It is this time of the year. And “The New Indian Express Group” is back with the extravaganza called Odisha Literary Festival (OLF) which kicked off today.
The two-day festival, the only one of its kind in the State,was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor.
The festival will see convergence of top writers, novelists and poets who will involve and engage in furtherance and enrichment of literature in the country as well as the State.
The festival features talks, discussions, book readings and debates on a wide range of subjects __ from mythology to women’s literature; children’s writing to publishing and poetry.
Celebrated names in India’s literary circle Namita Gokhale, Ashok Vajpeyi, Arshia Sattar, Pratibha Ray, Bibhu Padhi, Haraprasad Das, Jerry Pinto, Vikas Swarup, Prof Pushpesh Pant, Anushka Ravishankar, Ashwin Sanghi, Tishani Doshi, Anand Neelakantan, Anuja Chandramouli, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Supriya Dravid, Tara Deshpande, Dash Benhur and Meghna Pant would brainstorm at the festival which promises to be as enthralling as the first edition.
Member of Parliament Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, literary agent and proprietor of New Delhi-based Red Ink literary agency Anuj Bahri, vice-president and country manager of Amazon India Amit Agarwal and Managing Director of Rupa Publications Kapish Mehra was also be among the speakers.
Following the opening address by Tharoor, Agarwal, Bahri, ‘Jay’ Panda, Gokhale and Mehra will deliberate on “Is India a Reading Nation?”
Mythology, one again, would be in focus with Sanghi, Neelakantan, Chadramouli and Sattar discussing ‘The Resurgent Lure of Mythology.’
While Bahri, Mehra, Patnaik and young writer Dravid will talk on the publishing industry, actress-turned-author Tara will engage in a conservation with with academic and international relations expert Prof Pant on food writing.
Like last year, there will be something special for the young minds as Anushka and Dash Benhur will hold a special storytelling session for the kids. Pinto, Doshi and Swarup will engage in a conversation on “The Charm of Novel vs Short Story”.
Women’s literature would be another focus area, with a special session dedicated to the importance of women’s writings in the country. The first day of the event would also see a poetry recital by Kavi Yugal Anamika Amber and Saurabh Suman.
The two-day event will come to an end on Friday with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik delivering the concluding address.