Bangalore Literature Festival
by Kakuli Nag
I was excited about attending the Literature Festival after four years during my recent visit to Bangalore.
I was privileged to be in the company of an established author like Lakshmi Menon who has several books to her credit. So, I was fortunate to have interesting writing related conversations even during transit and neither of us ever fell short of ideas.
With over 120 authors participating in the fest, it was difficult to choose between the days – which day should we attend – considering the distance, traffic and festival schedule
With my interest not tilting towards political discussion at all, I was naturally inclined towards a much lighter agenda – Bollywood, children writing, Book collection, watch the writers sign books and bring home some memories by the end of the day.
As we entered the lawns of The Lalit Ashok, we noticed there was a private party in progress just adjacent to the fest – I was quick to form my opinion about the organizers. Mentally I voted for Crown Plaza which was a much more spacious and peaceful venue.
Before I could take that lightly, I see a young guy in his late twenties take quick Selfies just before entering the fest, almost like we stop to remove our slippers before entering a temple. I know how important those clicks are for their Face book check in. As I wondered if I should take that as a hint regarding the pseudo-intellectual crowd that’s attending it, I was in for quite a few surprises.
The crowd had book lovers, budding authors, bloggers – some sitting here and there, scribbling notes. This is definitely a learning experience even for the teenagers who were holding new books, in this kindle era, watch the authors live who has written those books talk, who are approachable for autographs – the effect can be far reaching with many of these young kids wanting to be writers and fan their creative flames.
The long queue near food stalls almost lead me again to ask – Why is food for stomach so much more important than food for thought? I let that thought pass soon.
We had the opportunity to hear Reena Puri and Ranjit Lal, in conversation with Sudeshna Shome – Reena spoke about why Mythology matters to young minds and how with changing times, the Amar Chitra Katha core team is contemporizing themes. Ranjit, on the other hand declared at the very outset how he knew nothing about mythology and stuck to contemporary themes addressing issues like Dementia, children and other pressing concerns in the society.
After this session, we moved to the zone where Twinkle Khanna was awarded the popular choice award and had a lively, witty conversation with Darius Sunawala. She was open for questions from audience and was also available for a book signing session too.
We missed the writing workshop by Rajorshi Chakraborti and the session on Personal writing - Natasha Badhwar with Samar Harlarnkar.
The ambience was nice, the mood was perfect, the crowd was good, interesting mix of authors and artistes, wide range of topics and fair weather. What more could one ask for?
We clicked a couple of photographs to capture the moment, as we walked out from this literary world to deal with the real world – traffic, distance, how late we will be, family will be worried etc.
The writer in me stirs to get started again, take writing more seriously and this is exactly what happens each time I attend a fest – I want to write more.