Gulzar to open Goa literary festival

By Hindustan Times

Legendary lyricist and poet Gulzar will be inaugurating the second edition of Goa Art Literary festival, scheduled in December this year, which is expected to draw over 40 renowned artists and writers across the world.

The organisers said writers and musicians from far off places like Pakistan and Africa, some of who trace their roots to Goa, would be participating in the event planned from December 17-21 at the International Centre Goa (ICG) in Dona Paula here.

ICG Director Nandini Sahai said apart from Gulzar, the festival will have noted novelist Amitav Ghosh, a part-time Goa resident, presiding over the inaugural ceremony.

“Amitav Ghosh never attended a single literary festival. This is for the first time he is going to preside over such an event,” Sahai said adding that the writer has been sought after by several literary festivals as a guest.

In its second edition, the festival is expected to witness some nostalgic movement including Indian debut of Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole, who also happens to be son in law of Goa. Cole’s ‘Open City’ has been hailed worldwide as one of the very best books of the 21st century, an instant classic that has drawn comparisons to Flaubert and Camus, Sahai said.

Damodar Maujo, a host and a Konkani writer, said the fest will be a place for like minded people to meet.

The event will also showcase rich Goan literature.There are atleast 250 books published from Goa in different languages, he said. While organisers feel there will be atleast one book release a day, the highlight of the festival is a book by Bombay writer Naresh Fernandes, titled Taj Mahal Foxtrot.

Goa’s Pakistan connections will also be re-worked on during the fest, Sahai said adding that Cyril Almeida, an editorial writer and columnist for Dawn, will be here to participate in the event. She said that Pakistani contingent will have writers of younger generation including Fatima Bhutto, Mohammad Hanif, Bilal Tanweer and H M Naqvi.

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