There are litfests, and then there is The Times of India Literary Carnival. Ask the 12,000 people who thronged the magical venue of Mehboob Studios, twice the number which attended the first edition in 2011. This December 6-8 again at Mehboob, there are even more celebrated writers discussing provocative topics, engaging workshops especially for children, and fantastic evening entertainment. To say nothing of the book stalls, the hang-out Café Zoe and food outlets which ensure that the entire family can make a long weekend of it.
This year, our theme revolves around ‘Romance, Love and Violence’. It attempts to understand, through literature, film, food, even nature, how love and violence – in their most subtle, intangible forms -- can sometimes be inextricably linked. Celebrated writer Hanif Kureishi will give the keynote address on the first day, while special keynote speakers on other days feature Karan Johar who holds the patent on Romance and international dynamo Eve Ensler. The incorrigible Suhel Seth will expound on being single.
Panel discussions will range from whether ‘marriage is a word or a sentence’ to whether ‘romance is past its sell-by date’ debated by best-selling novelists Anuja Chauhan and Rabinder Singh. Writer Mohammed Hanif and film-maker Anurag Kashyap will share why love and violence often cohabit.
Among the book launches are the controversial account of the Mumbai terror attacks ‘The Siege Within’, Mary Kom’s biography, Gulzar’s ‘Hindi For Heart’, and Bachi Karkaria’s book on Bombay, as part of The Times of India’s 175-year celebrations.
In a unique event this year, listen to poetry on love – in all its facets – at dusk on the fairy-lit lawns of Mehboob.
The abidingly charming Ruskin Bond will receive the Times of India Literary Award in a special ceremony. The annual Crossword Book Awards will take place at the festival. Evening entertainment includes Eve Ensler’s latest play ‘Emotional Creature’ and a Coke Studio performance.
Among others to look out for are Vikas Swarup, Ramachandra Guha, Bapsi Sidhwa, Anita Raghavan, Valmik Thapar and Nadeem Aslam.
Come be a part of it, get intellectually stimulated, enjoy the ambience.