Mumbai hosts several literature festivals every year, highlighting popular authors and readership trends. But the focus is mainly on works of fiction or poetry, leaving non-fiction slightly neglected. Now, the city will have its festival celebrating non-fiction writing across multiple platforms — including blogs, journals, newspaper articles and books — with the India Non-Fiction Festival. The event (from June 21 to 23) announces its theme as Be Bold Stay Real.
About that message, festival director Kumar Bagrodia says, “I think India — as of today — is an aspirational society. People are looking to prosper, and that’s true for all strata of the society. At this point, I think it is important that we stay grounded in reality. This festival will inspire people to do so.”
The non-fiction festival caters to a vast range of genres such as media, cinema, cookery, lifestyle, business, management, health and fitness. The format will consist of parallel sessions in two conference halls with panel discussions and one-on-one conversation with eminent authors; including the likes of Devdutt Pattanaik, Tara Deshpande, Anita Bhogle, Peter Haas, Rashmi Bansal and Mickey Mehta.
Among the books to be launched will be My Stroke of Luck by Vijay Santhanam, and Directors Cut: 50 Major Filmmakers of the Modern Era by MK Raghavendra. “Non-fiction writing mirrors reality. People don’t get up in the morning wanting to read poetry; they want solutions. Someone wants to get fit, someone wants to crack an exam – and it’s non-fiction writing that can get us closer to the answers. This festival aims at celebrating that,” concludes Bagrodia.
What to attend
Bold cinema for real India/real cinema for bold India (June 21, 4 pm): With director Sanjay Gadhvi, actors Rahul Bose and Minissha Lamba.
For real, blogging is non-fiction (June 21, 1 pm): A session with Malini Agarwal, founder of Missmalini.com
Cricket: then and now (June 22, 4 pm): A session with cricket columnist Makarand Waingankar, and sports editor Clayton Murzello.
Being queer: boldly out of the closet (June 22, 1.30 pm): A session with India’s top gay activists, authors and icons, where they discuss myths on the subject
Stand-up comedy: bold and real (June 23, 6 pm): With writer, columnist and stand-up comedian Rohan Joshi.
Attend the festival at the Nehru Centre, Worli, from June 21 to 23.