Lively debates, discussion and fun sessions marked the opening of the four-day Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest with prominent participants here Thursday.
Speaking at one of the sessions Thursday, National Theatre London director Sir Nicholas Hytner recounted the history of the institution, the politics of theatre in Europe and the world's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare.
"Theatre in London is only 20 percent state-sponsored. It is the public that support the life of theatre in the UK. In Germany and France, it is completely supported by the state. Hence, the differentiation between art and entertainment is big there and not so much in London," Hytner explained.
Explaining how it has survived and plans to survive better in the coming years, Hytner expressed interest in performing in India.
"I really want to have a connection with India and work out a way in which we can have more of our performances for the Indian audiences and have some Indian performances in London," he urged.
A session on "Durbar & Dynasty" saw a debate between journalists Tavleen Singh and Kumar Ketkar.
While Singh contended that the seed of dynasty was sown with Rajiv Gandhi becoming prime minister and has gone deep threatening the foundation of democracy like never before, Ketkar said that democracy and dynasty are not necessarily antagonistic.
"It gives a person an entry point - yes, but they need not win based purely on their dynastic roots," Ketkar argued.
The debate continued with more people's opinions about Indian politics punctuated by sociological and psychological understanding of our love for dynasty and need for democracy by psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar.
At another venue, adults and children enjoyed the new age poetry rendered by Martin Khizko which was full of sarcasm, fun and messages to use less and recycle more.
He also performed a satirical series of rhyming poetry that made people laugh and think before an enthralled audience of youngsters who followed each of Khizko's animated words and gestures.