Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sharing: LITOMANIA 2014 DAY 2

L-R: Christopher Doyle, Shubha Vilas Das, Meghna Pant, Anand Neelakantan & Shatrujeet Nath

On the second day, I decided to go to Litomania only in the afternoon. Luckily for me, I remembered to take my camera. I had expected the shows to run late like the earlier day. But they were only late by a few minutes. I went to Does mythology need a twist? By Christopher Doyle, Shubha Vilas Das, Shatrujeet Nath and Anand Neelakantan. The moderator was Meghna Pant. I have to mention here that she was excellent, asking the right questions and being an intelligent listener. 

I am familiar with Anand Neelakantan’s writing as I am reading his book Ajaya in which Duryodhana is the protagonist. Author Anand Neelakantan is well known for his contrarian views as he takes the sides of the ‘supposed’ villains from mythology. His first book is Asura which tells the story from Ravana’s view point. 

After attending this programme, I am keen to read Christopher Doyle’s books too. Swami Shuba Vilas Das spoke really well and it was fascinating listening to him. 

Meghna Pant & Anand Neelakantan

The last part of the programme was just Anand Neelakantan and Meghna Pant as they spoke about the author’s latest book – The Rise of Kali – that continues with Duryodhanan’s story. The author explained why he felt the need to tell the story from what people considered the ‘villain’s’ view point. Amazing!

L-R: Vikram Sathaye, Parul Sharma, Sorabh Pant & Rishi Piparaiya

The next programme was Do happy people make great humour writers? I must say that this was the best one that I attended. I was sitting in the second row and laughed non-stop, almost falling out of my seat a few times, for the whole hour.  It was Sorabh Pant, Parul Sharma and Rishi Piparaiya – all authors – with Vikram Sathaye playing moderator. While Parul is quietly humorous, Rishi spoke very little. It was Sorabh who stole the show along with Vikram. Every time Sorabh opened his mouth, the audience were in splits. He was simply howlarious! And so was Vikram with his jokes on the cricket team. While making people laugh, Sorabh Pant also had many intelligent things to share – like how ‘chaos’ and ‘adrenaline rush’ make him what he is – a very successful stand-up comedian. It was the most awesome one-hour session. Loved it!

L-R: Shoma Narayanan, Leena Varghese, Sudeep Nagarkar & Sachin Garg

I crashed midway into Are Romance Novels just a Happy Bubble? Does reality often burst it? In conversation with Shoma Narayanan, Sudeep Nagarkar, Leena Varghese and Sachin Garg. The discussion was kind of tanda after that humour session. I liked a number of things I heard from Leena Varghese. Very mature stuff about how relationships depend on accepting the other for what he/she is. Very valid points indeed! What surprised me was the number of male romance authors that I came upon during the lit fest. After Ravinder Singh the earlier day, it was Sudeep Nagarkar and Sachin Garg on the second day. And believe me, they are all super successful. Sudeep has done his engineering, not enjoying it at all. It was only after he received the printed copy of his first book that his family got to know about his becoming a published author. The three-book old Sachin Garg also happens to own a publishing house. Impressive! 

I got out at the tail end of the programme as it was question time and I was getting quite late. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the 2-day Litomania lit fest organised by Think WhyNot. Kudos guys! 

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