HYDERABAD: City’s students and literature enthusiasts will have to make do with an online version of Hyderabad Literature Festival this year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, people are in for a treat as award-winning poet and lyricist, Gulzar will inaugurate the event on January 22, which will be followed by a one-hour long poetry reading and talk session.
The festival will be broadcast on HLF’s YouTube channel, details of which have been published online on the festival’s website. While the essence of a literature festival may take a backseat, the organisers are hoping for this year’s tech enabled gathering to become a memorable page in history. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary for IT and Industries said, “After much deliberation and uncertainty, it has been decided that the festival will be conducted on an online platform.
We realised that, considering the momentum that the festival has gained over the years, it is best to not skip it in 2021.” Amita Desai, one of the Festival Directors said, “The online broadcast will be of a hybrid nature. While most of the authors’ talk sessions will be live, these will also include pre-recorded readings by authors, poets and activists. Apart from this, online workshops too will be conducted live, and the recordings will be further uploaded once the festival is over. Because the festival is happening online this year, we decided that it can go on slightly longer than previous years, thus it shall continue up to February 11.”
The festival will include sessions featuring Aakar Patel, Akhil Katyal, Amish, Amitav Ghosh, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Devdutt Pattanaik, Farrukh Dhondy, Gulzar, Harsh Mander, Kishwar Desai, Lisa Ray, Manoranjan Byapari, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, NK Singh, Sanjay Jha and K Satchidanandan.
A musical tribute to SP Balasubrahmanyam, stage talk with Aditi Mangaldas and Chekka Bommalata, performances by Hyderabad hip-hop group ‘Thugs Unit’ and the harmonica group ‘Hyderabad Harpers’, screening of the documentary ‘A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani’ are some highlights of HLF 2021.