Kalinga Literary Festival: Online celebration of writers & philosophers

By Ashutosh Kumar Thakur and Debamitra Mishra
New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Amid the majestic weather of Bhubaneswar, the opulence of mystic Kalinga Festival 2020 (the annual flagship event of Kalinga Literary Festival) came to an end with Smita Bellur’s sufi melody, legend of Bhima Bhoi, celebration of Odissi with veteran dancer Aruna Mohanty, poetic verses of Bulleh Shah, Kabir with Harpreet, and with a promise to bring the wave with the festival to literature lovers in August.

But as the story had another chapter to tell, the outbreak of novel coronavirus brought a sudden nationwide lockdown and shutdown. While the severity and uncertainty were at peak, team Kalinga Literary Festival introduced KLF Bhava Samvad, an online literary platform. However, litterateurs, scholars, enthusiasts, and most importantly audience were yet to go far in understanding of virtual medium.

“Compact, yet classy. This is one of the primary lessons that Covid-19 pandemic taught us,” said the Founder-Director of KLF Rashmi RanjanParida, who believes that change and novelty should run together.

KLF Bhava Samvad went live on May 17, last year, with a poetry-reading panel. That was a cold breeze to summer heat for KLF fanbase. Soon after the first virtual session of South-Asian literature, the gradual growth of KLF Bhava Samvad begun to mark its slot putting an end to speculations. Eminent personalities of literature, business, culture, law makers, spiritual, personalities like Amish Tripathi, Devdutt Pattanaik, Arundhati Subramaniam, Amitav Ghosh, Lord Meghnad Desai, Bibek Debroy, Swami Mukundanand, Sandeep Agarwal,

In July, Kalinga Literary Festival organised the first virtual tribal festival- Kandhamal Literary Festival (Virtual) of Eastern India with 50+ speakers and 10+ sessions.

“KLF Bhava Samvad was initiated to keep the literary spirit intact during lockdown because of pandemic. The rapid growth of platform and after receiving immense love from the audience, KLF Bhava Samvad has reached at a remarkable point having legendary literary figures, artistes across the globe on board and will continue to live as a permanent platform,” said Rashmi Ranjan Parida.

Kalinga Literary Festival celebrates the creative spirit of India and commemorates the literary diversity it offers, bringing it in conversation with the best minds in the world of literature within and outside of Odisha and India. Back in 2014, the first ever edition of KLF had aimed to promote the literary and cultural heritage of Odisha or Kalinga (ancient name) and eventually flapped wings to fly over Indian subcontinent.

Academicians, authors, political and social activists, law makers, government officials, corporate leaders, students and people from all walks of life immerse in the vibrant atmosphere of the festival and exchange opinions on their favourite authors and works.

Mystic Kalinga Festival has emerged as an annual flagship event in the cultural calendar of India that rekindles the romance with literature and fosters reading, writing habits, especially among the youth. It offers a national platform with a global appeal and bridges the gap between literature in English and other Indian regional languages.

‘Mystic India Festival’- this was a big announcement of last October by KLF.

Highlights of KLF Bhava Samvad:

The heart speaks and the mind listens, the eyes tell the stories and silence raises our consciousness. As we know that literature always reflects society and sometimes guides as well, we at KLF are going to connect with poets, philosophers and writers, to know how literature has captured this pandemic and how successful it has been in reflecting the contemporary and ongoing reality of life.

Our dialogue, we believe, is the need of the hour to enrich human experience and take us beyond our limitations and interconnect with universal and cosmic vibrations.

KLF Bhav Samvad’s sessions on literature, public policy, and thinking in multiculturalism, humanism have set benchmarks.

Sanjay Baru — ‘Beyond Covid’s Shadow’

Profound discussion between Sanjay and Pallavi in and around a very interesting anthology of economic essays titled Beyond covid’s shadow.

Kishwar Desai — Beautiful conversation between Kishwar and Rakhee Bakshee on Valentine’s discussing the life and courage of Devika Rani in Kishwar’s book ‘The Longest Kiss’.

Ameya Prabhu — Ameya Prabhu talking to Rishabh Kothari about the newest rock in his cap in the form of ‘Rock Babas And TheOther Stories’.

Deep Halder — ‘Blood Island’. Deep elaborating about his book the Blood island and the unfortunate events in Marichjhapialong with Abhijeet Majumder while talking to Alo Pal.

Sanchit Gupta — ‘Tree With 1000 Apples’. Sanchit in conversation with Mansi Dhanraj about his very important debut novel ‘The tree with a thousand apples’ and it’s humane story.

Anita Agnihotri — Anita talking to Trisha D. Niyogi about her book ‘A day in the life of Mangal Taram’ and sharing many stories of her life.

Sharmishtha Mukherjee — ‘The Presidential Years’. Sharmishtha’s interesting conversation with Rashid Kidwai about the book ‘The Presidential years 2012-2017’ and the life and achievements of former President his excellency Pranab Mukherjee.

Amish Tripathi and Bhavna Roy — ‘Dharma: Decoding Epics For A Meaningful Life’. Amish and Bhavna in conversation with Rishabh Kothari about their experiences while writing the book Dharma and many other facets related to the book.

Ashok Kaul- Prof. Ashok Kaul narrates about blend of Personal and political in his book ‘Undercover In Bandipore’.

Shubhrata Prakash — ‘The D Word’. Shubrata in conversation with Rakhee Bakshee about her book ‘The D Word’ and awareness about mental health through the book.

Sandeep Bamzai — ‘Princestan’. Sandeep in a deep conversation with Pallavi Rebbapragada about his book Princestan, the subsidiary alliance of Princes and the granular breaking down of their empires during independence.

Bibek Debroy — Debroy talking to Sai Swaroopa Iyerabout his book ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ for millennial and various concepts about Gita.

Lord Meghnad Desai — ‘The Rebellious Lord’. Lord Desai in conversation with Pallavi about his book ‘The Rebellious Lord’ and sharing many of his invaluable experiences of his life.

Amitav Ghosh — ‘The Gun Island’. Amitav Ghosh and Maneesha Taneja (translator, ‘The Gun Island’ (‘Bandook Dweep’) discussing the book and many other life stories with Akshay Mukul.

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasiya — Pandit Chaurasiya and SathyaSaran discussing her book ‘Hariprasad Chaurasiya: Breath of Gold the Life’ stories of Pandit Chaurasiya.

Reena Puri — ‘Amar Chitra Katha’. Reena Puri talking to Jayashree Misra Tripathi about Amar Chitra Katha and her work and experience during the pandemic period.

Keshav Guha- ‘Accidental Magic’. Keshav talking to Atul K. Thakur about his book ‘Accidental Magic’ and various other aspects.

Swami Mukundanand — ‘The Science Of Mind Management’. Swami Mukundanand in a fruitful conversation with Medha Shri Dahiya about his book ‘The Science of Mind Management’ and sharing various experiences from his life.

Sandeep Agarwal — ‘Fall Again, Rise Again’. Sandeep in conversation with Shashank Sethi about his book Rise again, fall again and throwing light on the world of business and his life experiences.

Bhawana Somayaa — ‘Letters To Mother’. Bhawana Somayaa in conversation with Rakhee Bakshee about her book ‘Letters to Mother’ and forming a connect with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Devdutt Pattanaik — Devdutt Pattnaik talking to Prateek Pattanaik about Ramayanas and Ramayanas in Odisha, stories and songs.

Michiel Baas — Michiel Baas in conversation with Aruni Kashyapabout his book ‘Muscular India’ and his life stories.

Abhinandan Sekhri — Abhinandan in conversation with VineetKumar about contemporary media and its impact on today’s date.

Nayantara Sehgal — Nayantara Sehgal in conversation with Kedar Mishra about current pandemic times and the future that’s ahead.

K. Sachidanandan — K. Sachidanandan talking to Kedar Mishra about the pandemic era and his experiences in life.

Mukul Kumar — Mukul in conversation with Payal Roy Chowdhury about his life and career in literature and bureaucracy.

Archana Soreng — Archana talking to Itishree Nayak about her project on the awareness about climate change.

Dutee Chand — Ace sprinter Dutee Chand in conversation with Itishree Nayak about her life and preparation during the pandemic period.

Subroto Bagchi — Subroto Bagchi in conversation with KedarMishra about the situation around an unusual pandemic period.

Arundhati Subramaniam — Arundhati in conversation with Prof. Tisha Srivastav about poetry, literature and life during pandemic.

Pratibha Ray — Prativa Ray in conversation with Debashish Samantaray about Adibhumi Kandhamal and it’s rich culture and heritage.

Amish Tripathi — Amish in conversation with Kamala KantaDash about mythology and bursting the myths about Indian readers.

Shantanu Gupta — Shantanu Gupta in conversation with RajitaKulkarni about leadership.

Haldhar Nag — People’s poet Haldhar Nag in conversation with Kedar Mishra about poetry in Odia and Kosali language and diversity.

TT Ram Mohan — Prof. TT Ram Mohan in conversation with Atul K. Thakur on his book ‘Rebels With A Cause’.

On a concluding note, Parida opines, “KLF Bhava Samvadwas initiated to keep the literary spirit intact during lockdown because of pandemic. But the rapid growth of the platform and after receiving immense love from the audience, KLF Bhava Samvadhas reached its 150th session with legendary literary figures, artistes across the globe and will continue to live as a permanent platform.”

Odisha Diary Foundation (ODF) and Rythm Festival Pvt Ltd are organising annual Kalinga Literary Festival, Mystic Kalinga Festival (KLF), Kandhamal Literary Festival, KLF in Koraput every year. Annual Kalinga Literary Festival, Mystic Kalinga Festival (MKF) to celebrate the creative spirit of India and commemorate the literary diversity it offers, bringing it in conversation with the best minds in the world of literature within and outside of Odisha and India.

Academics, authors, political and social activists, law makers, government officials, corporate leaders, students and people from all walks of life immerse in the vibrant atmosphere of the festival and exchange opinions on their favourite authors and works.

Mystic Kalinga Festival has emerged as an Annual Flagship event in the cultural calendar of India and our focus is to rekindle the romance with literature and foster reading and writing habits, especially among the youth. It offers a national platform with a global appeal and bridges the gap between literature in English and other Indian regional languages.”

–IANS
ashutosh/debamitra/sdr/dpb

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