This weekend was full of events for Delhites - Comicon at Thyagraj Stadium, Auto Expo in Greater Noida, Defense Expo in Pragati Maidan and Delhi Literature Festival at IGNCA. Since DLF 2014 had formally invited us, so it was easy to decide. This Photo Journey shares some moments captured at IGNCA today, along with overall experience of Literature Festival in capital city of India.
First two photographs may make you think if the place was so empty on second day of the festival. Delhi Literature Festival is comparatively new, so probably a long way to go for the team to reach a state where most of the folks from Literary world take it seriously. As we reached, we met Geeta Sahai who is a writer, broadcaster and Filmmaker.
We went inside the main hall where a talk on 'Illumination : Decorative Art of Bookmaking'. This session was mainly focused on world of Persian Publishing, its history and various forms. It was about 3 major elements - illumination ,decoration and calligraphy. These Iranian Artists were supposed to showcase the art-forms live as well. There was no exhibition out there. After the talk, we thought of checking the exhibition in another hall where all the hoardings were directing, but it was closed, not sure why.
We were little disappointed by now by looking at the response of Delhi at IGNCA and false promises in the festival agenda. We thought of taking a break and have some tea at IGNCA canteen which was close by. We had wonderful discussions with Geeta Sahai on various art forms and especially flash fiction. It was great to know about her old venture into radio broadcasting business.
It was time to move back and see what's happening at the Festival. Now people had started coming and we were seeing some folks coming in.
After having a round of the Festival venue again, we headed towards open air amphitheater. It was a panel discussion between an Author Meeakshi Reddy Madhavan, Book Club founders Saumya Kulshreshtha & Leher Sethi, Readers & aspiring writers. This discussion was moderated by Kunal Gupta. It sounded like a self poromotional activity along with promotion of their own groups.
I found it very immature and badly planned. Some of the bad comments were made about specific personalities and communities, which was not required at all. At the same time it was great to hear Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan and maturity of an authority was quite apt. Some of the very god points were raised and discussed respectfully.
During these sessions, audience was allowed to ask questions and interact with the panel. A Poet shared about himself, his career in poetry and vision for encouraging more Poets to take it was a profitable profession and then concluded by saying that he is a 'Jaat'.
Next was 'Tete-a-Tete - Publishing in India', a panel discussion between Authors, Publishers and Editors. It was mainly about exploring and understanding the pressing issues faced by all of the stakeholders. To share their voice and get confronted in return. Ms. Veena Batra, Chief Editor Vitasta Publication ; Abhijit Sengupta, Kishalay Bhattacharjee & Lipika bhushan participated in this discussion.
Kishalay Bhattacharjee moderated the discussion which started with some challenging questions for Publishers and Editors about their way of working, dealing with Authors. This whole discussion happened in a very matured manner and everything discussed during the session was quite reasonable and sensible. This discussion was quite practical for budding writers who wish to publish their work in form of book.
The descriptions of some sessions held promise but whatever we witnessed, did not come up to our expectations.
Venue of Delhi Literature Festival was good and spacious. There was enough parking space for visiters, which is usually one of the main concern for events in Delhi. However, not too many options were there for snacking. So it's better to carry tid-bits if you are not too found of junk food.
Amongst the panelists in discussions, Meenakshi who is a Writer and a participant in the Book Club discussion stood out as a serious and sensible individual. Her presence at the festival was a relief and hope to catch hold of a copy of her book soon.
When I was there at Delhi Literature Festival, Sanjay's blog-post came to my mind and without talking much about that, I would recommend you to go through - Why don't Indian read?
There is a huge scope of improvement for this festival to become a reasonably respected platform for Literature lovers.There is no dearth of Literary Talent in Delhi and the Festival Organizers should take advantage of their initiative to make sure that they can keep serious writers & readers interested.