I actually attended this festival at the beginning of the year but there are some experiences that just stick with you, and the annual Literature Festival is one of them!
Unlike other festivals or functions, the minute you enter the venue, it’s like a whole new world. People gathered for the sole purpose of learning, understanding, debating…it’s not a place to simply “hang out” (not that I have anything against hanging out) but the fact that thousands of individuals, families, senior citizens and youngsters, all made the effort to come out for three whole days and attend such a gathering is simply wonderful!
Brilliant organization, with helpful volunteers at hand, you could read up on the various events being held and choose the ones you wished to attend. You had authors, lectures, discussions, a book fair (obviously! :)), book launches, book readings, satire, music, and even a children’s sessions with storytelling, puppetry, painting and singing. Foreign journalists and writers were also invited.
I thoroughly enjoyed the books readings and panel discussions which included a singer who had now started his own NGO, that worked to spread education among the underprivileged.
My all time favourite was hearing Zia Mohyeddin, who is famous for his readings of English letters and Literature, speak so articulately. The silence all around, as the audience sat spellbound. With chairs quickly filling up, people didn’t hesitate in sitting down on the carpet in front of the podium. I still remember one line he said, “A book gives us imagination and imagination is happiness.” Mohyeddin made his film debut in Lawrence of Arabia and had guest roles in several TV shows and movies over the years.
This is an old clip of one of his readings
Oh, and how can I forget, the event for aspiring writers, where the person was invited on stage to read a short paragraph from his or her writings. Ok, so I chickened out, but in my defense, I hadn’t brought a copy of my work! But if I had…um..erm…it would have been like university all over again! Walking up to the front of the class for your presentation, the teacher watching silently from the side, eyes of the entire class glued onto you, waiting for you to slip up! Ok, no, my fellow students weren’t the snickering type…but I digress!
So enveloped in books, literature, the yearning for learning, all you had to do was grab a slice of jalapeno pizza or coffee on the go (of course food stalls garner the same amount of interest!) and make a beeline to the hall presenting the event of your liking.
An exhilarating three days for the past several years and I just can’t wait for the next Literature Festival!
Source:Desi Writers Lounge
Day 17 NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano/YeahNoMo