Massy or Classy – Who Reads These Books and Why?

Writersmelon is proud to be a partner at the Tata Lit Live! Mumbai Literature Festival 2015. This is a guest article from one of the team members at Writersmelon who attended the litfest curtain raiser blogger meet in Mumbai. 

The Tata Lit Live is in its 6th year now and one of the best Literature Festivals in Mumbai. They organized a blogger meet ahead of the festival on 20th October and Writersmelon is proud to be associated with it.

Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

Ravi Subramanian, Deepa Gahlot and Anil Dharker. Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

After facing some bad traffic and munching upon super yummy snacks at Café Zoe in Lower Parel, I got on board with the discussion. The panel comprised of three diverse personalities – Ravi Subramanian , one of my favourite authors, someone I admire for his super balancing act between being a banker by the day & author by the night, Deepa Gahlot – author of King Khan – SRK and festival director Anil Dharker. For the curtain raiser event of Tata Lit Live, they had chosen a very relevant topic of discussion, especially for creative professionals – “Is Freedom of Speech threatening Democracy itself?”

From freedom to express political, social & creative viewpoints, the discussion headed to one of my favourite topics –

What is crappy but massy, classy but élite content for a book?

Why are so many ‘crappy/massy’ books being published these days?

Do they really deserve to be printed at the first place?

The answer to all this, again lies in that powerful word called ‘Freedom’.

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Apeejay Kolkata Lit Fest 2015

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

To be frank, I hadn’t attended any Literary Festival until the Apeejay Kolkata Lit Fest 2015. It’s a shame, yes. But most of the earlier editions in various cities were either on days I was busy/away or priced hefty for each day/session. Not getting into the issue of priced sessions versus sponsored ones, I found the Kolkata Lit Fest mostly free, which encourages bloggers and aspiring writers like me to indulge only in time for a possible interaction with interesting authors.

Since it began on a Wednesday, the 14th of January, it wasn’t possible for me to attend each day or event. I studied the schedule carefully and chose my favourites. Day 2 – 15th of January seemed the best bet. There were two book launches slated for the afternoon by two very important authors in Indian English Literature – Shashi Tharoor and Upamanyu Chatterjee. There was a bonus privilege of watching Jeet Thayil converse with his exact contemporary Chatterjee. Who would miss the chance of meeting three of the quirkiest, wittiest and most interesting authors of our era? We jumped on the bandwagon and reached the venue – Indian Council for Cultural Relations at Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Calcutta.

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