Jitendra Ramprakash is convinced. In this world of shorthand, abridged versions, abbreviated forms, slang slurs and SMS lingo, he feels people have forgotten how to converse, savour and relish real words that leave a delightfully spirited imprint on the soul. To connect the common man once again with what was an integral part of his culture and roots, Ramprakash and a group of like-minded people got together and formed Sadho (O' sage), a non-profit organisation to "revive, translate, sustain and promote poetry in all forms and languages". It was a "poetic intervention", one that took place in 2007 in Delhi, and has travelled across the country. This Saturday the third edition of the Sadho Film Festival will take place at Alliance Francaise in Chandigarh. The first, and perhaps the only festival of its kind to be held in Asia, it thrives on partnerships with other important festivals that focus on this genre of films in Europe, USA, Latin America and South Africa.
Sadho, adds Ramprakash, is a showcase of the finest poetry-films ó such as Dollhouse and Even Losing You ó from across the world. Within it, it holds many sections, including one that has poetry films made by students of prominent international film schools, and by directors as young as 13. "From rare archival poetry-films made by filmmakers and poets such as Allen Ginsberg, to films based on works by famous poets such as Victor Hugo, William Blake, EE Cummings, Silvia Plath and Pablo Neruda, to works of Japanese haiku masters, Kashmiri saint-poets Lad Ded and Nund Rishi and modern Indian poets such as Kunwar Narain, Sarweshwar Dayal Saxena and Nissim Ezikel ó we showcase it all," says Ramprakash.
A poet, media-trainer, former TV anchor and translator, Ramprakash is also working on two books ó one on theoretical psychology and the other is a book of poetry translations. For him, poetry is the way of life, and, unlike other cultures, is the very soul of Indian milieu. "Take our scriptures or religious texts, the way we weave in words and present wit and humour, pain and anger, it has a strong undercurrent of poetry, which is missing these days. Hence, Sadho's aim was to take poetry to the people and not just relegate it to books or literary circles," says Ramprakash.
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