Delhi Literature Festival 2016
The Delhi Literature Festival started its journey three years ago, in the year of 2013. This was the fourth anniversary of the super success literature fest in the capital city of India. It was the most awaited and happening event in Delhi for book worms and literature enthusiasts. This year’s Delhi Literature meet was held at Dilli Haat, a very popular location for book fests and other programs. It was a three day literary fest, which marked its start from 8th January and concluded on 10th January. As I was expecting, it drew top writers, authors, publication houses and celebrities from different walks of life and placed them under one roof.
Speaking of the ambience, it was a fine winter afternoon, a perfect weather to go out and have fun. The entire environment was filled with energy, passion and color of art. The people, the books, the music, the sound of pages, everything just blended to form a melancholy to the ears. The whole set up of book shops, craft shops, eateries, etc. brought a festive ambience in the middle of the city.
One interesting session that I came across was the session called ‘Books vs. Blog’. It had speakers like Vikas Swarup, who is the Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, and prominent blogger Mr. Yashodhara Lal and well known columnist Shree Dilip Cherian. However the start was not enjoyable, it gradually gained public interest and momentum. The main matter of debate was blogging kills the art of books. The blogs are easily available on the internet for free and provides experiences of the bloggers in a narrative manner. Blogs do not have detailed analysis of a subject. It is just for a quick overview of a topic. Whereas the books are very much different from the blogs. They contain a detailed story or analysis on a subject. Ultimately, after the session ended, all agreed that books and blogs can co-exist together as they serve different purposes and have different set of users.
Then came the most important session, all had been waiting for, the session with world famous Scottish historian and writer, Mr. William Dalrymple. He is also an art curator and has won several prizes for his vast works in the field of history and art. Everyone was excited as he took the stage. He was also a member of core committee that founded the Jaipur Literature Festival. His prominent works are books like Return of a King, The Last Mughal, The Age of Kali, etc. Crowd gathered to experience the great story teller. He talked about the book – Return of a King, where he described the Great Britain’s failed attempts to conquer Afghanistan in the year 1839. The entire audience of the session was totally amused by his story telling techniques. The entire ambience of Dilli Haat got changed when Darymple was speaking. In the Jaipur Literature Festival also, he narrated this same story which attracted the most crowds in that festival.
There was another debate session, which ran more than one hour. The topic of that session was digital vs. paper. Both panels fought for their sides. The main topic of discussion was, the digital media is killing the age old paper media. Like paper books, newspapers, magazines, etc. are getting tough competition from the e books and online blogs. The e books can be read in smart phones, tablets or computers. But they never give the true enjoyment of reading a hard paper book. A book lover, how technology freak he might be, will always choose a hard book, over a digital book. So the markets of both paper books and digital books is there in India and the paper books do not need to fear of losing its glory to these digital print media. So overall, the Delhi Literature Festival, 2016 was a big success and people of Delhi experienced a true literary adventure here.