Speech by Rati Saxena at kritya

The blossoming of Kritya has been like the sweet unfolding of a cherished dream for all of us working in its background. Kritya was launched in a small but well-attended function in the year 2005. It was a unique gathering because we had the good fortune to have in our midst some well known Malayalam poets, artists and theater personalities like Ayyappa Paniker, Vinaya Chandran, Kavalam Narayan Panikker and B.D Dethan. Our celebration that wonderful evening was enriched with poetry reading in conjunction with painting and drama. At that time, Kritya’s stature as it is today was not something we could dream of. But with God’s grace and with the blessings of our Masters, we have come a long way discovering the many dimensions of poetry. In our journey, poetry has proved to be a wonderful medium that can touch hearts and make strong and meaningful relationships. We consider this as an enterprise with noble ideals -- we hope to establish and strengthen a fraternity of peace and mutual understanding through the medium of poetry. It is also Kritya's commitment to bring back the great works of our past Masters with due tributes, while at the same time encouraging new talent without compromising on quality.

Kritya, with her nomadic nature, has been to many places in these past years. She has been received with open arms and applauded in a number of beautiful locations -- Jammu, Chandigarh, Mysore, Trivandrum and even a few places in Europe. Always, Kritya's aim has been to give pride of place to poetry among the arts and effect a smooth communication among all the arts and languages of the world. What has been most gratifying to us at Kritya is that we have been quite successful in bringing about a beautiful and constructive dialogue between all the art forms and the diverse languages of the world.

Kritya has always had well-wishers blessing her on her way; we have had great co-operation from poets, artists and other creative people who have recognized her noble ideals. Kritya gratefully acknowledges her patrons, who have made these festivals possible. At all her festivals, Kritya has been fortunate to get some of the best poets and artists in the world together under a single roof. It has been amazing to witness how poetry blended herself most gracefully with painting, photography, theatre and film on each of these occasions.

Kritya's 2011 poetry festival is organized in collaboration with Lady Amritabai Daga College (LAD) and its other educational institutes. First of all, I welcome and thank our host, who has done wonderful work by organizing and hosting this festival in such a grand way. I am sure our guests will always remember this festival because of the high standards maintained.

This time, we again have a collage of different art forms with poetry at its epicenter. This festival offers us the unique opportunity to enjoy the creative output of children. We will be having 100 children of the Basoli group, who will paint the poetic themes as and when the poems are read out. We have Sadho, to show us poetic paintings on the screen. A number of poets and artists from other countries like Norway, Turkey, Iran and more will also present a few poetry films. What is more, we are also going to see poetry captured through the camera lens. The main participants in our Photo–Poetry exhibition are Odveig Klyve from Norway, Sabina Shikhlinskaya from Azerbaijan, Yeshim Agaoglu from Turkey and Sangita from LAD.

We will have two special Marathi poetry sessions along with translations. We will also present all poems in three languages, the poet’s mother tongue, English in projection and Hindi in translations. Our poets have been working for a long time to achieve this.

We are fortunate to have two great names in this field on the dais to encourage us – Ashok Vajpeyi ji and Javed Akhtar ji. Ashok ji is a pioneer in literature, a number of festivals have been organized under his guidance. He is also a great poet, critic and translator of our time. He has been widely recognized nationally and internationally for his efforts at promoting art and culture. I am sure we will get some guidance from him for our future festivals, I welcome you sir on behalf of LAD and Kritya.

The most powerful art media in our country is film, compared to which literature, especially poetry, has only a back seat. Still there are a few personalities, who have made a good balance between both. Yes, I am talking about Javed Akhtar ji, poet, lyricist and scriptwriter from the world of cinema. He has created such wonderful poetic films, that we recognize him more as a poet than script writer.

I know Javed ji will not feel the glitz and glamour of the filmy world in this festival, but I am sure, if he stays with us for three days, he can partake in another world, which is stronger and eternal compared to the screen world. I welcome you sir, on behalf of LAD and Kritya and request you to stay with us for all the 3 days.

Today we have with us great poets from our country like Ramesh Chandra Shah, Mandloi ji, Joshi ji, Alok Dhanwa and Kumar Ambuj ji, Saroop Dhruv ji Rajendra Patel, Dilip Jhaveri , Bishnu Mohapatra , Hemant Divate and many others. I welcome all of you to this festival; I welcome the poets from other countries, and all of Kritya’s patrons, well-wishers and friends.

I also welcome Chandrakant Channe ji and his group, the media, press, and also the poetry lovers of this beautiful city Nagpur.

I welcome Panna Akhani ji, the host Director of the festival, who had supervised and directed all the preparations at every step.

Let me also welcome Varsha Manohar, the life line of the festival, this festival could take shape only because of her strong will and excellent direction.

I welcome the organizing committee of LAD, students and each and every one.

I am sure this festival will be a one-of-a-kind experience for us all, allowing us to bask in the sunshine of these glorious art forms, away from our mundane worries and travails, creating a unique ambience where only Art matters. Let us enjoy that space, "that breathing room for the spirit" which art offers.

Thank you.
rati saxena

director Poetry Festival


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