‘TV dramas are like a blanket difficult to leave’


KARACHI: In the opening session of the last day of 9th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), Asif Farrukhi had an interesting conversation with popular TV writer Noorul Huda Shah. Asif Farrukhi asked why Noor stuck to TV and did not write a novel, to which she replied, “TV dramas are like a blanket that is difficult to leave.”

An audience member asked Noor, “I feel that Sindhi and Urdu speakers need to be unified like Nelson Mandela united black and white people. How can we unite our people?” to which Noor replied, “I seek to eradicate these differences through my work. Urdu and Sindhi are both my languages. In India, Urdu is plagued by problems but it is blossoming in Sindh. In 70 years, one generation is almost gone and the second, third and fourth generation remains. We all have to move forward and embrace each other.”

In the session ‘Fiction Has the Power to Affect Politics’, the speakers Qaisra Shahraz, Kishwar Naheed, Kesho Scott, Claire Chambers, Arfa Syeda Zehra, Sarvat Hasin with moderator Maniza Naqvi discussed important issues.

At the book launch of ‘Interior Design of Pakistan’, author Maria Aslam sat with Shahid Abdullah, Naheed Mashooqullah and moderator Iftikhar Azam to discuss her book.

“With interior design, we have only scratched the surface. People still have not understood it, they see it as interior decoration,” said Shahid.

Adding to the discussion, Naheed said, “Since I started architecture in 1993, we have come a long way. There was little to no awareness, and now it has been doing remarkably well.”

In the session ‘Italy Reads Pakistan Award’, Omar Shahid’s The Spinner’s Tale won Italy Reads Pakistan Award. The author sat in a panel along with Anna Ruffino, Ameena Saiyid and moderator Bina Shah. The award-winning author said, “To make it believable you have to put yourself in tour characters’ shoes. You have to go to a dark place and it is not always comfortable. But you want to do it because you want to do justice to your character.” Anna added, “Do not stop yourself from humanising your characters and showing their dark side because at the end of the day we are all humans.”

In the session ‘The Punjab Muse’, Harris Khalique sat with Amarjit Chandan, who was in Karachi for the first time. “I’ve gained my rozi roti through English, but Punjabi is my passion,” said Amarjit, adding, “I firmly believe poetry can only be written in your mother tongue.”

In the session ‘Love Thy Neighbour? India-Pak Relations’ Mani Shankar Aiyar, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and Asad Sayeed sat with moderator Khalida Ghaus to talk about the relations between Pakistan and India. “It was about 20-25 years ago, that this sentence came to me that there is only one way to resolve Pakistan-India issues and that is by uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue. And I am very proud and half sad that this phrase has been accepted as the Pakistani policy but has not been accepted as the Indian policy. It has an audience in your country and not yet in my country,” said Mani Shankar.

At the closing ceremony, Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi delivered their speeches. Keynote addresses were given by Amit Chaudhuri, Mani Shankar Aiyar, and Anwar Maqsood. This was followed by a folk dance performance by Sumaira Ali, Kathak by Shayma Saiyid and a Sufi dance performance by Sumaira Ali and Mani Chao.

The evening ended with Qawwali by Saami Brothers.