz on the simoutaneously different disscussions on different halls.

I kept running between one to other....dont wanted to missed anyone.

That was the only time, I found two languages , Urdu and English seperated.

I overly enjoyed the discussion on Sufism and Literatue in which came across with Samina Qureshi another good author who has just lanuched her book on Shrines of Pakitan by Liberty books.

I was amazed by her genuinely intrest in common masses in Pakistan.

But than I want to quote Fahmida Riaz here that if we want to spread the reading habit in our children we need to lower the prices of books, as when I asked the price of Samina Qureshi's book...it was....hmm....4,400.... rupees.

Amazingly, TEA was free....credit goes to TAPAL....

This is the common practice of British Empire...since its empowerment on India till now...to make a bridge between the two great languages "Urdu and English".

Both of them have great treasures hiddein in them and to get connected to any one of these languages, one must dig out these treasures.

Translating Urdu literature to English was good until it was for those people who dont know Urdu...and want to know the history...literature about India....

But now...unfortunately, most of the translation is for those who are basically Urdu speakers but are too far away from their own language that needed English to traslate them their mother language (URDU) literature to them.

Though, I found only few middle class literature lovers in the Karachi Literature Festival, but hope to find them more in numbers next time as the festival was such a blast that everyone in the festival already asked questions or start planning about the next years session.

The Karachi Literature Festival consists of panle discussion, book launches and reading by writers and poets.There was a work shop on creative writing (hmm...I missed it)... Mushaira and also a play in Urdu performed by Sheema Kirmani in Art Council.

hmm....speration from the overly active city Karachi for such occasssions are long been waited and credit all goes to British Council and Oxford University Press.


  1. An informative report on KLF with information and spice both, I also attended couple of sessions, and would like share my observation. No doubt it was a very welcome event and many such events are needed yearly in Karachi. The arrangements were good, the scholars, writers, critics who came and participated were renowned and people of merit, but the panel discussion and their discourse were quite wanting in quality, to be honest quite bad.
    Romantic heroism cannot always survive the scrutiny of reality, and this is the saddest part as people idolized by youth as heroes and icons turn out quite contrary in flesh and blood.

    Good thing is that there is always good things in all experiences, for me it as meeting two brilliant young ladies, from RR who had clear and phenomenal vision about themselves and things around them, I was already great fan of their writing talents, now I know they are capable of words and deeds both.

  2. I also got a chance to go in the KLF on the second day.

    I enjoyed that event a lot as it was my first ever experience to meet renowned writers, poets and intellectuals.

    I think the reason why there was less middle class crowd was the venue of the Festival. It was not approachable for the common people. If it would have been in the city centre we would have had a bigger crowd.

    I was also very excited to meet some people as soon as I came to know that they would also be there in the Festival including an intellectual having a humble and a graceful personality that reflects in his writings as well. I feel honored to have him among those from whom I learn a lot!

    Thanks to you Sir! :)

  3. hmm...Dar Sahib and Komal...

    Thank you so much for your coming and spending time here....

    Also thanks to Dar Sahib to honor me in KLF. And Komal to spent the whole day with me.

    Thank you so much.