Top 10 sessions to attend in Bangalore Literature Fest 2014 – Part 3 of 3

The Bangalore Lit Fest Edition 3.0 starts tomorrow, 26th September to Sunday, 28th September. The venue is the same as last year – the Velankani Park @ Crowne Plaza, Electronics City, Bangalore. You can catch up all things Lit Fest by reading our concise information about “What is BLF 2014” here and “Why should you be at BLF 2014” here.

This last article in a series of 3 aims to help you narrow down your choices! There are a whole lot of sessions on each of the 3 days. There are 16 sessions on Day 1, 26 sessions on Day 2 and 25 sessions on the last day. There are also a set of special programmes. So much to do and so little time. Even if you plan to spend the whole day there, you cannot attend all the sessions since quite a few of them will be going on in parallel. They will be held in three areas named Samskara, Suragi and Bharathipura after works by the late Prof. U R Ananthamurthy.

Here is our top 10 pick from the 60+ sessions in the BLF schedule.

1. The Inauguration will be a delight to attend with stalwarts like Girish Karnad, Chandrashekhara Kambara, Chetan Bhagat, Shobhaa De, Binalakshmi Nepram & Vikram Sampath being part of it. Just before the inauguration, there will be a folk dance performance called Kamsale, which is a unique folk art performed by the devotees of God Mahadeshwara. The festival edition of Beantown – The BLF Magazine will also be launched as part of the inauguration. Friday, 26th Sep 10:00 to 11:30 am

2. Chetan Bhagat – Shinie Antony, one of the three main organisers behind this lit fest, will be in conversation with Chetan Bhagat. We think this is going to be an interesting session with both fans and critics of Chetan’s work present. There is a huge divide amongst people regarding his work and opinions and it will be interesting to see the kind of response he gets at the lit fest. This will also give you an opportunity to hear him in first person and make your own opinions about him. Friday, 26th Sep 1:30 to 2:30 pm

3. ISIS – Global Terror at India’s Doorstep: With the ongoing crisis in Syria and a fair bit of the Middle East, this will be an informative as well as reflective session. Hormis Tharakan is a former Indian Police Service officer who writes on issues related to geopolitics, terrorism, peace and conflict resolution in national dailies. Aditya Sondhi is a Senior Advocate who writes and speaks on matters of national security from time to time. It will be interesting to know how that crisis is impacting India and are we under a real threat? Friday, 26th Sep 5:30 to 6:30 pm

4. We, the Children of India: Revisiting the Constitution of India – Day 2 at BLF offers a lot of sessions for children across age groups. This session with Leila Seth is Presented by Pratham Books. Leila Seth is a former Chief Justice and in her book she makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest readers. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? So if you have little ones who are curious cats, do take them to this session. Saturday, 27th Sep 10:30 to 11:15 am


5. Kala Rupankar–interface of Hindi literature and the arts – A session with Shubha Mudgal, Mrinal Pande, Pankaj Rag & Yatindra Mishra discussing how Hindi literature and the arts are connected, should be encouraged and promoted, promises to be a rich cultural treat. We are familiar with Shubha Mudgal, a Hindustani classical music artist. In addition this session will have Mrinal Pande who is a multi talented personality. She has worked as a journalist, editor, TV new anchor, teacher, classical music artist and an author among others.  She was awarded the Padmashree in 2006 for her services in the field of journalism. Some of you might remember her from her Doordarshan TV anchor days. Saturday, 27th Sep 2:00 to 3:00 pm 

6. Harry Potter Quiz – Yes, we are big Harry Potter fans and are very excited about this quiz!! The quiz will be based on the seven main Harry Potter Books and is for Potterheads of all ages! If you feel you know all seven books inside out, upside down and the right way about – the quiz is for you. The High In-quiz-itor Sonali Bhatia, gave up a career as an advertising copywriter to follow her passion of getting our youth to love reading. Today, she is a freelancer, conducting workshops in literary related activities for students, parents and teachers. Her Harry Potter Quizzes at various venues have been tremendously successful. For sample questions, click the link – All the best!! Saturday, 27th Sep 2:45 to 4:45 pm 

7. With Malice towards One and All – Celebrating Khushwant Singh – Noted author, lawyer, politician and journalist Khushwant Singh passed away this year.  His work was laced with humour and wit and he loved poetry too. Humra Quraishi, a Delhi based writer, columnist and journalist who has co-authored books with Mr Singh will be talking about him with actress Tisca Chopra, who is Khushwant Singh’s grand-niece. Tisca too recently turned writer with her book Acting Smart. Sunday, 28th Sep 10:00 to 11:00 am 

8. My Life, My Work, Girish Karnad – Girish Karnad is a local favourite in addition to being known internationally as a playwright, a highly talented film-maker, a versatile actor, an able cultural administrator, a noted communicator and a person of wide accomplishments and interests. He will be in conversation with Arshia Sattar who teaches classical Indian literatures at various institutions across the country. Sunday, 28th Sep 2:00 to 3:00 pm 

9. Voice, Suppression & Imagination: Contemporary Indigenous Writing from Australia – One of the focus areas of this edition of BLF is ethnic groups. This session will feature aboriginal writers from Australia to discuss common issues of marginalization—Brenton McKenna, Marie Munkara, Dylan Coleman and Jeanine Leane. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory bodySunday, 28th Sep 2:00 to 3:00 pm 

10. Borderlands: Writing from India’s North East -The major focus of this edition will be the North Eastern States of India. This session will have Tayenjam Bijoykumar Singh, Dhruba Hazarika, Jahnavi Barua & Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih discuss the literature of their region but also the socio-political and cultural issues that confront them. Sunday, 28th Sep 4:00 to 5:00 pm 


In addition to these sessions there are some special programmes that will be going on in the fest.

  • You can see documentaries and films being screened Saturday (Sep 27) and Sunday (Sep 28), 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM at the Bookstore area.
  • The LitMart Grand Finale is on Sep 27 (Saturday), 3 PM –  5 PM at the Bookstore area.
  • You can join in Schuhplattler, a German Folk Dance with Jennifer Swanda on Sep 27-28, Sat-Sun from 5 to 6 PM at the Bookstore area.
  • The BLF Books Quiz called “Ink.quiz.ition” will be held by Nexus Consulting on Sep 28, Sun from 3 to 5 PM at the Bookstore area.
  • There will be a BLF Meetup to meet other book lovers on all three days from 3 to 4 PM at the Amphitheatre. On Sep 27, Sat there will be a BYOB – Bring Your Own Books in collaboration with Barter.Li where you can exchange your books.
  • ‘A Thousand Words’ by Kumar La Noce – A piece of literature as a work of art will be on all day in the festival lawns. He did the “Postcards from BLF” installation in last year’s session.


There you go, those are our top choices. Have fun and enjoy yourself at the fest starting tomorrow!! #blrlitfest

Pictures courtesy – Bangalore Literature Fest