In these one and a half years in Bangalore I experienced one of the most exotic experiences of my entire life, when I attended the Bangalore literature festival.
I conveniently missed the inauguration. I planned to attend the sessions of my favorite authors.
First I attended the conversation of Devdutt Pattanaik, one of the most renown mythologist of India, with another author Mani Rao. They spoke on Mr. Pattanaik’s latest book “My Gita”. Both the authors have written their own versions of the Bhagawad Gita, and they discussed their point of view on the sacred book. This conversation made me more aware of my religion, my existence. What intrigued me was when Pattanaik said he disgusts the word “argument”, according to him Indian culture is about “Samvada” – discussion, you take information from another person and in turn give information. I never gave a thought about it. So a new realisation dawned in me.
The conversation being on mythology, don’t think it was boring, the man has a good sense of humour. He doesn’t speak of philosophy, so it wasn’t boring, I guess you too would have enjoyed, if you have at least a wee bit of interest in Hindu mythology. Not was the conversation constricted to Gita, Mahabharata was discussed, Ramayana was discussed, one can get a lot of knowledge about the mythology.
Next I attended the session I had been waiting for over a month. Conversation of Durjoy Datta along with Ravindra Singh and Preeti Shenoy with Nandita Bose on “New- Age Romantics”. That’s we all connect to. They spoke of what New-Age Romantics is about, infidelity, polyamory, the institution of marriage, whether technology mingling with romance is a boon or bane.
Ayushmann Khurana gave a Bollywood flavour to the lit fest. He’s worth admiring. He’s an actor, singer, music director, and now he had written a book with his wife about his struggles as an actor. He gave some tips to the aspiring actors and actresses.
There was a separate Q & A session with Durjoy Datta and Ravindra Singh on writing. Even I asked some questions. The session really helped me come out of the confusion I was in regarding my writing journey.
The last session of the festival was a debate on “Are we heading towards an intolerant India?”. The panel included eminent journalists, authors, politicians, entrepreneurs. The debate was a heated one with a great response from the audience. Presence of politicians did make the debate political which at last agitated the audience. The disappointing factor was that, only the past riots that occurred, the flaws of the government was being pointed out on and on. No body spoke about the unnecessary moral policing, or the rigid censoring of films. Only the phrases were mentioned but nobody probed into them.
These were only the ones I attended, there were many other sessions that took place in the Bangalore literature festival. The others didn’t much appeal to me, so I conveniently skipped. But I had my bit of fun.