Source : Times of India
Mumbai’s much-loved, most awaited Times Litfest opens once more at Mehboob Studios, December 14-16. Always moving beyond literature into issues of compelling relevance, the theme of this 8th edition is Waternamah: The Romance, the Crosscurrents, the Crisis. The way in which water shaped our past, impacts our present and could decide our future will find expression through talks, discussions, installations, films— all set in a serene design. Some highlights: the world’s topmost maritime historian Lincoln Paine, India’s ‘waterman’ Rajendra Singh, river-linker Suresh Prabhu, performance poet Clare Shaw, Shekhar ‘Paani’ Kapur — and Oxford University’s Somerville Choir’s specially curated playlist.
Amitav Ghosh, whose muse one way or the other has been water, will receive this year’s lifetime achievement award. Anthony Acciavatti will speak on how the Ganga can survive malls, and Ahdaf Souef on the metaphor of the Nile. Audiences will get to interact with the founder of the Cloudspotting Society, the commander of our Western Fleet — and the Bengal river boatman.
The Times Litfest’s curators, Bachi Karkaria and Namita Devidayal, have marshalled such globally acclaimed thinkers as Stephen Pinker, Rebecca Goldstein, David Gilmour, Scott Hartley, Deborah Baker, Sunil Khilnani, Katherine Boo—and Instagram’s poster-poet, Beau Taplin complete with man-bun and other fluidity.
In Mumbai firsts, Shashi Tharoor will talk on his controversial ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister’ and Kapil Sibal on his hotoff-thepress, ‘Shades of Truth’.
Always as contemporary as tomorrow, the Times Litfest will feature Smriti Irani, Ravish Kumar and Kumar Ketkar on a feisty panel on what to expect from 2019: fundamental change or more statues? Watch out also for a noholds-barred ‘The Thepla Conspiracy’. You can listen to Bhanwari Devi’s courageous story, the equally compelling journey of Manoranjan Bapari from rickshaw-puller to publishing sensation — and to Zakir Hussain as well as Hidayat Khan in concert with Zubin Balaporia, Fazal Qureshi.
Diversity being the USP of the Times Litfest, Pavan Varma and Gulzar, a galaxy of North-eastern writers and Manto’s stories as essayed by Nandita Das will bring alive the richness of language, while Pooja Bhatt, et al, will present a bare-knuckled discussion on the growing spectre of mental illness.
Workshops for children and adults, music, story-telling, bookstore, food courts, hangout cafe, Mumbai’s thinking society can once again make it a memorable, long weekend at the Times Litfest. Just walk in.