Wednesday, March 14, 2007
the times of india kitab festival brought writers from india and britain to mumbai.it ran for three days,from feb 23 to feb 25.and the man(or shall we say boy?) behind this impressive event was 23 year young pablo ganguli.he is passionate about bringing people together so that they can then talk about their visions and ideas.pablo organises international festivals that are eclectic.they focus on a wide variety of subjects.his compnay 'liberatum' works on sponsorship which they receive from corporate bodies to conduct their festivals.this year's kitab was the second one. last year it was held in delhi.
the participants included,actress goldie hawn,william dalrymple,shashi tharoor, deborah moggach,amit chaudhuri,kiran nagarkar,shekar kapoor,farukkh dhondy,javed akhtar,muneeza shamsie and many many others.kitab according to pablo is not a literary festival.it is a festival of interviews,debates and ideas.screenwriters,artists,actors and even political figures are invited to participate in debates and readings on a smorgasbord of subjects.pablo would like them to connect the masses with stimulating ideas that great thinkers and icons create.there were movies and music videos too.deborrah of pride and prejudice fame let you in to some secrets of screenwriting and amit chaudhuri put on his musician hat and played with his band 'this is not fusion'.
shobha de and other british authors dicussed the depiction of sexuality in fiction,deborrah moggach on 'how do you turn a book into a film',a discussion on women's clothing,poetry reading,book reading,conversation and porn talk.gregory david roberts of 'shantaram' fame spoke about human rights and a teenager jyoti guptara spoke about his best selling fantasy novel 'conspiracy of calaspia'.curries and spices and bland english food were discussed and about the future of indian food in britain. the finale was the readings on mumbai city by ranjit hoskote,sonia faleiro,jerry pinto and a few others.
earlier in february there was a litfest at jaipur as well.and it made quire a bang.there were the gliterrati mingling with the literrati,and large audiences and readers from all over the world.salman rushdie and kiran desai surely were big crowdpullers.enthused by the success the organisers hope to bring amartya sen or orhan pamuk next year.
looking by the success of jaipur and kitab,these litfests are here to stay.to the delight of book readers who can see their heroes in flesh and blood and interact with them and up and coming writers like say baby halder whose book 'a life less ordinary' literally flew off the bookshelves and has gone into several reprints since then.