GURGAON: It was a day when Gurgaonites celebrated ‘Literary Sunday’. The Gurgaon Literary and Art Club (‘gLiterARTi’), a committed book society that regularly organises events and activities to promote the cause of literature and art,hosted a one-day literary festival (also called ‘gLiterARTi’) to a small but enthusiastic bunch of book lovers.
Starting things off with a bang was Rajdeep Sardesai, who spoke about his book on the national polls, ‘2014’ The Election That Changed India’. The senior journalist held forth on the phenomenon that is Narendra Modi, his experience as ajournalist and his hopes for the Indian media, to a fascinated audience, who also took the chance to ask Sardesai questions.
Equally absorbing was the panel discussion titled ‘The Drama of Relationships’, which featured film critic Anna M M Vetticad, publisher Shalini Gupta and authors Amit Shankar, Akash Verma and Ratna Vira. The conversation tried to stayanchored to the topic but a breeze of arguments led to a few fascinating detours (Meenakshi Sharma was a more-than-able moderator).
Vetticad spoke about how the depiction of “non-typical” relationships in cinema, and the audience’s reaction to these portrayals, is changing, giving the example of a recent film (‘Piku’). But it is, Vetticad emphasised, an evolution. “Change takes time’ there is still regressiveness and misogyny in cinema. But film-makers are rebelling against compartments and definitions, and audiences have been supportive.”
Movies and books, the panel agreed, seem to answer a human need for drama. “We love drama but don’t want to see it in our lives!” said Gupta. Shankar felt otherwise, saying folks look for drama in their own lives rather than in others,”because life is boring otherwise!”
There were also panel discussions on what makes a “sale able novel” and why “everyone loves a mystery.” It all made for a pleasant diversion from the topic of the moment (the never-ending summer), and time well spent in the company of words.