HYDERABAD: Students lit up the ongoing Hyderabad Literary Festival at the Taramati Baradari on Tuesday, day two of the three-day long event.
The response, which was lukewarm on the opening day, improved in part to more awareness and also the added attraction of the visit of Mark Tully, the veteran journalist. However, to their disappointment Sir Mark couldn’t make it owing to ill-health.
Among the highlights of the day were two enthusiastic street plays performed by students of ICFAI Business School (IBS) and Aurora’s Scientific and Technological Research Academy (ASTRA).
Though the team from IBS walked away with the honours for putting up a better show, the best reward for the teams was the opportunity to showcase their work in the presence of lyricist Gulzar.
“It was such a thrilling experience when he walked in and we could stage the performance in his presence,” said Deepkaran of the IBS.
The street play by the students of IBS tried to address the legitimacy of Armed Forces Special Powers Act in a limited time-frame.
“The concept was thought of by Jivesh, our classmate who hails from the North East and we have tried drawing a contrast on what happens in other parts of the country and what is the reality in the North East,” explained Anu Agarwal, one of the participants.
Coming from students of engineering, the performance by ASTRA focused on the current educational system and the increased importance it places on performing well in examinations.
The play was staged in chaste Hyderabadi Hindi, the reason being - “it connects to people, Hai Naa Yaaron.” Conceptualized by Neeraj Kashikar, it portrays the frustration of students at having to appear for too many exams.
“We study in corporate colleges which make us write exams 365 days a year and the same happens in college.
No matter what we write, the results are the same.
There is a need to rethink the process of education,” opined Neeraj.
The afternoon sessions had a largely local flavour with sessions dedicated to Telugu poetry and fiction, even as Khadeer Babu did not show up, as promised.
Besides them, translators of Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘The Second Sex’ - Sheila Malovany Chevallier and Constance Borde - held the audience captive, narrating their experiences and struggles in retaining the essence and adding to the classic.
Development and its Discontents, a session by Rahul Pandita and C.
Rammanohar Reddy engaged the audience in a discussion on the role of Maoist ideology in the present context.
Later in the evening, Sagarika Chakraborty’s collection of poems and short stories, ‘A Calendar too Crowded’ was launched and it was followed by the presentation of the Srinivasa Rayaprol Poetry Prize to Aditi Rao.
Adita Rao also enthralled the audience with a reading from her award winning works.