Karachi Literature Festival…

Karachi…the pulsating metropolis of my country hosted its third literary festival this weekend…as one of the many literary heavyweights in town for this event said…this sort of event and turnout is symptomatic of a society in search of establishing a paradigm of excellence in the arts and cultural scene as well as in avenues for intellectual discourse..which is seen as a dichotomy in a society that is often termed as one that is being intellectually defranchised…this is however one of those pockets of excellence that makes the heart soar with a sense of…controlled euphoria. If you measure a country from its culture, then there is something great going on in Pakistan said Hanif  Kureshi…amidst much cheering from the literati and glitterati of Pakistan…

Once again the hues and colors of this venue were inspiring and had all the ingredients of A literary bonanza….the awe inspiring writers…super audiences…fiery speeches…lively debate…tolerance for all denominations of literary culture and talent…a broad spectrum of creativity in the arts that leaves us craving for more! Both languages, Urdu and English, were beautifully and compassionately used and presented , which brings to the fore that language does have a vast and most tolerant and accepting geography…as also the ease of bridging distances between our today and cultural heritages by helping us to delve into and appreciate treasure troves and personalities who have mastered languages that define our identity…a creativity inspired spirit that helps us relive imprints often relegated to the back burner of the present…whetting appetites and creating new vistas to explore…

The Karachi Literature Festival is gaining in repute…attendance…star power attraction…organization…variety…vision…above all, in the spirit of enthusiasm, interest and participation ! Small though our literary fest may be as compared to others across the world stage…this one is ours…makes us proud…the addition of a very dear family member as a panelist on a most relevant issue of the day was a bonus..all this must perforce showcase us as more than the sobriquets we as a nation are wont to be on the receiving end of…

An Open Mind…

A fellow blogger very wisely reiterated the reminder that…a mind not open to other’s thoughts and ideas is a great tragedy. This is I think one of life’s major challenges…one that is sadly gaining traction in the inability to give the other the benefit and respect of listening with an open mind to their beliefs…opinions…perspectives…Choices…because we have forgotten that…minds like  parachutes, work best when open…

I do believe that to operate from a paradigm of an open…receptive…unbiased…and compassionate mind is definitive on so many levels and enables one to give life a meaning that is not always possible otherwise. It is important to give significance to our lives by giving importance to and valuing the  lives of others…this is not always easy,  but then, very few things worth doing are! Morals of excellence are created by showing tolerance in personal spaces between ourselves…as also creating spaces in the political and religious discourse…using the power of the heart as well as the power and depth of the mind. To respond intelligently, with humility, tolerance and kindness…is justice, the firmest pillar of society….to wax indignant, harboring justifiable feelings of resentment…prejudice…superiority… is so much easier but lacks developing the incomparable potential that is an inherent part of human nature and  embedded in everyone’s soul like a shared DNA…

The Good Lord works in mysterious ways and this last week just as this was on my mind..I found myself in positions that needed all this and more on the table…I met a friend after a long time…the path and choices of her personal journey of growth has been one that has not always  been easy to understand…accept or wrap my mind around…it is still hard…but it has been her journey and one that now seems to have brought her a sense of inner peace…it gives me a warm sense of comfort for her…I also heard a scholar whose  erudition…knowledge…sagacity…is praiseworthy…just one I find hard to relate to…his impact on others is significant…even whilst I find it difficult to comprehend! What is apparent thereof is that the paths to personal evolvement…growth…understanding…learning… and the curve it takes, are not just varied but also sometimes incomprehensible to our understanding…that does not make them wrong…just different…the difference often being the ability not to jump to make harsh judgement calls for things…opinions…views…lifestyles…choices which are difficult to comprehend and relate to…because it is only together, with everyone contributing in the firm belief that we can make a difference…that we do…

 Voltaire said…I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to death your right to say it…that may sound a  bit dramatic…but what a lot of wisdom that line carries…