Source : Times of India
BENGALURU: A festival that has always celebrated literature in different shades, the fifth edition of Times Litfest Bengaluru comes packed with intellectual stimulation and a generous sprinkling of fun.
The festival’s central theme is Astitva: Our Collective Being, and the list of over 110 participating authors underlines the universality of literature. Seasoned authors, journalists, entrepreneurs, doctors, actors, spiritualists and sportspersons will share the stage to discuss subjects that are topical and close to their heart. With a little less than a week to go for the event, here’s the first round-up of the speakers you will be listening and interacting with at the fest.
Devdutt Pattanaik, keynote speaker of Times Litfest, is a well-known face and needs little introduction. An author, speaker, illustrator and mythologist, he has written 30 books and over 600 columns on the relevance of mythology in modern times over the past 20 years. Trained in medicine, Pattanaik worked in the pharma industry for 15 years. Currently, he consults with corporations on leadership and governance and with TV channels on mythological serials. Ramayana versus Mahabharata: My Playful Companion is his most recent book.
Prasoon Joshi is an acclaimed advertising professional and National Award-winning film script and songwriter. His work — be it conceiving iconic campaigns for brands like Coca Cola, Happy Dent and Nestle or for films like Rang de Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or Neerja — has won awards and moved hearts. A published poet at 17, Joshi was awarded the Padma award in 2016 for the far-reaching impact of his work on the country’s social and literary landscape.
Feroze Varun Gandhi is a second-term MP, representing Sultanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. The youngest national secretary of BJP from 2008-2011, Gandhi is an opinion leader and a policy analyst, who writes in English, Hindi and other important regional languages. A poet by inclination, Gandhi published two bestselling volumes of poetry, The Otherness of Self and Stillness. His latest book, A Rural Manifesto: Realising India’s Future through her Villages, was published in December 2018 and opened to positive reviews.
Githa Hariharan has written novels, short fiction and essays over the last three decades. Her acclaimed works include The Thousand Faces of Night, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 1993; short-story collection The Art of Dying; novels The Ghosts of Vasu Master, When Dreams Travel, In Times of Siege and Fugitive Histories; collection of essays, Almost Home: Cities and Other Places. Her new novel, I have Become the Tide, will be released in February.
Roopa Pai is one of India’s best-known children’s writers. Her books on themes as varied as sci-fi fantasy, popular science, mathematics, history, economics, life skills and philosophy, are enjoyed by adults as much as they are by children. Among her best-known books are India’s first original series in English for children, Taranauts; the popular So You Want to Know About Economics; the award-winning The Gita for Children, which is on Amazon India’s list of 100 Indian Books to Read in a Lifetime. Pai’s new book, The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, has just been released.
Om Swami is a monk and an author of 10 bestselling books on spirituality, meditation and wellness. Prior to renunciation, he owned a multi-million-dollar software company with offices in New York, Toronto, London, Silicon Valley, Sydney and India. In 2010, at 30, he renounced his business interests to discover his own truth and walk the path of renunciation.
Ravinder Singh is the bestselling author of I Too Had a Love Story, Can Love Happen Twice?, Like it Happened Yesterday, Your Dreams are Mine Now, Will You Still Love Me? and This Love That Feels Right. He edited and compiled two crowd-sourced anthologies, Love Stories That Touched My Heart and Tell Me a Story. He also started a publishing venture called Black Ink (www.BlackInkBooks.in), to publish debut authors.
Curated by festival director Vinita Dawra Nangia, get ready for #sweetlittreat on February 23 and 24 at Jayamahal Palace Grounds. Entry is free. For more details, visit timeslitfestbengaluru.com