marathi-literature-festival-creativeDivya Marathi, flagship Marathi publication of Dainik Bhaskar to hold a three day Marathi Literature Festival in Nashik, Maharashtra. The festival will be held at Kusumagraj Pratishtan between 11th and 13th November, and will have select authors, social engineeers and cartoonists from across the country.

The festival’s theme is ‘Independent Thinking’, in sync with the ethos of threcently launched ‘Swatantra Vichaar’ campaign by Divya Marathi. The literature festival aims at bringing together all independent thinking personalities on a single platform to share their opinion on diverse themes.

First day of the festival will set the tone with Independent Author awards followed by a Supper theatrical play “Massage” by Rakesh Bedi. Two authors who have exhibited independent thinking in their writing will be felicitated with Reader’s choice and Jury choice awards. Second and third day of the festival will witness a series of plenary sessions on different themes centred on Independent Thinking.

Rats_matterofratsZafar Anjum presents a reader’s report on Amitava Kumar’s A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna

I started reading Amitava Kumar’s A Matter of Rats at 3 am on a Sunday morning. The book was in my office bag, and finding myself suddenly awake, I took it out and went to my study.

Reading the book was like plunging into a rat hole of memories. I had grown up as a child in a village in Bihar and like the ancestral village that Kumar describes in this book, my village too had an adjacent basti. We called it the Mus-har basti (the village of rat-eaters) where low caste Hindu families domiciled. I knew some of the members of those families as they worked on our fields as day labourers. Many of them visited our house everyday to meet my father, a school teacher who doubled up as the village head.

Unlike in Patna, rats then were not a menace in our village. Rats, along with stray cats and dogs, lived and roamed around in our courtyards and galis. They stole grains and sometimes we used to hear that rat-eaters (Mus-hars) had hunted through our fields after the harvesting was done.