Attending a Literature Festival is a beautiful way of spending an enlightening weekend.
Ideas float around, the air is filled with literary vibrations and the ambiance is charged with star presence. The fever catches onto to you. The temperature soars to climax to a rocking frenzy like it happened this time when the local rock God Raghu Dixit performed with his band to mark the culmination of the festival.
Before that, there was this ‘Khullam Khulla’ session with Rishi Kapoor. Of course he had come to promote his book. During the panel discussion he was at his candid best talking about the advantages and disadvantages carrying the baggage of the Kapoor legacy and his real and reel life. Being a Kapoor son gave him the break. At the same time, he worked hard to make his mark as a romantic hero in the era of the angry young men.
He is also well known for his unique and spontaneous style of acting. The audience, comprising of young and old got its ‘tare zamin par‘ moment as they crowded the venue to have a glimpse and listen to him.
I would have liked to be there from start to finish on both the days to soak in the ethereal world of ideas and stars. But, then there are worldly duties. So, I could attend only part of the sessions on both the days- 11th and 12th Feb.
Even if you attend the festival from start to finish you cannot be part of all the happenings as events took place simultaneously at three venues. Sometime, when two of your favorite programs clash, or just for the sake of curiosity, you have to shuttle between venues half way through a session.
“Let us check up what is happening at those other venues.”
In India, in terms of literacy men may outnumber women, but when it comes to matters literary it is the other way round. At least literature festivals makes one think so. And it makes women qualitatively better than men. (Even in an earlier literature festival while a congregation of women writers were discussing various issues, a bunch of girls in the audience were heard making a loud statement all of the men are idiots)
It was nice to see authors and stakeholders from diverse fields like fashion, sports, food, cinema, music, technology etc. congregate and share their points of view, sometimes to ignite the dormant passion in us or sometimes to see things from a different angle. While, the dismal state of sport administration in India was highlighted in one session, in another, concern was expressed about Coorg tribe the Coorg cuisine facing the danger of extinction, maybe in not so distant a future.