At lit fest, authors talk up vibrant B'lore

At lit fest, authors talk up vibrant B'lore

At lit fest, authors talk up vibrant B'lore

As the City resumed its literary pursuit in the form of Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) which opened at Velankani Park in Electronics City on Friday, it was also time to celebrate its vibrancy, dynamism and versatileness.

And this spirit of Bangalore was enunciated by none other than the renowned historian, Ramachandra Guha, who said the City’s linguistic diversity and plural culture were “unmatched”.

“Bangalore is the only city in the world which has daily film shows in six languages — Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and English,” Guha, a Tamilian who has been living in the City for long, said.

Kannadigas liberal

“This city has been able to nourish a plural culture which makes it so vibrant. Unlike a few chauvinists I have come across from some parts of India, Kannadigas are, by and large, open minded and it becomes evident in their writing.”

Vikram Sampath, co-founder of BLF, said the event “is our attempt to bring the world to Bangalore and the City to the world.”

Participating authors stressed the need to rekindle romance with literature.

‘Morale booster’

“Literature festivals make us writers feel happy. They make us noticed, people listen to us and we need such morale boosters once in a while,” said Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi. “Language remains the most radical invention ever. The plurality of languages makes writing enriching and we are one because we are so many.”

Vajpeyi said he looked forward to meeting many Kannada writers, and hoped it would be a “wonderful experience”. In a separate interaction with Deccan Herald, Vajpeyi said the written word would stay come what may.

“The notion that written word is lost is a mistaken one. Words still have a lot of power. The humble change the world than the arrogant. It’s more important to remain grounded,” he observed.

“It never occurred to me that I should write in English. To me, literature is about imagination and dreams, which I can never express in English.”

Other eminent writers who engaged in thought-provoking discussions with the audience were Gulzar, Chandrashekhara Kambara, U R Ananthamurthy, et al. Lyricist Prasoon Joshi, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, actor Farhan Akhtar and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar also stimulated their thoughts.

Ideas, opinions and discussions came to surface as people from all walks of life interacted with them and discussed art, culture, literature and poetry.

“I had come last year, too, and was completely overwhelmed by the experience,” said Ragini, a visitor. “Hence, I decided to come again.” Deepak, an entrepreneur, said his love for literature drew him to the event.

The festival will also have musical concerts. Bookstores have also been put up to attract readers.

The focus is on Kannada literature. “Just like last year, we are trying to put together a rainbow of native Indian languages and will host reading sessions for children,” said Sampath.

Gulzar to launch book today

On Saturday, Gulzar will launch his book ‘I Swallowed the Moon’ in the morning. Later in the day, noted historian William Dalrymple will discuss ‘The Anatomy of Literature Festivals’, along with Sampath.

At 2 pm, a session will be held on oral traditions of Karnataka such as Tulu, Kodava, Konkani and Beary. An afternoon session titled ‘The Novel and the People’ will focus on the notions of Indian fiction and Indian reality by Ananthamurthy, Nabaneeta Dev Sen and K Satchidanandan.

In the evening, there will be a discussion by Guha followed a concert by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Subhshankar Banerjee.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox