Hyderabad: A fascinating gathering of over 200 authors, artists, and speakers, alongside a legion of a thousand avid readers, brings the 14th edition of the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) to life. Beyond the thematic focus on ‘Odia and Norwegian literature’, the festival is a captivating panorama of literary enthusiasts.
As one strolls through the lively gathering, a sense of serendipity pervades the air. Aakar Patel, head of Amnesty International in India, effortlessly engages in conversations.
He soon spoke about his latest work, ‘After Messiah’, which attracted half the crowd attending HLF. The HLF seems more than a literary confluence; it transforms into a dynamic showcase of human connections, intellectual discourse, and the shared passion for the written word.
When Aakar spoke, everyone sat still, some stood and leaned on anything they could because it was overcrowded. All in the audience were unsettled yet attentive, like his work ‘sardonic’ of the current political scenario. “It’s about power and the nature and future of that power in India today,” he said referring to the current political situation, which all in the audience understood without being explicitly mentioned. Aakar said, “Fiction helps say things without literally telling them,” making one wonder at how artists have to lie to tell the truth.
The speech is over. Now, Stuti, whose melodious voice echoed during the inauguration, took the stage again. Under the guidance of her guru, Harini Rao, she begins again.
Moving past, one sees curtains hanging, which upon closer look, reveals the saddest artwork at the event. It is artwork by students of various Hyderabad institutions, such as the SN School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, and JNAFAU. “This work can be felt more than said,” said one of the students.
Venture a little further and you’ll be allowed to doodle a rock. It is an exhibit by Hyderabad Nature Lovers that will surprise you. The painting of Dargah Hazrat Syedna Baba Fakhruddin Soharwardi’s on top of a hill will immediately catch your eyes. If you’ve witnessed the original view before, now obscured by a newly constructed building, this artwork serves as a poignant reminder of what once was. Don’t miss the depiction.
As you are about to completed exploring the venue, a captivating array of books awaits your perusal. This carefully curated collection has drawn quite a crowd, with enthusiasts eagerly exploring the literary offerings. Make sure to take a look.
The three-day lit fest is being held at Sattva Knowledge City, HITEC City, Hyderabad. It will conclude on January 28. Entry is free and open to all.
Hyderabad Literary Festival 2024 is a multidisciplinary, multilingual event that will feature conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, cultural programmes, film screenings, and events for college students and schoolchildren.
The festival will also showcase indigenous and endangered languages, delve into climate conversations, and explore the intersection of science and urban life. Attendees can anticipate interludes that seamlessly transition from day-long intense discussions to delightful evenings filled with cultural programmes.