Contributed By Nikitha Karnam
“What are you going to do with a degree in English literature? Clean people’s tongues?” That was what Mohana Krishna’s friend’s father asked him. In a recent Tedx talk, the Telugu director talked about the relationship between literature and cinema, culture and the relevance of humanities as a stream. He talked about disconnect between education and culture that is reflected in disconnect between literature and cinema. He wants people to look at cinema not just as a means of entertainment and view it as a cultural expression that gives us a sense of direction about our culture and where we stand. There is also a misconception that responsible cinema is devoid of entertainment and deals only with social issues.
Culture is represented by the creative works generated in that period of time and this includes literature, music and other forms of art. Cinema, with a gathering of 500people watching a cultural expression, laughing, crying and sharing opinions, is a communal experience. He encouraged everyone to read books as it enables interaction and instigates questions and forces us to not conform to any fixed notion. Literature depicts our life and provides us with a context that we can locate ourselves in. It space provides us with a deep understanding about life. He even pointed out how very few of us read Telugu literature or can speak the language frequently or have knowledge about our great writers are and what our actual cultural and literary heritage is, about our great painters and musicians. He is asking us not to worship them but to constantly engage with their work. And from this continuous conversation art emerges.
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