Sunday, February 5, 2023

Hyderabad Literary Fest-Day1

I headed to Hyderabad when Harry told me that he has an event at Hyderabad Literary Fest which is going to be held on January 27-29. I quickly looked through the schedule. Salil Chaturvedi's photo exhibition, Harry's talk and few other workshops seemed worth attending. I booked my tickets and headed to Hyderabad to spend the weekend. 

I took a metro and waited at Lakdi-ka-pool for the vehicle arranged by HLF. I couldn't see it anywhere. Hence, I traveled on my own. As I entered, my name and mobile number was asked. A few papers were handed out and said, I was registered. Quickly skimming through the schedule, I was deciding, how to plan my day. I could catch up with  Harry, while he was with his friends, Amar and others. When I was hanging out with him, a person came to meet Harry, who mentioned that he worked on writing subtitles for major telugu films. Till then, I thought that subtitles were automation kinda job. After hearing him only, I realised that it's indeed  more of a translation work by writers. Not everything can be automated. 
Walked along with Harry at the fest. Harry went to meet Gita Ramaswamy. I accompanied him. Harry introduced himself to Gita Ramaswamy in a very soft spoken tone. It's very nice to see two authors catching up without any air at all. After the small conversation, Harry left to catch up with the speakers he was about to moderate, I went ahead to get few books signed and catch up with P.Sainath, if possible. I got a chance to catch up with an illustrator, Priyanka, who illustrates for PARI. She gave an interesting perspective on medium. When I was bit judgemental on digital mediums, she mentioned how she perceive medium in a context. She described how she worked on some fun projects like adding up some lock & key to start the video and pause it. It was nice to catch up with her. 

Strolling around the fest, I walked into a sound installation by artist Nithin Shamshuddin. We were asked to clean our ears with cotton and water, blindfold our eyes and enter the cave. I walked into the cave which was lit in red color. I covered my eyes with blind fold and concentrated on the sounds. There were different kind of Azaans from different directions. There's chaos yet a harmony in the noise. A 17 minute sound installation, I stayed through it and at the end, Nithin walked in, asking what are our first thoughts and feelings.  The first question I had in my mind was, why this sound and color?
The same question was asked by another audience. Nithin shared the context: how he lived in Sharjah and azaan was part of his life. When he returned to India, he missed it very much. When he visited Kashmir, he felt nostalgic hearing  the azaan. From then he began to work on this project. Also, he wanted people to listen more  as we're more stimulated through visuals than any other sensorial perceptions. He also referred to the current religious tensions and intolerances, we have in our country. We walked out as another set of audiences were ready to experience this. I enjoyed this new experience without much thoughts. 

Later, I met Karan,Vipin, Kalpana at the fest. Through them, I met Priyatham, Vidushi. Vipin and Vidushi authored book titled, Around the world in Magnets, a compilation of travel stories, a little history and facts about the place and cute picture of the magnet. Was happy to see Vipin, Karan and others working on this project. Along with them, attended session hosted by Kalpana. Kalapana has been working on Rain Water Project. Glad to see that she came up with book, recording the whole process on renovating Bansilalpet Step Well.

I was happy to catch up with Kalpana again. Rajesh was gracious enough to click picture for us. She also signed the book for me. Thanks Kalpana.

Meanwhile Shyam and Jaya joined me at the fest. I sent them to sound installation and went ahead to make a instagram reel for Vipin's book. 
Later, three of us roamed around the fest, trying to  attend some session. At last, we attended Harry's session together. Harry was moderating session with authors, Ayush Puthran and Madhavi. 

Before the session, I got a chance to catch up Anjali, Shobha mam & Madhavi also. Madhavi and I share common place-Sathupally. I studied my UKG in Krushi Public School. Madhavi immediately recognized and was happy to see the connection. 

Later, Shyam, Jaya and I headed to Mohini for late lunch and joined the fest to attend the music concert by Varijashree. At the end, we headed to Nilofer for some chai and maska bun. Gifted Shyam, Unveiling zajbaa and Jaya, 50 Not out.  Day well spent.

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