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What to expect at the fifth Bangalore Literature Festival

Perhaps the most awaited event in the city’s literary calendar, T h e Bangalore Literature Festival kicks off tomorrow. In its fifth edition, the festival boasts a list of big names such as Shashi Tharoor, Amish Tripathi, Ramachandra Guha, Chetan Bhag at and Ai shwaryaa Rajnikanth Dhanush. If that’s not exciting enough, the organising team has even lined up ballet performances, a tribute to Nobel literature laureate, Bob Dylan and folk music sessions to keep everyone interested. Festival director Shinie Antony tells us more.

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Amish Tripathi

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Shashi Deshpande

How is this year’s fest expected to be different?
This is the first time we have put the children’s segment at par with the main festival. The programming, with Vikram Sridhar at its helm, puts C|L|F (Children| Literature| Fun) on centrestage. Sudha Murthy inaugurates it, there are going to be quizzes, AMAs (Ask Me Anything) on journalism and dating, spooky sessions (by Shweta Taneja), adventure sessions (by young adult writer Arup Kumar Dutta from Guwahati), apart from ballet and rock music performances.

What are the biggest highlights at this year’s fest?

Apart from C|L|F, we have the Red Couch, which will be a personalised space for authors to own and reign over. They will read, wail, laugh, do their own thing. Interactive installations are another feature. People can actually get into the read-write-listen ambiance on the spot. The cultural programmes — such as Guru Rewban from the north-east and Piyush Mishra from Bollywood — showcase the festival’s growing cosmopolitan nature.

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Ramachandra Guha

How has the fest changed over the years?

Each year the fest surprises itself. We try not to repeat elements. We have also understood that the Bangalore Literature Festival has a force of its own, the team behind it is incidental.

Latest trends in the literary world.

The latest trend in the literary world is change. We are not just what we read but how we read. Literature is more live, more interactive, more out there and yet something that unfurls deep within us.

What are some of the sessions you’re looking forward to?

I look forward to every session. I know some authors have an issue being paired with someone, or, as they feel, to be straitjacketed within a title etc, but the fact is that the festival and its session titles are merely launchpads. Writers and speakers are expected to twist it around, form a malleable spot and come at us, the audience, from where they are.

Other highlights

Dec 17, 6.30 pm – Witness a mash-up of puppetry and hip hop as puppeteer Paul Affeld and Kannada rapper Karthik Gubbi come together for a ground-breaking performance that deals with life in a metropolis.

Dec 18, 3.30 pm – Watch budding authors pitch ideas for their new book to a jury that includes names like Ajitha GS (HarperCollins), Ashok Chopra (Hay House) and Deepthi Talwar (Westland).

December 18, 4 pm – The organisers and Atta Galatta, the city-based book store and performance art space will announce the winners of the Atta Galatta – Bangalore Literature Festival | Book Prize. The shortlist includes works like A Place of No Importance by Veena Muthuraman (fiction), One Point Two Billion by Mahesh Rao (fiction), and The Ivory Throne by Manu Pillai (non-fiction). Dec 17, 10 am – Economist and writer Sanjeev Sanyal and author / politician Shashi Tharoor will have a discussion on the topic, ‘Inglorious Empire: The Reality Of The British Raj.’ Dec 18, 1.30 pm – Writer and academician Dr Premila Paul will be in conversation with Aishwaryaa Rajnikanth Dhanush about her memoir, Standing On An Apple Box.

Dec 17, 10 am – Economist and writer Sanjeev Sanyal and author / politician Shashi Tharoor will have a discussion on the topic, ‘Inglorious Empire: The Reality Of The British Raj.’ Dec 18, 1.30 pm – Writer and academician Dr Premila Paul will be in conversation with Aishwaryaa Rajnikanth Dhanush about her memoir, Standing On An Apple Box.

Dec 18, 1.30 pm – Writer and academician Dr Premila Paul will be in conversation with Aishwaryaa Rajnikanth Dhanush about her memoir, Standing On An Apple Box.

Entry free. At Hotel Royal Orchid, Old Airport Road. December 17-18, 9.30 am. Details: bangaloreliteraturefestival. orgRashmi

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