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Three-day literary extravaganza to hit Bangalore from 27 September


K S NARAYANAN | New Delhi, September 16, 2013 13:56
Tags : Bangalore Literature Festival | Garden City of India | Gulzar | Ramachandra Guha | William Dalrymple | U R Ananthamurthy | Rajmohan Gandhi | Chandrashekhara Kambara | Nabaneeta Dev Sen | Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra | Farhan Akhtar | |

Beautiful gardens and parks, the gulmohar in full bloom, the most salubrious weather – Bangalore has always inspired creative thinkers and authors.

Now the hi-tech city is gearing up for the second edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) to celebrate this creative spirit of the city touted as the Garden City of India and commemorates the literary diversity it offers, bringing it in conversation with the best minds in the world of literature within and outside India.

Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF), the flagship literary event on the cultural calendar of Bangalore city, is all set for its second edition from September 27th to 29th at the Crowne Plaza at Velankani Park in Electronics City. Building on the successful 2012 debut edition, this year BLF will  feature over a 100 authors and speakers, including several distinguished literary names like Gulzar, Ramachandra Guha, William Dalrymple, U R Ananthamurthy, Rajmohan Gandhi, Chandrashekhara Kambara, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Farhan Akhtar, David Davidar, Wendell Rodricks, Prasoon Joshi, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Shashi Deshpande, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramanian, Nissar Ahmed, Madhu Kishwar, HS Venkatesh Murthy, Prasad Bidapa, Ramakant Rath, Ashokamitran, K Satchidanandan, Nilanjana Roy, Kishwar Desai, Anita Nair, Ian Jack, Shobhaa De, Karthika VK, Kapish Mehra, Meena Kandasamy and several others.

According to the organisers the BLF aspires to be an Annual Flagship event in the cultural calendar of Bangalore and would focus on rekindling the romance with literature and foster reading and writing, especially among the youth. It offers a national platform with a global appeal and bridges the gap between literature in English and Indian regional languages.
“Bangalore truly lives up to its cosmopolitan status and we have strived to reflect this in our programming of the Festival too. This year the focus is on being experimental yet inclusive with more languages, a blend of serious and light writing, intense & diverse themes coupled with celebrity attendance and general interest panels. We believe we’ve put together something for everyone and look forward to high levels of participation from namma Bengaluru,” said author and founding trustee of the Bangalore Literature Festival Vikram Sampath.

In just its second year, the Festival has become a sought after and must-attend event for readers and writers from Bangalore, India and the world, with its enriching and stimulating panel discussions, interviews and literary sessions. This year BLF will witness authors engaging the audiences with diverse themes. Highlights include commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema with a discussion on the adaptation of biographies to bio-pics featuring one of India’s most critically acclaimed actors Farhan Akhtar, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi, whose ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was a stellar success this year; discussions on cinema writing featuring veterans in the field like Baradwaj Rangan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sharmishta Gooptu, MK Raghavendra, Kishwar Desai, Bhawana Somaaya, Jayant Kaikini and others. Poet Gulzar who wowed audiences during the inaugural edition last year and loved being there himself, will participate this year too in a discussion on film lyrics with Prasoon Joshi.
This year Bangalore Literature Festival is collaborating with the Goethe-Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore to feature Germany as a focus country for the 2013 edition.

Authors from Germany, including the celebrated slam poet Bas Botcher, Tilman Rammstedt,  Chirstopher Kloebel, Saskya Jain and Abbas Khider will be participating, as will be Ian Jack of Granta and Mofussil Junction fame, and Aurélia Lassaque the French/Occitan poet.

Besidest the literary festival down south will also throws the spotlight on South Asian Writing, featuring authors from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka: Babar Ayaz, Mira Hashmi, Kanak Mani Dixit, Farah Ghuznawi and Ashok Ferry.
To attract local audience the second edition of the Fesival also has sessions planned on  Kannada literature featuring stalwarts like Chandrashekhara Kambara, U R Ananthamurthy, HS Venkatesh Murthy, Nissar Ahmed, Venkatachala Shastry,  Narahalli Balasubrahmanya, Viveka Rai, KS Bhagwan, Jayant Kaikini, Mamta Sagar, Giraddi Govindaraju, CN Ramachandran, MM Kalburgi, Padekal Vishnu Bhatt and several others speaking on a host of issues relevant to the language.

 Another unique and interesting element of BLF is the emphasis on oral literary languages of Karnataka including Beary, Tulu, Kodava and Konkani, as also a special panel on the village of Mathoor and its success with making Sanskrit all pervasive there.

Bangalore Literature Festival 2013 is also supported by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, in helping bring together many stalwarts and upcoming Indian language authors, some of them for the first time to Bangalore. Names include Ramakant Rath (Odia), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Bengali), Ashokamitran (Tamil), Ashok Vajpeyi (Hindi), Govind Mishra (Hindi), K Satchidanandan (Malayalam), Vempalli Gangadhara (Telugu), Farooq Shaheen (Kashmiri), Dharmakirti Sumant (Marathi), Arindam Borkataki (Assamese) and others.

True to the Festival’s moorings, several city authors are supporting the event and participating in the Festival. Leading names include Shashi Deshpande, Usha K. R., Anita Nair, Gita Aravamudan, Varun Agarwal, Preeti Shenoy, Lavanya Sankaran, Nandita Bose, Swar Thounaojam, Jahnavi Barua, Athena Kashyap, Nilanjan Choudhury, Minal Hajratwala and others.
Other key attractions that audiences can look forward to at BLF this year include a session on Spirituality and Writing by renowned Guru, Sri Sri Ravishankar; interesting presentations and lectures by eminent historians Ramachandra Guha and William Dalrymple; nuances of fashion writing with Wendell Rodricks and much more.
This year’s edition of BLF also promises to be bigger and better for children and young adults too. In association with Pratham Books, Bookalore and Amar Chitra Katha, several children’s sessions and activity corners have been organized at the ‘Makkala Koota’ tent at the event venue.
The Festival opens at 10am on the three days with sessions going on through the day across three tents at the charming lawns of Crowne Plaza @ Velankani Park, Electronics City. Other interesting sidelights include an evening Carnatic violin performance by the Mysore Brothers - Dr. Manjunath and Shri Nagaraj; the famous Veeragase dance folk form of Karnataka, performance poetry sessions; Slam poetry workshops; a Hyde Park style Speakers’ Corner, short film screenings, stand-up comedy, book-nooks for literature lovers, a Festival bookshop by Oxford Bookstore along with several Kannada and Indian language book stalls to browse and buy books; book launches and author signing sessions; a unique spatial setup to explore and inhabit, film poster and memorabilia exhibitions, food and beverage outlets with street food, local and international cuisine – all making for a unique literary and cultural extravaganza and a true celebration of ‘Literature in the Park’.

The 2013 edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival is supported by Crowne Plaza Bengaluru as the Venue and Hospitality sponsor, Bangalore International Airport, ING Vysya Bank, ITC Foods and a group of eminent Bangaloreans coming together as Friends of Bangalore Literature Festival.
 Partners this year include Alliance Française De Bangalore, Bangalore International Arts Festival, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,  brand-comm, Electronics City Industries Association, Goli-Soda, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore, HIMĀL Southasian, Kumar La Noce, LinOpinion, Redbox Ideas, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Sahitya Akademi.
 Commenting on the support and sponsorship from Crowne Plaza, Manas Banerjee, General Manager, Crowne Plaza, Bengaluru said, “South India and particularly Bangalore has a long and rich literary tradition. The region has renowned writers in every language including English - RK Narayan, Raja Rao, Arundhati Roy, UR Ananthamurthy, Aravind Adiga, Jeet Thayil, Ramachandra Guha, among a plethora of others, whose whose contribution to Indian literature cannot be ignored. The Crowne Plaza @ Velankani Park, Electronics City takes great pride in hosting this prestigious event while bringing together writers and the general public to a common, yet enthralling platform. Acquiring a place for the Bangalore Literature Festival on both the national and international literary map is long overdue and I am sure that these are the beginnings of such an accomplishment.”
With over 100 writers from India and abroad, leading Indian and global publishers and art and culture organizations a literary feast is awaiting Bangalore next forthnight.

True to its hi-tech roots in the city, BLF will also take advantage of technology and all sessions will be streamed live through partnerships with AuthorTV and Radiowalla.
Entry is free and open to all via registration on the website or via Facebook/Twitter. and Pre-registration is highly recommended. Full list of events, schedule, participating author bios and other information will also be available on the website.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017