The Friday List: From literature festivals to a walk through Kolkata's lanes, your weekly calendar of virtual events
Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar.
Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe
Two literature festivals happening simultaneously on virtual platforms is as much a joy for bibliophiles as a testament to the shift in our consumption patterns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last week, there has been a noticeable surge in the number of cases and we have gone back to remaining in our homes and avoiding huge crowds to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Virtual events dominate our leisure time and even as we have eased out of the more stringent restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.
Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: the Jaipur Literature Festival and the Delhi Literature Festival, a talk on MS Subbulakshmi and the havelis of Shekhawati.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has undertaken the task of restoring the Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia, a tourist destination which attracts hundreds of visitors every year. Built circa 1181 by the Khmer king Jayavarman, Ta Prohm is a part of the large temple complex in Angkor and functioned as a university and monastery. In a talk brought about by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, the joint director general (Conservation/ World Heritage) at ASI, Jahnwij Sharma is set to talk about the efforts undertaken to restore the temple and lay out the process of conservation of heritage monuments. ASI’s Conservation Projects: The Ongoing Works at Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia is sure to be an engrossing session for those interested in travel and world heritage.
To know more and register for the event, click here.
When: 20 February (5.30 pm)
Indian history is a rich and fascinating canvas of civilisations which were modern, dynamic and innovative. In his book, Indians: A Brief History of a Civilisation, author Namit Arora writes about the captivating cultural history of the region, tracing a broad arc that goes back to nearly 5000 years and showcases the worldview of early Indians at various periods of time. The online session brought forth by AVID Learning marks the launch of Arora's book and the lecture-demonstration that will follow is scheduled to have the author touch upon such multiple aspects of history including the allure of the Harappan civilisation, what it meant to live the life of a monk at Nalanda and why sculptures were carved at Khajurao. For history buffs, this book launch is definitely the place to be to know more about the nuanced stories of ancient Indian civilisations.
To know more and register, click here.
When: 25 February (6 pm)
The Woman behind the Voice is an upcoming discussion hosted by Bangalore International Centre which explores the life and times of the legendary vocalist MS Subbulakshmi. The artist enjoyed a reputation as a philanthropist, a style icon and someone who stood for devotion and piety but more than anything else, she was a classical vocalist of immense talent and unmatched gift. In the book, Of Gifted Voice, author Keshav Desiraju delves into her musical legacy and tradition along with what she brought to a developing stream of Carnatic music. Through his talk with Vishnu Vasudev, Desiraju brings the singer's story to the fore as he explores the woman behind the image and the musician behind a grand persona.
To know more and register for the talk, click here.
When: 23 February (6.30 pm)
In the talk, Conserving The Havelis of Shekhawati, conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah will be taking audiences through the architectural vocabulary of this region in Rajasthan and the blend of Islamic and Rajput influences that make up the magnificent havelis of this region. Shekhawati is characterised by painted havelis and through her session, Lambah will be discussing the art and architecture of these spaces along with the overall state of the palaces, their histories and the conservation techniques employed to maintain the heritage of the region. For architects and designers, this session brought forth by Sahapedia is definitely the place to be.
When: 21 February (5 pm)
Where: Sahapedia's Facebook page
— Virtual literature festivals
In keeping with the increasing shift to the virtual medium in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers of the Delhi Literature Festival have also decided to take the 2021 edition online, filled with talks and discussions happening on the virtual stage. The ten-day long literary extravaganza will feature writers, critics, actors and authors including Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Anupam Kher, Devdutt Pattanaik and Sudeep Nagarkar among others engaging in discussions around various topics that span from mythology to films to lifestyle and fitness. Tune in to be a part of a host of sessions planned for the virtual festival to get your fill of a literary celebration right from the comfort of home.
To look at the full schedule, click here.
When: 19 to 28 February
The Kumbh Mela of Literature, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is back for its 2021 edition, an entirely virtual event taking place over the course of ten days. Writers, poets, experts, critics like Ranjit Hoskote, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nandini Nair, Jayasree Kalathil, Kevin Barry are only among a few speakers of a stellar line-up of speakers which promise to be just as engaging and just as fun as the earlier editions of the festival. The virtual programme of the much celebrated JLF is definitely something to look forward to, especially for those bibliophiles who cannot make it to Jaipur every year to attend this literary extravaganza.
To see the full schedule and book your slots, visit JLF's Facebook page.
When: 19 February to 28 February
In a virtual concert brought forth by Royal Opera House, Mumbai, musician Shubh Saran and the duo, Sungazer will be seen taking to the stage intricate compositions that fuse modern jazz, neo-soul and rock with contemporary and classical Indian music. The screening will feature an excerpt from the recital the group performed at the special edition of the Jazz India Circuit in collaboration with Under The Banyan Tree. Through the recital, Sungazer, the electrojazz duo comprising bassist Adam Neely and drummer Shawn Crowder, will bring to the audiences a blend of 8-bit, jazz fusion and EDM making for an utterly refreshing and invigorating recital.
When: 20 February
Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel
— Virtual poetry reading
As part of Prakriti Foundation's initiative, Poetry with Prakriti, the first three Saturdays of every month are dedicated to poets, their verses and conversations with them about said verses. This time, the online session will feature poet, critic and translator Rochelle Potkar in an event organised in collaboration with CHRIST. Potkar, a Charles Wallace Writer Fellow at the University of Stirling has presented her collection of poems in India and abroad and was also shortlisted for the 2020 Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize. She will be seen engaging in a stimulating conversation with poet and literary translator, Somrita Urni Ganguly who will be moderating the session.
To know more, visit Prakriti Foundation's Facebook page.
When: 20 February (7 pm)
— Virtual walkthrough
This weekend, Immersive Trails has brought forth the virtual walk, Chowringhee Architecture Trail for architects, designers and history buffs who wish to take a digital stroll through the areas in Kolkata which fall under the erstwhile 'white town.' When the British Raj was laying down its plans to establish the city as the capital of colonial India, they incorporated Greco-Roman architecture into the urban landscape enabling Chowringhee to grow from a space on the outskirts into an entertainment hub. The walk traces the history, establishment and planning of this region along with how a foreign design style was implemented for the buildings created in the area, in the unforgiving Kolkata climate.
To book your spot on this virtual tour, click here.
When: 20 February (7 pm)
— Streaming this week
Arriving on Netflix this week is the Telugu anthology, Pitta Kathalu which narrates four stories that explore the dark and deceptive side of love and relationships. Featuring actors Manchu Lakshmi, Shruti Hassan and Saanve Megghana among others, the stories are as much about secrets as about jealousy and control, and make for a bold, macabre rendering of these recesses of the characters' minds. Four directors, Nag Ashwin, Nandini Reddy, Tharun Bhascker, and Sankalp Reddy have come together to deliver stories of four brave women in Pitta Kathalu, which promises to be a thoroughly interesting watch.
When: 19 February
The sequel to the Malayalam original, Drishyam will be dropping on Amazon Prime Video featuring Mohanlal in the role of Georgekutty whose life and that of his family alters drastically after one fateful night and a horrifying incident. Threatened by a police investigation, the family copes with the aftermath of the ghastly situation and the sequel follows their lives six years into the debacle. Directed by Jeethu Joseph, the film is sure to be as suspenseful and thrilling as the first one with just as many plot twists and turns.
When: 19 February
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Coming up on Zee5 is the second season of its drama series, Dev DD, with Asheema Vardan, Sanjay Suri and Nauheed Cyrusi among others in the lead. The series centres on Devika, an uninhibited girl who has her own rulebook on how to live life. The second season dives into the complexities that fill her life as she navigates newer problems cropping up around her. The series also manages to bring to light the societal constructs which govern our every day lives. Tune in to binge this weekend on what is sure to be an entertaining watch.
When: 19 February
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