On Day 2 of Delhi Literature Festival 2021, Pavan K Varma, Satyarth Nayak discuss Tulsidas' poetry, Sridevi's legacy
The festival will run till 28 February.
The Delhi Literature Festival (DLF) which flagged off on 19 February is an entirely virtual celebration of writing that spreads over a number of different topics from politics to mythology to fitness and popular culture. The festival will be conducted on the video conferencing platform Zoom and live streamed on DLF's Facebook page.
Day 2 of the ninth edition of the DLF began with the inaugural session on 20 February in which publisher Milee Ashwarya spoke about the current state of publishing in India and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected reading habits in the country. Also a part of the inaugural panel were film and theatre director, Rama Pandey, journalist Annurag Batra and Bharati Bhargava.
Chitra Mudgal, author and 2019 Sahitya Akademi Award-winner delivered the keynote address for the 2021 edition of the literature festival in which she elaborated on the importance of books in moulding a society and building a nation. Literature opens windows to worlds beyond our own, she remarked, and books help us to understand societies different from ours while simultaneously enabling us to connect with the innermost workings of our own mind.
The chief guest of the session, Member of Parliament and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Vinay Sahasrabuddhe for his part spoke about literature as a mirror to society. Pointing out the dearth of a true 'sahityakar' or bibliophile in the country today, he added that while it was important for writers to produce insightful works, it was just as imperative for readers to not simply collect but also read and think critically over the books they end up purchasing.
The second session of the day was a conversation between author Pavan K Varma and founder of Manushi, Madhu Purnima Kishwar around the former's work, The Greatest Ode to Lord Rama, Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas, Selections & Commentaries. Through the conversation, Varma elaborated on the text and the bhakti movement in India as a whole enunciating its importance within the realms of spirituality, salvation and Hinduism. He said, "I think ultimately a movement like the bhakti movement, starting with the alvars and nayanars and moving on after the 12th century with a great outburst of poetry first beginning from Maharashtra, encompassing Bengal, the south, the north and so on and so forth can only come from a religion which allowed for the 'personal communion' with the almighty..."
Shifting gears, the festival moved on to the last session of the day, a dialogue between award-winning writer Satyarth Nayak and Firstpost journalist Neerja Deodhar on the author's work, Sridevi : The Eternal Screen Goddess, the process of writing the biography and the actor's stardom. An ardent fan, Nayak recalled the moment when he first met Sridevi while she was promoting her 2012 film, English Vinglish saying, "One had heard so much that when Sridevi was in a room, the entire spotlight would be on her and everyone else would just be reduced to shadows and I actually saw that with my own eyes." Speaking about the legacy that she has left behind, he added, "We say Indian cinema is 100 years old and Sridevi has half of that..."
DLF will go on from 19 February to 28 February. To take a look at the full festival schedule, click here.
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