If spring comes with rose in hand, the fall seems to be holding on firmly to the book with literature festivals all set to take off in October and carry on through the winter season at fine destinations in the hills, by the sea or on terra firma in the plains.
So it is to Kasauli from October 14 to 16 for the fifth edition of the only festival in the country that is named after an individual: The Khushwant Singh Literary Festival (KSLF), of course.
The brainchild of Khushwant’s son Rahul Singh and his partner Niloufer Bilimoria, the festival has been supporting the girl child, ecology and the Indian soldier. “This time our concept is breaking barriers as Khushwant Singh broke all taboos and barriers for this is what literature sets about to do,” says Niloufer.
So, it will be a celebration of accomplishment of those who create anew at the Kasauli club midst pine and chestnut trees.
SAHARANPUR LIT FEST FROM OCT 15
Alongside, the region has its own book fair and literary festival at Saharanpur from October 15 to 23. What started as the first book fair of the town in 2014 and surprisingly had a footfall of 80,000 last year has a stature of a full-fledged festival this time with Arimardan Singh Gaur and Anurag Seth steering it with Vernita as the creative partner.
“This year, we expect nothing less than a lakh visiting the book fair. We are trying to make the event as diverse as possible to cater to different segments. There will be workshops for kids on art and literature, talks by authors and other interesting people, cultural performances
by artistes, of course with the ongoing book fair at the Gandhi Park Ground,” says Vernita.
SECOND EDITION OF KUMAON FEST
October again it is the second edition Kumaon Literature Festival at Jim Corbett Park and lawyer and cultural enthusiast Sumant Batra, who founded it, tells us why it has got such a warm response. “We are not an event-based festival. KLF comprises an entire ecosystem
of projects and activities, which are not limited or confined to the five-day festival. The institutionalised approach is aimed at maximizing impact, optimising on resources and aiming for measurable and tangible outcomes that are in addition to the festival,” says Batra.
CHANDIGARH’S TWIN LITERATURE FESTIVALS
November is the time for Chandigarh’s own twin literary festivals: Chandigarh Literati and the Chandigarh Literature Festival and happily this year these are not on the same dates as last year.
The lesson was learned perhaps by thin attendance at both places and overlapping of writer delegates. Our city is yet nowhere near the Saharanpur footfall!
It is also time for the second edition of the Sangrur Literature and Heritage Festival to be held at the Gen Gurnam Singh Public School on October 19 and 20.
Sangrur festival director Karanvir Sibia says, “The thrust is on education, heritage, ecology, and of course language, literature and arts.”
He goes on to quote from the Gurbani: ‘Vidya vichari taan paropkari (empowerment and education can benefit humankind)’.
BANT SINGH, A FEST STAR
Wowing mammoth audiences at the Jaipur Literature Fest in January with the launch of his biography, Punjab’s Dalit icon Bant Singh is a much sought-after singer-speaker on the literary circuit this season. He has been invited at Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli. He then moves onto the Saharnpur fest with his songs of struggle. In November, he gives a performance at the National Centre of Performing Arts, Sunken Garden, at the Tata Literature Live in Mumbai on November 19.Come December, and he is invited to the Times Litfest at the Mehboob Studios in Mumbai once more.