Wednesday September 19, 2018

First travelling Kumaon Literary Festival begins from Delhi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: A preview of the Kumaon Literary Festival, to be held from October 23-27, was held in the national capital.

Hills of Kumaon, where the festival will commence in October
Hills of Kumaon, where the festival will commence in October

As part of the preview, a number of social programmes built around the festival – Women Writers Unlimited, Fellows of Nature, Literary Bhagidari and K-Lit Mobile App – were launched at the Taj Mahal Hotel on Saturday evening.

Arguably the first travelling literary festival in the country, it would host top authors, cinema and media personalities, political commentators and opinion makers, at Te Aroha, Dhanachuli, an enchanting little village in the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. It will then travel to Abbotsford, Nainital.

The idea behind holding this annual, retreat destination literary festival in Dhanachuli village is that the hilly region of Uttarakhand shares a special relationship with literature, said Sumant Batra, a lawyer and founder of this festival.

While addressing the preview event, Batra said, “The Kumaon literary festival is the first one of international scale and standards to be held in a rural area. Dhanachuli is being developed into a smart village – through creative initiatives,”

Barkha Dutt, journalist and chairperson of the festival advisory board, said she was initially unsure about another literary fest, but the idea of an annual retreat destination literary festival in the Himalayas was what got her on board.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Batra said: “In this intolerant society, the fest will discuss the culture of ban. Author Anuja Chauhan, who supports ban on porn, and others who are against it, will be sharing the same stage to discuss their views.

“The festival is the first from which stem out a number of social and other programmes with tangible deliverables and measurable outcomes, which also dovetail back into the festival, adding value to the fest,” Batra said.

One of the outstanding feature of the Kumaon literary festival is the ‘Women Writers Unlimited Series’. With over 50 percent of women participant, it is an wonderful initiative to empower women.

Another social programme – Fellows of Nature – aims to create a book with a fine collection of short stories on nature. The campaign aims to put spotlight on critical environmental issues by creating a community of nature writers.

Literary Bhagidari project aims to mentor the youth through literature.

A mobile application K-Lit, arguably the first by any literary festival in India, launched on the occasion allows users to watch the fest live, receive live updates and pictures and also allow them to interact with the speakers.

Planned and conceptualised by Barkha Dutt, Anuj Bahri (literary agent), Janhavi Prasada (filmmaker) and others, the festival is supported by the UN Women and the Uttarakhand Tourism Board.

Speakers at the literary fest include Mrinal Pande, historian Shekhar Pathak, literary historian Rakshanda Jalil, author Anuja Chauhan and Namita Gokhale among others.

The fest would see discussions on ‘Shifting landscape of political campaign’ by Dinesh Trivedi, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala and others. Few other topics include, forgotten legends of Indian cinema, role of women in ancient India, and Hindustani poetry connecting the common man to literature.

With inputs from IANS

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This Exhibition Captures A City’s Colours During Monsoon

The West Bengal-born artist has participated in 16 international group art exhibitions.

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Artist Purnendu Mandal At Indian Habitat Centre.

With some of them almost a photographic reflection of daybreak after rain, artist Purnendu Mandal’s canvasses — currently on exhibition at Triveni Kala Sangam here — are a deluge of vivid warm colours that capture a city’s landscape after rain.

“It is almost like looking outside a window, but through a work of art,” Mandal told IANS.

Mandal’s 15 acrylic- and oil-on-canvass artworks – collectively titled “Reflections 3” – document the subtleties of urban life during the rains — first light in a city, storms, rickshaw-pullers and bus drivers resuming activity after a rainy day, and building silhouettes reflecting in the water-filled puddles.

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Purnendu Mandal’s Work

Also included are visual effects of the monsoon like rain drops, fog, wet climate, reflections in water and shades of dampness.

To that extent, “Good Morning Kolkata” (2018), a painting of a tram on a damp Kolkata street, with old buildings and bundles of electric wires adding to the realistic depiction, reflects a day in the city as one would experience it.

For Mandal, it is about making his canvasses a literal window to the seasonal changes a city undergoes.

“I try to paint cities season-wise. This exhibition shows the beauty of a city after and during the monsoon,” Mandal told IANS.

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Purnendu Mandal’s Exhibition’s Invite. Available on his social media

Mandal’s impressionistic style revolves around cities and seasons and his rich repository of art has been exhibited around the world.

Also Read: Save Skin During Monsoon, Avoid Smokey Eyes

“Thus, the current exhibition has scenes from Varanasi ghats, and Kolkata’s and Mumbai’s urban life,” he added.

The West Bengal-born artist has participated in 16 international group art exhibitions in Indonesia, UK, USA, UAE, Thailand, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Nepal, in addition to showcasing his work at Indian galleries including Jehangir Art Gallery, Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Lalit Kala Akademi, AIFACS Gallery, Triveni Art Gallery, Chemould Art Gallery, and Chitra Kala Parishath. (IANS)