Tuesday, 18 December 2012

enGALFing times

Brian Mendonca speaks on a symposium entitled 'Goa and the World' at GALF 2012 at International Centre, Goa on 15 December 2012. To the right are Damodar Mauzo, Prava Rai (moderator) and Vishram Gupte. Benedito Ferrrao's footwear is all that is visible. Pix by Brian.

As part of the GALF initiative, Brian Mendonca reads his poems at the historic Azad Maidan at Panjim,Goa on Sunday 16 December 2012.  Meena Kandasamy,  poet ;  Jerry Pinto (moderator); Konkani poet Ramesh Veluskar and a  Kashmiri poet are also seen. 

Brian Mendonca's post to Goa Book Club on google groups on 17 December 2012:

Thank you for inviting me to 'Goa and the World' as part of the GBC initiative at Goa Arts and Literary Festival 2012.

After a long time I read 'Hillsong' written in Morni Hills, Haryana, for my line 'The twitter of the birds knows no locus'. As a poet I don't ask myself whether I am writing for Goa or for the world. I just write on the wings of inspiration. 

'Hymn to Ravi' my next poem written in Chamba, and read at Prava's request, shows how the plenitude of the river Ravi brings healing to wounded nations like India and Pakistan without mentioning either.

New poets need to have avenues to be published in Goa. They need a platform to be heard, perhaps what Prakriti does very well in Chennai. They hosted me once on a rainy day to launch Last Bus to Vasco.

Damodar bhau distinguishes himself by his support to younger writers like me. This synergy needs to be more broadbased, so that Goa has a living tradition of writers.

We also need to engage with reading practices. The way we read a novel, is not the way we read a short story, is not the way we (need to) read a poem.

It was glorious to be part of Azad Maidan yesterday at eventide. I tried to present a poem - my latest - 'On the Waterfront' written at Ruo de Ourem, Panjim, but stalled midway as I could not read my writing. The poem is a melding of spiritualities, of Old Goa,and of the youth of the city of Panjim rejuvenated by the waters of life.

'For me Goa is the World' was what I signed off with. I shared the thought that after roaming across India for 20 years to write my poems, I am back to stay, as I heard someone say 'Viva!' in the crowd.

I thank the organizers for making this interface with the public, possible.

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