• Thursday, June 08, 2023

3 Days of 11th edition of the Delhi Literature Festival (DLF 2023)

The opening session on the inaugural day between Anand Ranganathan and Advaita Kala saw a house full.
on Mar 21, 2023
(DLF 2023)

The 11th edition of the Delhi Literature Festival (DLF) was inaugurated on Friday, 17th March, at the India Habitat Centre by Hon'ble Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, kickstarting a three-day festival up until the 19th March 2023 thereafter, at DLF Avenue, Saket, New Delhi.

The annual festival that was launched 11 years ago to promote and encourage creative thinking and reading had a starry lineup this year with historian and writer William Dalrymple, filmmaker and designer Padma Shri Muzaffar Ali, a prominent scientist and writer Dr. Anand Ranganathan, bestselling mythology writer Kevin Missal, Austrian writer and film director Bernard Kammel, former advisor to the BBC Victor Ghosh, singer, and Padma Shri Hans Raj Hans, writer and entrepreneur Samantha Kocchar amongst others. 

The opening session on the inaugural day between Anand Ranganathan and Advaita Kala saw a house full. 

The second day covered sessions on war veterans to art aficionados at the DLF Avenue, Saket, who was also the title partner for the festival, with the first session in the afternoon was an endearing conversation between Rachna Singh Bisht and Major Manik Jolly on Bisht's book Bipin: The Man Behind the Uniform (Penguin India). A collection of in-depth interviews with Bipin Rawat's friends, family members, and comrades, the book is said to be a befitting tribute to one of India's greatest and most controversial Generals. Major Manik Jolly, a decorated army veteran and a Gurkha who has served under Gen Bipin Rawat, was in conversation with Rachna Singh Bisht and added the perfect flavor to a conversation giving an insider's view into the army and the life of Gen Rawat.

Dilliwalas were seen beating the rains to attend sessions that started with a drizzle. The second session of the day was on the book Commit to Yourself (Om Books) by Nancy Katyal. Nancy Katyal is an internationally certified executive presence coach and leadership development consultant whose book encourages breaking free from toxic relationships and self-destructive thinking and habits. The session was moderated by the communications consultant and storyteller, who kept the audience spellbound with a freewheeling conversation on breaking free.

Next up was a conversation with the Austrian author, designer, film director, and founder of the transdisciplinary art institution REAKTOR Bernhard Kemmel led by Vinita Bakshi, an award-winning social entrepreneur. Bernhard is the grandson of the distinguished Bohemian architect Leo Kammel. Kammel has come out with a fast-paced thriller, Snow White (Om Books), set in Vienna is an exciting blend of missions to save the earth ravaged by climate change.

As the evening progressed, we saw the crowds swell at DLF Avenue, Saket, hosting the sessions today and tomorrow. In the rains, the sessions that were comfortably moved indoors continued with an engaging discussion on William Dalrymple's book The Company Quartet: The Anarchy, White Mughals, Return of a King, and The Last Mughal (Bloomsbury)The session was introduced by Ajay Jain, Founder of Kunzum Cafe. Dalrymple's book, released in 2021, tells the remarkable story of how the Mughal empire, which then generated just under half the world's wealth, disintegrated and came to be replaced by the first global corporate power: the East India Company. While talking about the book and two decades of his meticulous research, Dalrymple shares in The Company Quartet that he tells the story of the beginnings of the British engagement and that of British colonialism, but it also is a story of the power of corporations.

Day 2 of the Delhi Literature Festival concluded at the atrium of the DLF Avenue with noted filmmaker and designer Muzaffar Ali in conversation with journalist, author, and film critic Kaveree Bamzai. Muzaffar Ali, who donned several hats in his lifetime, shared interesting life stories as a scion of the princely house of Kotwara, sharing to producing cinematic masterpieces like Umrao Jaan. A life that saw him cultivating his passion for cars or couture, giving the audience a peek into the wealth of experience of a prince, poet, philosopher, filmmaker, and artist. His autobiography Zikr (Penguin India) has recently been released.

The third and concluding day of the 11th Delhi Literature Festival, held at the DLF Avenue, Saket, was about love, myth, and music.

The first session started at 3:00 was a conversation between Dr. Shalini Mullick and Parul Mahajan on Mullick’s book Stars from the Borderless Sea that talked about the riveting stories about true love, unconventional relationships, and soul mates.

Next was the conversation with Kevin Missal on his new book Prahlad (book three in the Narasimha Trilogy), led by storyteller and writer Kena Shree. On being asked about mythology writers being spiritual, Missal shared that he is agnostic, allowing him to look at every mythology objectively.

The session followed by a conversation on creating characters that are vulnerable with author and journalist Victor Ghosh. His book Tomb of God covers the subject of an ancient civilization.

The attendance swelled as the next session started with the moderator Lipika Bhushan singing a few lines from the Shahrukh Khan movie to set the tone of the conversation with Kainaz Jussawala around love, life, and adventures in the quest to find the romantic Khan in their partners. The book Who Wants to Marry Kai Juicewala? is a fun no holds barred view of the life of women who still find Mr. Perfect for a Parsi girl.

The next session discussed Shaman and spirituality with author and scholar Yogi Trivedi leading it on Samantha Kocchar’s book Abirada.

The evening also saw the bestselling writer Saksham Garg whose Samsara is the fastest-selling mythology this year.

The evening ended with a musical called Mehefil e Sukhan with an introduction by Rama Pande.

 The Delhi Literature Festival has in the past witnessed active participation from acclaimed and popular authors, poets, bloggers & writers, including Ashwin Sanghi, Anupam Kher, Anand Neelakantan, Arpit Vageria, Anna Vetticad, Ashok Chakradhar, Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Chitra Mudgal, Divya Dutta, Durjoy Datta, Deanne Panday, Babul Supriyo, Gurcharan Das, Ira Trivedi, Jonathan Gil Harris, Novoneel Chakraborty, Pavan K. Varma, Purushottam Agrawal, Ravinder Singh, Taslima Nasrin, T K Arun, Preeti Shenoy, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Devdutt Pattanaik, Sudeep Nagarkar, Tony Joseph, Omair Ahmad, Manish Tewari MP, Munawwar Rana, Neena Gupta, Meenakshi Lekhi MP, Mark Tully, Sidhharth Gigoo, Surjit Bhalla, Sanjaya Baru, William Dalrymple, Yasser Usman, Vikram Sampath, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe MP, Valay Singh & Vikas Swarup, to name a few.

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