Literature comes in many forms. From novellas and short-stories to poesies and memoirs, it incorporates a wide variety of writings, also including graphic novels, theatre monologues and film scripts into its fold. This intermingling of all things literature, with additional musical zest, surreal dances and gusto of other performing arts- this literary potpourri of sorts, is the artistic zeitgeist of our times.
On 14th December, becoming a part of the same zeitgeist, the city of Jammu will see energetic activity with writers, novelists, artists, performers and literary enthusiasts, all coming together under one roof for ‘YAYAVAR’- Jammu Literary Festival. This literary festival is being organised by Nupur Sandhu, the festival director, in association with the Central University of Jammu.
Nupur Sandhu, in an endeavour to keep the literary spirit alive and to share it among literature enthusiasts has brought this festival to the temple city of Jammu, a city which is steeped in rich cultural traditions and has a stunning cultural heritage. Nupur herself is a renowned author, filmmaker, psychologist and therapist.
The lit fest, which is in its pioneering year, will feature a multitude of authors who delve into various genres and write in many languages. It is a multi-lingual event which will bring together the cultures and literatures of English, Hindi, Dogri and Urdu.
‘Yayavar’ in English means ‘Wanderer’. This Lit fest is an itinerant stop of great significance in the journey of the mystic wanderers gathered for this event. In celebrating the vibrant artistic traditions that Jammu and Kashmir has to offer, the journey of all these wanderers will touch another milestone with this festival before moving ahead.
In a confluence of literature and other art forms that is the hallmark of this city, along with an assorted mix of symposiums, panel discussions, and individual speaker sessions, the festival will also feature a Kathak performance by Sanchita Abrol, an internationally acclaimed Kathak dancer. She will present a Kathak adaptation of the essence of Nupur Sandhu’s novel “Numi: The Guarded Loop”.
Coming to books and literature, an extensive literary palette has been put up for the confluence of writers and readers to relish. An array of sessions are lined up for literary aficionados to enjoy.
The key note session “Literati vs. Twitterati” is a percipient take (and a melodic and witty one at that, blending Twitter and literati) on the effect the Twitter revolution has had on writing discourse. In this, Dr. Vandana Sharma will discerningly elaborate on the way writing narratives and reading preferences have changed with the advent and blooming of social media.
Sunny Dua will be in a tête-à-tête with Danesh Rana, IPS about his book ‘Red Maize’; and in a talk with Jasleen Kour on the book ‘K File: The Conspiracy of Silence’, Bashir Assad and Ravinder Koul will present insider’s accounts of Kashmir.
The intricacies of the history of Kashmir, its geo-political importance, and efforts of the government to achieve peace in the region will be discussed in the panel “In search of Future- The Story of Kashmir”, moderated by Peace activist Ruchhita Kazaria. The panelists include Nao Sena Medal awardee Commodore DS Sodhi, ‘The Story of Kashmir’ author David Devadas, and senior journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh.
Akriti Jamwal from The News Now will be in conversation with the authors Minal Arora, Jasbeer Singh, Rashmi Joshi and Payal Jain for the symposium “Deciphering Life, Making Symphony”. In this session on self-help, the authors will engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue, and will elaborate on the writing of topical and evocative narratives.
In an endeavour to promote Dogri, and educate and promote literature that is native to the region to people from other parts of the country, there is a symposium titled “Dogri Literature: Retrospect & Prospects”.
More sessions on eclectic themes like behavioural psychology, crime thrillers, romantic fiction, and short-story writing are also featured. The sessions with catchy and ingenious titles like “Love You Zindagi” and “Love, Life & Mystery in Narration” will feature the authors Dr. Kanwalpreet, Abhirup Dhar, Vinayak Pattar, Dr. Jas Kohli, Runjhun Noopur and Ashish Khumbre.
Other acclaimed speakers with which the audience can engage in inspiring conversations include Retd. DIG Johnny William, maverick International filmmaker Dr. Sudeep Ranjan Sarkar, inspiring Tsunami survivor Meghana Shekhar, Anirban Bhattacharyya of ‘Saavdhan India and Fear Files’ fame, Ayushman Jamwal, Neil D’ Silva and Nalin Gupta.
In the best of literary traditions that our country has to offer, with its rich oral history, melange of translations in different languages, and syncretic culture, mythologist Utkarsh Patel will talk about unique and lesser known versions of the Ramayana.
If you are clamouring for answers about the mysterious disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose, look forward to the session by Anuj Dhar of ‘What happened to Netaji?’ fame. If Urdu, the poetic language mesmerises you and you can’t help swooning over Rekhta’s Urdu poetry, there’s a session by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Mushtaq Kak where he will talk about the essence of Urdu language in performing arts.
The event will also have poets recite mellifluent verses in the segment “Poetic Flavour”. The featured poets include Jaspreet Kaur Falak, Harinder Cheema, Pankhuri Aggarwal, Jagriti Roy and Eisha Gohil.
A harmonious mix of doyens and doyennes in their respective metiers with exemplary oeuvres, along with debut authors will grace this Lit fest. It doesn’t matter if you are a dedicated bibliophile, an easy-going reader, or want to start reading books but can’t choose one; this festival has something in store for you.
For people who want more than book discussions, this event is not exclusive to only literature as an art form, but also incorporates an amalgamation of different forms of artistic expressions like prose, poetry, art, music, dance, cinema and theatre. For interspersed among the sessions on books are also segments on dance, theatre and film making. If art is your raison d’être, or you indulge in art only once in a while, you will certainly be gushing for an encore.
Myriad formats for different segments are also included into this festival’s intricately woven fabric to pique the audience’s interest. There are didactic lectures, candid conversations, interactive sessions, and in-depth sessions based on dense research. Some sessions are succinct and some discursive, some take on intellectually stimulating topics and some have a colloquial quintessence.
Another highlight of this fête is the immense variety that it offers. At different moments during this single event, one can be gripped in their seats hearing about chilling accounts of Serial Killers, revel in refreshingly rendered poetry, hear about authors’ refreshing perspectives on publishing and their hilarious writing experiences, or imbue inspiration listening to inspiriting tales of motivation and perseverance.
This Lit fest is a full day event and you can come any time for any session that spurs your interest.
The team comprising of Nupur Sandhu; Arush Mahajan and Jasleen Kour from ViaENS; and Saransha Oswal have been assiduously working for the success of the event, with inputs from S.K. Bansal, Col. R.M.S. Sandhu and Dr. Amrish Sarup Kohli.
Thus, if you are a literary buff, a curious reader or an art lover, this is an opportunity for you to engage in creative discussions, whet your artistic minds and enrich yourself in the process. You can also attend enlightening sessions, discover new authors, and find books to add to your reading list.
So, Jammuites, come to this delightful literary festival on 14th December at Brig. Rajendra Singh Auditorium at Central University of Jammu; and meet, hear and learn from authors and eminent personalities from Jammu and around the country.
Scroll down to get more information about the sessions being held in this Lit Fest.
Hope all this has got you excited and you’re ready to soak in the artistic grandeur that this literary festival has to offer. If you still need more prodding, borrowing from the exotic vocabulary of Shashi Tharoor (spoken in his suave Queen’s English and which prompts netizens to refer to a dictionary), one can only say, “Attend this Lit Fest for it has some amazing sessions. It will be totally worth it and will not be an exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification”.