On Day 1 of Delhi Literature Festival 2021, Devdutt Pattanaik and Sudeep Nagarkar steer conversations on pilgrimage, romance
The festival will run till 28 February.
The Delhi Literature Festival (DLF) 2021, now in its ninth edition, kicked off on Friday, 19 February, and is being conducted on the video conferencing platform Zoom and live streamed on their Facebook page.
There were two sessions on Day 1.
Between 5 pm and 6 pm, the festival kicked off with a conversation between Sudeep Nagarkar, author of A Second Chance, published by Westland, and academic and columnist Dr Amna Mirza. The author discussed how as its his 13th book, and 11th romance novel, the idea of arranged marriage is something he wanted to touch upon this time around. In the book, the protagonist Disha is confused about opening up to a relationship, and about whether she should get into a relationship or not, since she doesn't believe in love.
In this conversation about writing and relationships, Nagarkar added that above all, in this book, he wanted to highlight how important it is to open up in your relationships. "I understand that it brings vulnerability, you are open to getting hurt, but if you don't do this, you will never know what kind of relationship you deserve," he said.
From 7 pm to 8 pm, author Devdutt Pattanaik was in conversation with journalist Smitha Verma about his book Pilgrim Nation: The Making of Bharatvarsh, published by Aleph Book Company. "We have got trained to see history from the lens of politicians and kings and traders, basically the elite, powerful, and rich people who control everything." But a culture, he points out, is really made up of common people. "And what is unique about the Indian subcontinent is the fact that it's the land of pilgrimages," he adds.
From Vaishno Devi in the north to Murugan in Tamil Nadu and Jagannath in Odissa, Pattanaik points out how learning about the country through its sites of pilgrimage is a way of looking at India "without all the cunningness associated with politics and economics." With his book, this part of the country and it's people is what he's set out to rediscover and reclaim. "Bharat shraddha se bana hua he (India is made up of faith). Without shraddha (faith) there is no India," he added.
The DLF launched in 2013 and has hosted literary events including panel discussions, book launches and readings, workshops, live performances, speaker events, poetry, music, theatre, cinema, and more. Founded with the aim of promoting art, culture, and literature, the festival is supported by the Delhi Government, and private and public enterprises with an interest in promoting literature with social responsibility.
Participation to DLF is free.