Sunday, February 8, 2015

Next time, Insha'Allah.

Today was the last day of Karachi Literature Festival '2015. It was held at Beach Luxury Hotel, and that was the problem. For me going to such places is not possible. They are so far way from where I live. I am unaware of the location and transport ka bahi nahi paata. 

And after all week's work going anywhere on Saturday and Sunday is a big No. These two days I sleep till noon, watch t.v, cook, shop and catch up with my mom. 

Ok, I am lazy. 

Does that give shanti to your ma'an? I am a lazy ass. And missed it. I missed the most amazing event. The event where around 200 speakers speak, where there are live sessions, performing arts gatherings as well as book launches.And free food.

 Luckily I had around one hour workshop with Christopher Merrill from USA along with Kavery Nambisan from south India and another female writer named Sridala Swami from Hydrabad, India. Well more than workshop it was rather more sorta secession cum  talk/speech/  they gave in that short period of time.

Session started quite late. It was supposed to start at 9pm and we were reminded many time to reach University at 8:30pm sharp so thoes guest  wouldn't found out our being  late people. People who are famous for being late, not doing things at time. 

I reached there at 9pm. I was sure it would never start on time no matter what. This is something I am so good at. Reaching at time I mean at time when things will start according to our time. Never late, never early like a fool. 

Despite getting  up late and missing 8pm   bus,  I did my best to be there  before 9pm happ tey kaap tey.  When I reached there, there was no atta patta of any guest. Peeps were standing at gate to welcome them. Sigh ! 

Albata,  everywhere was there in hall. Even admin staff was there. I guess they were more interested in meeting foreigners guests than writing and literature.

 Finally, after so much interzar, after whole 1.5 hours, three of them with our Vice Canceller entered the hall.

They introduced themselves one by way and read out their poems and passage from their books to us. Also you know they were foreigners, organizers were so careful and so around them like kuch ho na gai. Of course they were foreigners after all. We were told  not to talk or ask  anything about USA or India, you know political, anything which offense them. 

Well, why would any of us would do that? We were there to interact and learn from them. Aur if someone asked, so what! They would answer.Why we are so worried about getting offensive or offending others all the time?

 I hope KFL's organizers, who seems like an all élite bunch, would not have confined them and other guests ( I prefer call guest rather than foreigners) to their hotel's room because of kuch ho na jai. Fear of something bad would not happen. 

Mr. Merrill is a poet, essayist, journalist and translator. Also a director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. His way of talking was so soft and simple. He was funny in his own way. He told us about his passion for soccer and writing poems since he was a small boy.  How criticism he got from his first ever book's editor helped him to writer better. 

I loved the way Kavery writes, a novelist and surgeon in rural India. Just imagine. We still have such people who prefer to work in rural areas. 

Last but not the least, the Indian woman from Hyderabad, a film maker turn writer, told us how she started with films and now hooked with writing. She also told us to observe the surrounding and understand the reality. What we see is not always the real. 

What else I say. I didn't get a chance to ask any question I wanted to. After three questions, time up hogeya. I was the one when VC's wife said," Beta next time, Insha'Allah." There is always a next time, or there is no kaal(tomorrow) like my mom says. I dunno.

 I hop next time, I go to KLF.
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  1. So many thoughts on this, Ifrah...
    1. There IS tomorrow. There is NO YESTERDAY (Apologize to your Mama!)
    2. You are NOT lazy (Sat and Sun off) You "pace" yourself.
    3. I get feeling you have slight fear of going somewhere like Beach Luxury Hotel.
    4. Next time, ask around, discover someone who will give you a ride there, get there NMW.
    5. That's No Matter What...right? OK!
    6. Wear you prettiest colors...not too much dark for eyes, PLZ.
    7. Did I forget? GO THERE...NMW.
    8. This is your career, what God wants you to pursue, so obey our four-letter word DO-IT.:-)
    9. You have ALL POWER for this--GOD'S power, so fear not. Trust.
    10 Become in habit of wake up...GET UP. Less stress, when you have T I M E ...
    11 Before I forget...this is an EXCELLENT piece you have wrtten, in honesty about your experience. After all of what can we write truthfully, excelt our experiences? SO HAVE THEM (experience). Experience fine hotel, wonderful conferences, Gourmet dinners with lots of plates, one in the other HAHAHA! Experience TRAVEL. It ALSO is educational for teachers to travel. It trickles down to "teach" their students.

    10. SAVE what I have written here, Print it and keep, to remind you.

    11 PLZ KNOW this is written from "old" friend to "young" friend in the PEACE of God
    with LOVE. You serve God, so do I, and we have no other reason for being--except to help others seek TRUTH and a complete happiness in which PRIDE has nowhere to live.

  2. An interesting insight Ifrah!