Its curtains on the KSLF Decennial edition with a call for India, Pak PM's to broker peace

October 25, 2021 05:40 PM

Crossing the threshold of its decennial edition the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival has wound up with Rahul Singh, chairperson of the Khushwant Singh Foundation, making an appeal to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to hug each other IN the backdrop of  Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli embracing  Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Rizwan after India lost to Pakistan.

The three-day online festival resonated vibrantly with memories and the philosophy of eminent writer journalist Khushwant Singh who always cherished strengthening and fostering the Indo-Pak bonds. Rahul, his son, contextualised it all and suggested that there be a thaw between the two countries to end the long drawn out deadlock.

Celebrated writer Viram Seth along with Fakir Syed Aijazuddin, an international art historian, set the tone for the festival recapitulating from the pages of Khushwant Singh's life with an underlining theme of The Second Becoming.

Khushwant Singh came alive more vibrantly in the session, KS : A Second Look At His Many Lives. In an informal and fond session Naina Dayal, the granddaughter of Khushwant Singh, who is a history scholar, took the narrative to sentimental boundaries recalling how Khushwant Singh would mentor her. 

Bachi Karkaria, renowned journalist and columnist, wondered if Khushwant Singh deliberately created an image of a " bad boy" in spite of being so erudite and scholarly. She said he did not drink much yet he would display his glass flamboyantly. 

Former diplomat and author Pavan Varma underlined that Khushwat was a renaissance man who loved to shock others. " He was extremely scholarly, yet he created a persona of a dirty old man around himself. That speaks volumes about his genius", he added.

On Saturday prolific writer and filmmaker, and Chandigarh girl, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana had her audience in splits of laughter as she launched off into how she left her baby behind at a restaurant! But she remembered her voluminous handbag. 

The closing had Amitav Ghosh and Jairam Ramesh had an intense session touching on various environmental challenges that the planet in general and India, in particular, has been confronting. In the light of COP26 this coming weekend.

One of the sessions had decorated BBC journalist David Loyn deliberating at length on the crisis of Afghanistan touching tenderly on the humanistic shades of the Afghan lives and very discerningly delving on the diplomatic and political designs that the USA articulated on the beleaguered land.

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