KLF LogoThe second edition of the YES BANK Kumaon Literary Festival (KLF), that will be held from 11th to 15th October 2016, will feature an interesting mix of voices from all kinds of backgrounds and spectrums.

According to media statement by KLF, the festival shall play host to many famous names from the worlds of literature, publishing, cinema and politics. Authors like Amish Tripathi, Ravi Subrimanian, Preeti Shenoy, Jerry Pinto, Tuhin Sinha, Shinie Anotny, Hindol Sengupta, Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil, Nirupama Dutt, and many others have confirmed their presence for the festival. Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Justice A K Sikri, Justice S K Kaul, Shahid Siddiqui, Swapandas Gupta, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Nupur Sharma and other names from the world of politics and law have agreed kindly to be a part of the festival. Biographers like Sathya Saran, Aseem Chabra, Jai Arjun Singh, Akshay Manwani, Yasser Usman, Gautam Chintamani have all consented to be present at the Festival. Many speakers like Afia Aslam, Ali Akbar Natiq, Ameena Saiyid, Asif Farrukhi, Asif Noorani, Dr. Sabyn Javeri, Mohsin Sayeed shall all come from Pakistan to attend the festival. Speakers like Ajay Rawat, Anup Sah, Dr. Shekhar Pathak, Deepak Rawat, Mona Verma, C S Tiwari, Hridayesh Joshi, Sanjay Panday and others from the Uttarakhand heartland are going to be present at different sessions of the festival.

The first three days shall be held at Jim’s Jungle Retreat in Jim Corbett National Park, while the last two days shall be a closed door event at Te Aroha in Dhanachuli.

Thought-provoking panel discussions

The second edition of the Festival shall have sessions on a wide range of subjects.

Following are some of the highlight sessions of this edition of the festival:

R jalilLet’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

Let me tweak Descartes and say, ‘I write; therefore I am.’ I think by now it is almost a compulsion; it defines who I am.

 Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

I always have more than one in various stages. So, there is a biography of the Urdu poet Shahryar which is almost two-thirds done; a translation of a novel by Krishan Chandar called Ghaddar which my publishers are hoping to pitch as a partition novel next year (2017 marks the 70th year of the annus horribilis that was 1947); an edited volume of critical writings on Ismat Chughtai which is nearly done; and a translated volume of short stories and poems by Gulzar on the partition, again due in 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary. And lurking somewhere in the future is a travelogue – on Ghalib’s journey from Delhi to Calcutta and back in the early 19th century.

Describe your writing aesthetic.

KLF LogoI worked for years as an editor in various publishing houses. I have also written journalistic pieces for various newspapers. My training for the Ph D taught me diligence and painstaking research. And then I have also been a translator for decades now. So all of these ‘roles’ have defined my writing style. As an editor, I produce a clean copy and have learnt over the years to do a self edit of everything I write. As a translator, I trained myself to do a close reading of texts and also learnt to value words and tease out their exact meanings. As a columnist, I learnt to write quickly and meet deadlines and be considered a reliable and swift writer. As a researcher, I learnt there are no short cuts to producing good writing. So everything comes together in a happy mix!

Hussain’s personality and his works were discussed from time to time at various sessions, being recalled for his versatile writing and contribution to Pakistani literature: Daily Times

Intizar_husainDistinguished authors and prominent speakers paid glowing tribute to the renowned Intizar Hussain during the 7th Karachi Literature Festival.

Hussain had not only contributed richly to Urdu literature but he was one of the keynote speakers at literature festivals of the past many years.

Hussain’s personality and his works were discussed from time to time at various sessions and he was being recalled for his versatile writing and contribution to Pakistani literature, which also has global standing.

AT the inauguration ceremony of the sixth annual KLF, noted academic and drama critic, Framji Minwalla, conveyed the choice for the French Embassy literary prize for the best Pakistani fiction to the audience. In his preamble, he claimed, “Pakistani fiction both at home and in the diaspora is alive to the complexities of our interdependent pasts and present, fashioning imaginative realms … that give us faith in the capacity of stories to shed light on the murkier corners of our lives.”

“A ROOM without books is like a body without a soul,” said Marcus Cicero a long time ago. One could say the same about a people without a love of books. Thankfully though, many Pakistanis have rediscovered the joy of the printed word — if they had ever lost it at all — as the increasing number of literary festivals all over the country indicate.

The Karachi Literature Festival 2015 begins tomorrow, the sixth iteration since it launched in 2010.

Pakistani-American author Soniah Kamal’s debut novel An Isolated Incident is a finalist for the Karachi Literature Festival – Embassy of France Prize 2015.

The novel is one out of four shortlisted for the prize out of a total 10 books, which were submitted for nomination. The prize winner will be announced during the opening ceremony of KLF on February 6 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi.

The Karachi Literature Festival inaugurated in 2010 and in five years has become the leading cultural event in Pakistan: The Tribune

A Parsi, a Bohri and I get into a conversation about the on-going TTP talks. The Parsi talks about the possibility of growing a beard. Since I am rather addicted to my look I joke about declaring myself a dhimmi (non-Muslims of an Islamic state) and paying jizya (tax). We laugh because we can and because we feel liberated enough to joke about it. Yes, it’s the KLF, the dark humour is perfectly acceptable and you naturally feel slightly freer when you have just heard a speech by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson.