Being a bookworm, the India Non-Fiction Festival was on my to-do-list since the day it was announced. It was a free event and when the set of programme-schedule was released, I had no doubts in my mind that I'd be attending this one. It was to be held at Nehru Centre, Worli, my regular college-days route which instantly brought back nostalgia, as I hardly get to go that side of town these days ( the eternal tragedy of living in other end of the city, sigh! )
The weather has been rainy of late ( since monsoons started ), so on the first day I reached a bit late and missed the inaugural session plus few others. But I did catch up on few others, so I'm glad about it. The theme of the festival was - 'Be Bold Stay Real'! Read My poem - Here

I had registered online, but on reaching the venue I registered again and took the 'attendee' stamp on my hand.

I witnessed an interesting session on communalism going on in the Culture Hall, which did share a lot from the minority perspective on riots, discriminations etc. Authors & Journalists Meena Menon, Harish Nambiar and Naresh Fernandes were the participants. Though I enjoyed the discussion thoroughly, I felt it was somewhat a little biased in nature, totally ignoring the majority community grievances. More emphasis was given on the riot retaliations rather than the root cause of the riot i.e the main reason which ignited it.
For example, in case of Gujarat riot no mention or condemnation of those who burnt the innocent hindu pilgrims in the train, but only accusing the majority community who retaliated, thus demonizing them in that process with sympathy only for the muslims ( as if no hindu died in those riots ). If at all they tried to go to the roots, they went as far as Babri demolition, instead of the Godhra incident. Bal Thackrey was the favourite punching bag. Strange, they didn't utter much against Modi though, not sure if they already did before I entered the hall.

Anyways, everyone knows 'pseudo-secularism' that currently exists in our country. Intellectuals ( also politicians ) always in an minority appeasing mode. So, can't do much about it, except voice the concern.

I took a little break when the session ended and went to the books arena. All kind non-fiction books were laid out there, a mini exhibition of sorts. Whoa! I go crazy when I see so many books. I just wanted to grab them and run :-) I'm amazed, non-fiction actually covers so many variety of topics - The world of cinema, acting, entrepreneurship, management, politics, health, society, business, etc and so much more. In one word - WOW!

As I was browsing through the books, I casually looked up and guess whom did I see? Mahesh Bhatt and Rahul Bose were standing right in front of me. I did some 'click click' instantly and felt like a 'nosy' paparazzi for a while. They had come for the book launch of 'Director's Cut' and a short session on how to be 'bold n real' in making cinema. The session soon started with 'Dhoom' director Sanjay Gadhvi, Bhawana Somaaya and Minisha Lamba joining in along with the book author, M K Raghavendra as well. The discussion was interesting on whether film makers actually get to make the movies they aspire to make ( in their hearts ) or do they have to succumb ultimately to the economics of it. Mahesh Bhat gave his own example about how after making sensitive movies like Saransh, Arth etc he moved on to a Murder or Jism.

The first day on the festival ( whatever half of it I witnessed ) was interesting and I planned to attend the remaining 2 days as well. But other things got in the way and my plans ultimately changed. But still, whatever I experienced will indeed be a pleasant memory, and I will surely attend the next one more sincerely :-)


This post has been featured on INFF website, press section - Here

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1 comment:

  1. Nice post....wish I too could have attended the same...


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