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Mumbai, December 11 (CINEWS): The Times of India’s Literary Carnival was held at Mehboob Studio, where dozens of films including Guru Dutt’s ‘Mother India’ were shot, last weekend. Thousands of book lovers from across the city descended here. Hundreds more joined them from Delhi and Pune to experience a book fest that was billed as something that expanded the boundaries of literature to include every thing that Mumbai loves and they
weren’t disappointed. Over three days, they came to listen and meet with some of the world’s best writers who discussed provocative themes. They included: Madhur Jaffrey, William Dalrymple, Mohsin Hamid, Anuja Chauhan, Vikram Chandra, Suhel Seth, Shobhaa De, Mohammed Hanif, Arun Shourie, Abhinav Bindra (who has just written his biography) and many more.
The core theme of the Times of India Literary Carnival 2015 was ‘Romance, Love and Violence’. Several panels were structured around this idea, discussing money, corruption, film, sex and food.
There were panel discussions on several topics ranging from ‘Marriage is a word to a sentence’ to whether ‘Romance is past its sell-by date’, debated by best-selling novelists Anuja Chauhan and Ravinder Singh. Famous writer Mohammed Hanif.
There were several book launches – a book on the Mumbai terror attacks titled ‘The Siege’, Mary Kom’s biography, Gulzar’s ‘Hindi For Heart’, and Bachi Karkaria’s book on Bombay. For all poetry enthusiasts, the carnival also held several poetry readings. ‘The Flawed Heroine’, Vinod Mehta’s biography of Meena Kumari was among the book launches and followed by a discussion about the legend with the author by Mahmood Farooqui.
Ruskin Bond received the Times of India Literary Award in a special ceremony.
The crowds came for a variety of reasons. Some advertising types came to draw inspiration from a discussion titled ‘Does Advertising Tell A Lie To Speak A Deeper Truth’. Veterans from India’s advertising world like Piyush Pandey and Alyque Padamsee revealed it all.
There were discussions on reading in the time of Twitter and how social media has taken over the world.
Book publisher, author and celebrity Shobha De was in conversation with author and award-winning novelist Vikram Seth who launched his book of poems called ‘Summer Requiem’. They discussed poetry and intolerance in India among other things that kept an audience comprising hundreds glued to their seats. US reality chef Padma Laxmi and noted New York city chef Floyd Cardoz sat and talked food leaving foodies drooling.
India is fast emerging as the last great hope for book publishers and a lucrative market for authors. The runnaway success of this book festival shows just how important the written word has become in contemporary India.