Bhubaneswar, 24/12/21: Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet is back again to celebrate literature and allied cultural activities including music and theatre over the weekend of January 8 and 9.
The sixth edition of Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet will have a new home this year, Bhubaneswar Club, where the event will be an open-air one on the lawns of the club.
The festival will be inaugurated by Odisha’s celebrated poet Padma Bhushan awardee Ramakanta Rath and acclaimed author Jnanpith recipient Amitav Ghosh.
The festival will showcase the lifetimes of celebrated Odia icon Manoj Das as well as filmmaking maestro Satyajit Ray. Odisha’s stalwart authors Gourahari Das, Jatindra Nayak and Sangram Jena, while Ray’s legacy will be discussed by actors Dhritiman Chatterjee and Barun Chanda alongside Odia author Devdas Chhotray.
Writings on the marginalized and unseen will be discussed by former Odisha bureaucrat Anita Agnihotri, who is also an award-winning author as well as young author Puja Changoiwala. Another focal point of the festival is history, with academics from USA and UK, Deborah Baker and Jonathan Gil Harris, respectively, speaking on the interface between Europeans and India, during the colonial period. Author and bureaucrat R. Balakrishnan will be discussing his book on ancient India, ‘Journey of a Civilisation: Indus to Vaigai’ at the festival with Sundar Ganesan.
Amitav Ghosh, Kunal Basu, Moin Mir, Ghazala Wahab, Gourahari Das and Jatindra Nayak have new books and these will be discussed and launched at the festival. Traditionally, women’s writings have been celebrated and discussed across all of Tata Steel’s Literary Meets, and this edition is no different. Sahitya Akademi awardees Yashodhara Mishra, Paramita Satpathy and Gayatri Saraf will be discussing their books and the women writers who are taking forward Odia literature. IT legend Nandan Nilekani will speak with co-author Tanuj Bhojwani on his forthcoming book ‘Art of Bitfulness’ in the festival’s only hybrid session, where the authors will join online.
The other tradition that TSBLM is keeping alive is the evening cultural programme. Popular film actor Vinay Pathak will be performing ‘Nothing Like Lear’ at the Rail Auditorium on January 8, while vocalist Sonam Kalra will bring the festival to a musical conclusion on January 9 evening. The festival’s updates will be available on www.bbsrlitmeet.in and the entire festival is open to all but all audience members will have to wear masks.
Like earlier years, Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet will focus on literature, poetry, current affairs, films, and other aspects of the arts. Each session will have reputed personalities from various fields engaging in discussion with each other and the audience.
Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President Corporate Services, Tata Steel said, “Since its inception, Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet has not just drawn leading artistes not just from Odisha, but from across India and the world. The event has grown to become an integral part of Odisha’s cultural calendar. Returning after a year’s gap this edition will once again celebrate unique thoughts, unexplored ideas, and unstoppable voices.”
Malavika Banerjee, Director, Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet said, “The festival this year has a literary heart but also extends to cinema, theatre and even the digital world. The pandemic has its challenges but we will ensure that both our speakers and our audiences are safe with stringent procedures of tests, compulsory masks, distancing, and sanitization. The bonhomie of the festival must continue, but with protocols in place.’