Delhi Literature Festival begins

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) The sixth edition of the Delhi Literature Festival began featuring a promising line-up of speakers and writers of varied genres.

The three-day long annual event is taking place at Dilli Haat. The first day on Friday however, saw very few visitors.

The festival that was inaugurated on Friday evening has some scintillating panel discussions lined up.

The literary event gained momentum with a musical session in which author-singer Minu Bakshi, regaled the audience with her rendering of ghazals set to Hindustani classical ragas like Yaman, Bageshri, Bhopali.

The music concert was followed by a panel discussion with author Sanil Sachar, whose latest novel “Rebound” is billed as “a tale of love, loss and longing” and brings forth a “young man’s relentless pursuit to uncover delusions and seek reality”.

Sachar spoke at length about his tryst with writing, recalling that writing came as a “natural escape” for the young man. He also expressed freely on his novel, while sharing his perspective on the contemporary literary scene in India.

While Sachar agreed that traditional writers and publishers sometimes have a tendency to look down upon young writers, he maintained that bracketing writers into categories, such as young and old, does more harm than good.

“I am a writer, and that’s how I think of myself — not as a young or an old writer but as writer. Everybody has something unique to bring to the table and there are different readers for different kinds of books. There‘s always an audience for everything. If there are readers it will be unfair to not give them content,” he quipped.

There were other thought-provoking sessions for the literati too. JaiRaj Singh, Editor- DailyO – India Today Group moderated the session featuring Swati Daftuar (Commissioning Editor HarperCollins) and Milee Ashwarya (Editor-in-Chief Penguin Random House) participated in a discussion on “Growth of Crowd Sourced Writing in New Age Writing”.

The concluding session on the first day saw mystery-thriller writer Ashwin Sanghi in conversation with Manjula Narayan, National Books Editor of Hindustan Times. Narayan delved into the many intricacies that go into shaping the novels by one of India’s highest selling authors and made Sanghi spill the beans on his latest novel “Keepers of the Kalachakra”.

However the footfall on the first day was disappointing. With almost 80 per cent of the chairs unattended and the total footfall during any of the sessions on the first day counting in just a few dozens, the organisers hope to draw more crowds over the weekend. The lit fest concludes on Sunday.

Started in 2013, the Delhi Literary Festival was conceptualized as a literary event where writers engage in a free flow of ideas on important issues, and participate in panel discussions, book readings, book launches, workshops, besides speaker events and poetry sessions.

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