Lit Fest lights up the weekend
The Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur hosted the sixth edition of the Udaipur Leap Day Lit Fest (ULLF) at their Balicha Campus. The annual literary festival, the flagship event of Potpourri, the literary society of the institution, comprised of several events celebrating the cultural vibrancy and intellectual fervour of a medley of art forms, over the span of two days - the 17th and 18th of February.
The Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur hosted the sixth edition of the Udaipur Leap Day Lit Fest (ULLF) at their Balicha Campus. The annual literary festival, the flagship event of Potpourri, the literary society of the institution, comprised of several events celebrating the cultural vibrancy and intellectual fervour of a medley of art forms, over the span of two days – the 17th and 18th of February.
Udaipur Leap Day Lit Fest, so named after the rare occurrence at the end of the month once in every four years, is held in the last fortnight of February barring those on which it is held on the leap day itself. The previous editions of the extravaganza had been graced by luminaries from all walks of the art and cultural sphere – from actors like Sumeet Vyas, who made his Bollywood debut in English Vinglish and starred in the web series Permanent Roommates apart from penning down episodes for TVF Tripling; to lyricists of the likes of Swanand Kirkire, a two-time National Film Awards winner for best lyrics for 3 Idiots and Lage Raho Munna Bhai and the brain behind the most memorable phrase of our generation ‘Aal Izz Well’; to composers of the calibre of Piyush Mishra, whose notable works span the last two decades of the Bollywood industry and writers like Apurv Nagpal, known for his novel Eighteen Plus Duets.
IIM Udaipur was the first Indian Institute of Management to boast of a dedicated Literary Festival when they played host to the inaugural edition back in 2012. While the first day served as a learning experience for the ones in attendance, the second day provided the audience with a golden chance at interaction with some of the most notable names in the cultural sphere of the country at this moment.
On 17th, a workshop had been organised, in collaboration with The Anonymous Writer. The Anonymous Writer needs no introduction to the social-media savvy Indian. Their micro-fictions, with their unexpected endings, pinches of sarcasm aplenty and the tongue-in-cheek style, have garnered wide-scale appreciation from all quarters and are a rage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The exclusive creative writing workshop provided the attendees with an extensive insight into the art of concocting stories.
The second day of the fest served as a medium of interaction between the audience and esteemed personalities from the world of Film and Literature. The theme for this year’s edition was “The Other Opinion”. The panelists shared the story of their journey and the plethora of experiences that they underwent, indeed an excellent source of motivation for the ones still not ready to take the plunge. They also provided their insights and opinions about the craft that they have mastered and the scenario in India at large.
This year’s ULLF kicked off with Dr. Manjiri Prabhu as the first speaker, colloquially known as “the Desi Agatha Christie.” In her latest novel, The Trail of Four, Dr. Prabhu has chosen to pen characters from different cultures and places, unfamiliar to her. She showcased as to how the artists set themselves apart by having the other opinion. She highlighted the other opinions she has had by walking the audience through her own life’s journey.
The event also played host to Mr Shailender Singh Sodhi, better known as Shellee, who is an incorrigible nonconformist, though widely acclaimed as a poet, film lyricist and writer. Armed with a masters degree in Indian Theatre from Punjab University, Shellee has dabbled in theatre, worked as a TV anchor, made documentary films, is a renowned lyricist and an avid photographer. The renowned Bollywood lyricist of movies like Dev. D and Udta Punjab shared how he initially wanted to be a journalist and then became friends with people from the theatre. He highlighted how he found freedom in theatre and how it helped an introvert freely express in front of the whole world.
The event also witnessed an artist and oral historian, working with memory and material culture- Ms. Aanchal Malhotra. She received a BFA in Traditional Printmaking and Art History from Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, and an MFA in Studio Art from Concordia University, Montreal. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the US, the UK and India. She presented an alternative lens to look at the historic 1947 partition. Her talk revolved around her research for her first book which highlighted how the partition impacted the lives of an entire generation. She highlighted how objects became a catalyst to understand the journey of partition.
The event also hosted Mr. Anshu Mor, a stand-up comedian. Mr. Mor left his corporate role as the Director- Interactive Entertainment Business, XBox to fulfil this dream. Funny, stylish and totally urban, he brought a hilarious flavour to storytelling and observational comedy with his talk that carried the audience through the various phases of his journey and how he stood through the ups and downs, silent faces and waves of laughter; and reached the place where he is today before launching his company “Talking Mime” that provides digital content and storytelling workshops on humour.
ULLF ‘18 also hosted Ms. Sujata Massey- author of 13 novels, 2 novellas, and numerous short stories. Her work has won the Agatha and Macavity awards, and been finalists for the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark prizes. She talked about the dilemma she faced being an Indian-American author. Ms. Massey shared her perspective while basing the stories in Japan or other countries and highlighted the little things that interest her & ignite her stories.
The event concluded after a fruitful talk by Dr. Moushumi Kandali. Dr. Kandali is a writer, art historian and translator who loves and dreams in Assamese but examines different thematic concerns in the backdrop of the socio-cultural ethos of various tribes of her State in English. She is a visual arts teacher at Ambedkar University, winner of Yuva Purashkar of Bharatiya Bhasa Parishad & author of 9 books so far. Dr. Moushumi has set out to make her opinion known to the masses in a language they understand. She raised a concern for the empowerment of North-east India and put her thoughts forth with the aid of a poem written by her friend to emphasise the seriousness of the issue. Dr. Kandali ended her talk after stressing on the importance of empathy in today’s world.
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