Monday, March 4, 2019

Times Lit Fest, Bangalore - Day 1

Attended the Times Lit Fest at Bangalore - 23rd and 24th February put together by Vinita Dawra Nangia. Spread across four venues at the Jayamahal Palace, it was packed with events. Speakers included Devdutt Pattanaik, Nayantara Sehgal, Vivek Shanbhag, Shobhaa De, Andaleeb Wajid, Deepa Narayan, Kishwar Desai, Rakshanda Jalil, Shabana Azmi, Anand Neelkantan, Sanjay Khan, Annup Sonii, Ravinder Singh, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramaniam, Anita Nair, Manu Pillai, Vikram Sampath, Gurcharan Das, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Meghna Pant, Githa Hariharan, Om Swami, Rijutha Diwekar, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Prayaag Akbar, Chetan Bhagat, Arjun Gaind, Appupen, Ramya Ramakrishnan, Shipra Khanna, Shashi Deshpande, Tony Joseph, Roshan Abbas, Amitabha Bagchi, Wendell Rodricks and others.

Apart from the sessions there was 'The Garage' which had literary crafts and workshops, exquisite art forms by Art Mantram and other stuff. ID Fresh Food gave away free coffee at its stall.

Day 1
I had a session at 1130 in the morning moderated by Prajwal Hegde who had just written a book 'What's good about falling?'. Prajwal is a sports reporter and mainly covers Wimbledon. Others on the panel were Olympian swimmers Rehan Poncha, Nisha Millet and IPL and Karnataka player K. Gowtham.
Times Lit Fest

Nice tents, bookshelves, books

The festival started late for some reason. I attended the keynote speech by Devdutt Pattanaik on Astitva, identity, being and much more which he covered in 30 minutes.

Lovely open area
Minati's book of poems which sounded quite nice. Prajwal came and met me there and we figured we should meet at the author's lounge.
The roof of the shamiana, the blue is the sky
Amazing. I could not make much sense of it except that he said he did not exist if the audience was not there. I met Saroj and Minati there and browsed through
Our session in progress (Pic. George)

The lounge was guarded like a fortress and I wondered why. Just some authors after all. But I could see some known faces, names.

Since not many people had come in yet, I got a lovely caricature drawn by the talented Jinoy. Loved it.
Prajwal, Rehan, Gowtham, Nisha and me

In the author's lounge I met Satya and Vestin whom I had met at Anita's attic. Satya had written a fun book and it really looked interesting. She also told me that her daughters loved 'The Men Within'. I met Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, Anita Nair, Kuljeet Yadav. Prajwal introduced me to many sports reporters - Manuja Veerappa being one of them. Anita introduced me to many people she knew - Ashwin Sanghi was one - as the fast bowler who was a first-class cricketer turned writer.
George and Anita

The session went well. Topics included how one copes with success and failure, how it affects relationships, what it takes to be a champion, when do you know you have reached your potential, how does one conduct oneself in public. Rehan and Nisha spoke about the dedication one needs to be a champion, about giving back to the sport and so on. I found Lalith in the audience, someone who had read 'The Men Within' years ago and I was thrilled. He asked me a question about vanishing grounds and what the answer was. I felt that it's for schools to believe that sports develops character and if it does, they can find ways to hire grounds etc and expose children to sports. We took a picture. George came sometime in between and we were on for Nimmi's play that afternoon.
Lalith, me and The Men Within

After the session, we hung about the place for a bit. Turns out that Anita and George are great pals too. We chatted a bit and then left to Rangasharada. Show is at 430 but we needed to get a bite. We decided to go to Rangasharada and eat at its famed canteen.

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