Lahore Literary Festival 2014: Day one

Published February 19, 2014
— 2012.All rights reserved.
— 2012.All rights reserved.
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— 2012.All rights reserved.
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9:30 pm Interview with Bilal Tanweer

Bilal Tanweer spoke to Dawn.com about his book.

9:00 pm Summary of Day one

The second Lahore Literary Festival was inaugurated among local and international delegates and intellectuals.

German, French and Italian ambassadors spoke on the need to highlight positive image of Pakistan around the globe and how their respective countries play significant role in maintaining and enhancing the culture.

This year’s festival has been expanded to three days and over hundred speakers are participating.

Historian Fakeer S. Aijazuddin took the guests on a journey of 300 years old history of Lahore through a pictorial display of paintings and pictures.

Organizers distributed three special awards to legends Zia Mohyeddin and Farida Khanum for their life long contribution to art and literature.

Some of the popular sessions on the first day of the festival included discussion on the art of poetry recitation in “Zehra Apa aur Zia Mohyeddin kay Saath”, discussion on Vali Nasr's book launch of “The Dispensable Nation”; "Salam Bombay", where Mira Nair shared her experience in the film industry and "The Suitable Duo" with Vikram Seth.

Speakers in other sessions spoke about the culture and history of Lahore and changes in the behaviour of the people of this city over various eras.

Aitzaz Ahsan, Pran Nevile, Yashodhara Dalmia, Farida Batool, Shazia Sikander, Bilal Tanweer and Omar Shahid Hamid were some of the prominent speakers on the first day of the festival.

A painting and sculpture exhibition was on display for the art lovers in Lahore.

Visitors of all age groups showed up at the festival and participated in all activities. Food stalls and rain added to the festive feel of the occasion.

The day ended with Naheed Siddiqui’s kathak performance on Baba Bulleh Shah's kalaam.

The success of the first day can be calculated by the fact that many complained about not being able to watch the performance and attend various sessions due to the fully packed halls. – Text by Maryiam Pervaiz

8:20 pm Kathak performance by Nahid Siddiqui

– Photo by Asif Umar
– Photo by Asif Umar

– Photo by Asif Umar
– Photo by Asif Umar

8:00 pm Kathak performance by Nahid Siddiqui

– Photo by Asif Umar
– Photo by Asif Umar

– Photo by Hamza Cheema
– Photo by Hamza Cheema

– Photo by Hamza Cheema
– Photo by Hamza Cheema

6:30 pm Salaam Bombay

Mira Nair (R) with Mira Hashmi. – Photo by Asif Umar
Mira Nair (R) with Mira Hashmi. – Photo by Asif Umar

Mira Nair took the audience through a journey of the challenges she faced during her first film, Salam Bombay, which was later even nominated for the Oscars. Nair shared her experience, how she created the characters in the movie; inspired by the real life incidents and behaviour of the people on the streets. She hasn't studied filmmaking, but has learnt to do things by herself.

Nair said that the best part about making Salam Bombay was that children who were part of the movie knew they were making a film on themselves. One of the main challenges Nair faced was the funding for the film and even after much critical acclaim internationally, Bollywood distributors were reluctant to screen the film initially.

Nair is now working on a Broadway stage musical of Monsoon Wedding and Vishal Bharadwaj is the music director. She is also working on two films, one of them is based on a true story on a Bengali detective. She said the joy of making movies comes with everything which she believes in, and the risks every film brings with itself. Stories based on truth have always appealed to her and she believes that the society is numb to the situations they are surrounded in.

"Challenges are opportunities and never apologise for what you feel about things," Nair adds in the end. – Text by Maryiam Pervaiz

5:55pm Humare Zamaane ki Khahaniyaan

Julien Columeau. – Photo by Hamza Cheema
Julien Columeau. – Photo by Hamza Cheema

5:55 pm Salaam Bombay

I’ve always questioned who is right and who is wrong in my movies. – Mira Nair

5:50 pm Salaam Bombay

Truth is more powerful than fiction. – Mira Nair

5:45 pm Salaam Bombay

The beauty of living between two places is that you have a different eye on things that you are numbed about. – Mira Nair

5:30 pm Book Launch: The Dispensable Nation

An average Pakistani should see value in relationship with America – Vali Nasr

5:30 pm Book Launch: The Dispensable Nation

Americans pretend they don’t like what is happening in Pakistan, but they still intend to do it. – Vali Nasr

5:30 pm Book Launch: The Dispensable Nation

In my opinion Pak-US relationship should deepen beyond military relationship. – Vali Nasr

5:20 pm Amrita Sher-Gil: Lahore's Lost Daughter

Yashodhara Dalmia. – Photo by Hamza Cheema
Yashodhara Dalmia. – Photo by Hamza Cheema

5:15 pm Amrita Sher-Gil: Lahore's Lost Daughter

Salima Hashmi. – Photo by Hamza Cheema
Salima Hashmi. – Photo by Hamza Cheema

5:00 pm

One of the book stalls at Alhamra Art Center. – Photo by Hamza Cheema
One of the book stalls at Alhamra Art Center. – Photo by Hamza Cheema

4:40 pm Zehra Apa aur Zia Mohyeddin ke Saath

Acting is a crucial part of the art of poetry renditions. – Zehra Nigah

4:40 pm Zehra Apa aur Zia Mohyeddin ke Saath

“Zehra Apa aur Zia Mohyeddin ke Saath" was one of the most applauded sessions at the first day of Lahore Literary Festival, as there were queues even outside the hall.

The focus of the conversation was the importance of the style of reciting poetry. Zia Mohyeddin criticised the style of today's poets who recite poetry in such a manner that their recitations change the meaning of the words. He said that every word written by a poet should be elaborated so that the underlying meaning of the words touches the heart of the listener.

Zehra Apa praised Zia Mohyeddin on delivering one of her stories by saying that it was recited in such a way that even she fell in love with her own writing.

Both the writers stressed on the fact that the essence of poetry should not be ruined during its delivery.

There is a symmetry in poetry which is not followed these days," Zia Mohyeddin said.

Zehra Apa added that acting skills are essential for reciting poetry and Zia Mohyeddin masters that art form as well.

Zia Mohyeddin also recited famous verses from Noon Meem Rashid's poems, which ended with a standing ovation for the two legendry artists by the enthusiastic audience of Lahore. – Text by Maryiam Pervaiz

4:36 pm Zehra Apa aur Zia Mohyeddin ke Saath

People should read poetry with the understanding of the underlying meaning of the words. – Zia Mohyeddin

4:35 pm Zehra Apa aur Zia Mohyeddin ke Saath

People should learn how to read Shakespeare. – Zia Mohyeddin

3:30 pm Delirium in Karachi

From L to R: Omar Shahid Hamid, Bilal Tanweer, Saba Imtiaz and H. M. Naqvi. – Photo by Hamza Cheema
From L to R: Omar Shahid Hamid, Bilal Tanweer, Saba Imtiaz and H. M. Naqvi. – Photo by Hamza Cheema

3:29 pm Lahore, Literature and Longing

Lahore is the city of music and melody makers – Pran Nevile

3:29 pm Lahore, Literature and Longing

Lahore is the city of music and melody makers – Pran Nevile

3:29 pm Deeda-e-Maana Kusha

Dr Tariq Hashmi (L) and Dr Mohammad Asif Awan. – Photo by Hamza Cheema
Dr Tariq Hashmi (L) and Dr Mohammad Asif Awan. – Photo by Hamza Cheema

All Muslims are human but not all humans are Muslims. – Dr Tariq Hashmi

3:29 pm Lahore, Literature and Longing

Lahore's veins are now constricted. The city was known for its open heart. – Khalid Ahmed

3:26 pm Lahore, Literature and Longing

From the session, Lahore, Literature and Longing. – Photo by Asif Umar
From the session, Lahore, Literature and Longing. – Photo by Asif Umar

3:25 pm Lahore, Literature and Longing

Lahore has been a city of resistance, produced poetry and literature of resistance – Aitzaz Ahsan

3:12 pm Lahore, Literature and Longing

Lahore lost plurality and it's a tragedy. This is not the city I grew up in. – Aitzaz Ahsan

1:45 pm Unexpectedly, it has started raining. We can see carpets being rolled-up in the garden area and the food stalls wrapping up to move inside.

I am delighted to be invited to attend the Lahore Literary Festival. Oddly enough, I feel as if I participated in it a year before it was actually founded. — From Vikram Seth’s article The moon in Lahore

1:20 pm Lunch Break Lunch stalls are setting up as gray clouds cover the sky. We hope it doesn't rain while visitors are having lunch outside!

Sessions will resume at 2:30 pm.

Last year’s debut of the LLF drew over 30,000 people. This year we hope to double that audience as there are more and varied sessions, four core spaces at the venue, and a much wider array of tantalising thinkers from home and abroad who will not fail to attract more people. — Ahmed Rashid

Click here to read more

12:30 pm Welcome note Farida Khanum, "Malika-e-Ghazal" (Queen of Ghazal), received LLF award for her long time contributions in ghazal singing.

Historian, Fakir S. Aijazuddin, took the audience on a journey of Lahore's 300 year old history through pictures and paintings.

This year the festival has been expanded to three days and over hundred local and international speakers are participating in the festival. – Text by Maryiam Pervaiz

12:30 pm Welcome note

Zia Mohyeddin received LLF award. He mused that this was his first life time award. – Photo by Asif Umar
Zia Mohyeddin received LLF award. He mused that this was his first life time award. – Photo by Asif Umar

11:30 am Welcome note

Good morning, everyone! It's a chilly morning in Lahore and we're here at the Alhamra Art Center for the first day of the second Lahore Literary Festival.

The welcome note has begun. Stay tuned for pictures and quotes from various speakers throughout the day!

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