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Renew love for books on Valentine’s

Booklovers can look forward to a three-day affair with books and authors beginning this Valentine’s Day.

The 2nd Patna Literature Festival kicks off at Patna Museum on February 14. The festival is being organised by the Navras School of Performing Arts, in association with the department of art, culture and youth affairs, to regenerate interest in literature and promote interaction between readers and authors.

Talking about the festival, adviser Pawan Verma said: “The focus will be on promotion of Indian languages like Hindi, Urdu, Maithili, Bhojpuri, English and Magahi. There will be debates, talks and discussion on the contemporary literature, social issues, art, history and governance.”

The literature extravaganza spread over three days would see the participation of over 40 authors, cultural activists, historians, journalists and cinema personalities.

Notable among those who will attend are Gulzar, Abdul Bismillah, Priyanka Sinha Jha, Piyush Jha, Sankarshan Thakur, Vikram Seth, Ravikar Kumar, Farah Ghuznavi, Uday Praksh, Chandra Kishori Jha from Nepal, Sarita Bodhu from Mauritius, Nida Fazli, Baby Haldar, Ashok Vajpayi, Usha Kiran Khan, Vikram Sampath and Shahid Raza.

The three-day festival is divided into 25 sessions. The inaugural session would be a tribute to authors the literature world lost last year.

A separate session has been dedicated to the regional languages of Bihar, including Bhojpuri, Maithili, and Magahi. The session would dwell on how the languages are losing ground and how to revive them. Poetry sessions, debates, conversations in Urdu and other regional languages are also on the cards. Avinas Das, creative director of the festival, said: “We have tried to include sessions on all aspects of literature, cinema and documentaries and discussions on the changes in the literature — its pros and cons. We have tried to make the session interactive by opening it for readers to ask questions on the respective subjects.”

The festival will have fifteen sessions of debates, talks and discussion including a workshop for children.

Last year, the literature festival was part of the state’s foundation day celebrations. It had seen participation by 40 of the finest thinkers in Urdu, Hindi and English from across the country and Pakistan.