The Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) was held on January 19, 20 and 21, 2023. The festival had exciting book launches, presentations, panel discussions and more.
A brief session of half an hour at the Zuari Hall of the International Centre Goa (ICG) witnessed an exclusive book launch of the book Letter to God & other poems by journalist and writer Tara Narayan.
The session was moderated by Sahitya Akademi awardee Prashanti Talpankar. “We all know that it is very difficult to cage the breeze and hold sunlight in your fist, but I realised poets can do it, and Tara has managed to do that,” said Talpankar, as she introduced the poet that afternoon.
After which the book was officially launched and smiles grew bigger for the camera.
The mic was then handed over to the versatile writer. “I have a first collection that was called Single Woman, which was published more than 20 years ago. Almost everybody has an affinity for poetry. I do believe that literature in general does help to make us more sensitive human beings. So I will let my poems speak for me,” she said.
Moving over to the podium, although very little of the poet was visible, the poems that she read and recited out of her books resonated with the audience.
She read two poems from her first collection titled “Woman” and “Trees of Life”, which she said reminded her of Goa, the place that she has adopted as her own.
Tara then went on to read her interesting yet simply titled poems from her books. Sharing what inspires her to write poetry, she said, “Poetry is one way to express yourself. To get over a moment of distress, a moment of crisis, that’s when I find that writing poetry is like a bit of technique to survive – to continue to live.”
Her unique request was to circulate copies of her books and ask the audience to pick a poem that they would like her to read.
As Prashanti rightly said, Tara’s poetry stops for no one, be it fathers, mothers, society or God himself.
“This is a poem that my husband did not want me to include in this collection,” she said, after which she narrated her truthful yet explicit poem “Letter to God”, which has content you will have to read for yourself since reality is often too profane to be featured.