For Shital Rangari, 21, a masters student, Saturday was a busy but memorable day. She and her friends started early morning from Ner in Yawatmal district and travelled six hours to Chandrapur to attend the Akhil Bhartiya Sahitya Sammelan.
"This is for the first time that such an event is happening in the region. We got a chance to see the writers whose work we study," gushed
Rangari. She and her friends spent the afternoon listening to a story-telling session, which attracted a crowd of more than 5,000.
Despite being far away from any major city in Maharashtra, the three-day national Marathi literary meet attracted large number of people including youth from nearby areas.
Events such as panel discussions on Naxalism, and on the business of Marathi literature saw a good turnout. Several groups of students were seen taking pictures in front of decorated pandals and the palanquin containing books.
Sarika Madavi, 19 came from Wardha with her friends. "I wish I could spend more time. I did not expect that there would be so much to do," said Madavi.
"What happens in Chandrapur otherwise? Some circus and some cinema. This literary meet is of an unimaginable scale," said Rupesh Piprade, another participant.
The engineering students at the Rajiv Gandhi Engineering College have spent last two months organising this meet. "The atmosphere is magical. We saw Bharud and Gondhal about which we had heard but never seen," said Swatee Sonwane, a final year student of the college.