Part of the fun of Literature Festivals is meeting old friends and aquaintances. I’ve known Qaisra Shaharaz for some thirty years. But since meeting her when I was a literature development worker in Manchester she has become world reknown. And here she is in Pakistan with poet Iftikhar Arif.
Intizar Hussein spoke of magic realism and how this new term describes what is Pakistan’s oldest literary and oral tradition. It was prophetic. Storm clouds gathered above. Sheema Kermani then danced to the words of Tagore. She was fierce and defiant. As the shadows of black crows rippled across the canvas roof thunder broke and rain poured. it was as if the sky above was washing the past for this festival of the future to be cleaned for the present. The next day the newspapers and blogs would say “Literature Festival takes Karachi by storm”.