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Celeb draw for lit fest fans

An eclectic mix of writers, academics and filmmakers will discuss the centuries-old literary tradition and its different manifestations over the next three days during the Patna Literature Festival starting Friday.

The Patna Museum auditorium and its adjacent Buddha Lawn — the two venues of the lit fest — are ready to host poets Gulzar, Vikram Seth, Ashok Vajpeyi and others, fiction writers Kunal Basu and Tuhin A. Sinha, academic Sumantra Bose, researchers like Vikram Sampath and even classical music exponents Ajay Pohankar and Kalpana Zokarkar.

About the unique concept of including an array of literary traditions — from Hindi to Urdu, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Angika and Brajika — in the meet, festival director Ajit Pradhan said: “Bihar is one of the few regions where various kinds of local dialects have left their influence on the mainstream literature.”

Chief minister Nitish Kumar will inaugurate the festival on Friday afternoon.

The festival, being organised by Navras School of Performing Arts in association with the department of art, culture and youth affairs, would witness release of several books. While Om Thanvi will release When the Saints Go Marching In: The Curious Ambivalence of Religious Sadhus in Recent Politics in India written by Rajesh Pradhan, Bollywood lyricist-composer-singer Piyush Mishra’s Jab Shahar Humaara Sota Hai and Natak Ki Sargam would be launched by Alok Dhanwa.

The organisers were spotted making final preparations at Patna Museum on Thursday. The auditorium would be able to seat around 200 people, while a dedicated authors’ lounge has also been developed in the courtyard. At Buddha Lawn, too, around 200 people would be accommodated during panel discussions and cultural programmes.

Like last year, the organisers hope that Gulzar would be the biggest crowd-puller of the festival’s second edition also. During a poetry reading session with the chief minister’s cultural adviser, Pavan K. Varma, on Saturday afternoon, the poet-filmmaker would talk on “Kuchh Saaye Kuchh Parchhaaiyaan”.

For the literary enthusiasts, two films would be screened at the auditorium on the inaugural day. The films — Aropit Pehchan Ke Paar by Sanjay Kumar and Baby, from maid to a bestselling author by Anu Menon — chronicle the journey of the so-called marginalised class in the society.

Filmmakers Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, Tigmanshu Dhulia and others would talk on the “changing equation of time, place and action in Hindi films” on the last day of the festival on Sunday. Priyanka Sinha Jha’s book Supertraits of Superstars would also be launched during this session.

Born in Khagaul, on the outskirts of Patna, artist Subodh Gupta will come up with a book, Everything Is Inside. An installation of the same name made by the internationally acclaimed artist is being exhibited at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, at present. “Since the installation cannot be brought to Patna, I’ll release the book for art aficionados in my home state,” said the alumnus of College of Arts and Crafts, Patna.

Fifteen stalls have been set up in a tent (in the parking area) to exhibit books and craft items and arrange for food stalls.


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