Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet
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The final day of Tata Steel Kalam began with Ruskin Bond, Rahul Bose & Samit Basu in discussion with Seema Mohachandran at La Martiniere for Girls taking a session as to why Indians are now finding it harder to connect with children. The discussion touched some important points as to why we haven't got an Indian Harry Potter moment yet and the need for people to come forward and produce good children's movies.
The second session at La Martiniere for Girls had two popular poets Jeet Thayil & Srijato discussing why youngsters should read and write poetry. Srijato & Jeet discussed about the importance of poetry and how writing poetry is one of the most difficult things to do.
Presidency University was the next venue for the third session in the 5th day of Tata Steel Kalam with Swapan Dasgupta, Shereen El Feki and Zaad Mahmood discussing about the politics of student protests in Bengal's campuses. The powerful discussion was chaired by Deboshruti Roychowdhury as the panelists brought out some interesting views.
Simultaneously at the Son-et-Lumiere Devdan Chaudhuri, Abhijit Gupta and Mira Jacob were in discussion about the role 'autobiographies' in a novel. The panelists were questioned about how much of their book is based on their own real life encounters and how much about them was part of the books.
'All in the Family' featured Sandip Roy & Renu Balakrishnan was the next session with the authors conversing with Sangeeta Datta about how the immediate family of the authors played a role in the books which were penned.
An interesting session about what it means to be a writer, kicked off with Mira Jacob and Zia Haider Rahman in discussion with Samit Basu. Mira Jacob & Zia Haider Rahman spoke about their start into writing and how they all quit day jobs to pursue their dreams of writing books.
A powerful session on women's sexuality was taken up by Shereen El Feki & Ira Trivedi, who discussed an important topic with Ratnaboli Ray. The authors also read powerful passages from their respective books.
Two of the best thriller writers got us thinking with 'Bloody Good Plots', which saw Ashwin Sanghi & Christopher C. Doyle rack up their brains and discuss about how they got on to writing their thrillers. They had some great tips about writing thrillers and who their influences were in an intriguing session.
Before the start of the final session, Anand Sen, President - TQM & Steel Business, Tata Steel India Ltd. gave a speech of thanks to all involved in executing Tata Steel Kalam 2015. This was followed by the final session of Tata Steel Kalam which saw acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh take the stage with Rahul Bose as they discussed about the setting of Ghosh's books and their settings. They touched upon the opium trade and how cities in India were linked to the opium trade to how Kolkata is at the heart of almost everything Amitav Ghosh writes about, bringing an end to 5 days of magic at Tata Steel Kalam.
Day 4 of Tata Steel Kalam started off with an exciting session on cricket's living legend Sachin Tendulkar by Boria Majumdar and Soumya Bhattacharya in conversation with Mudar Patherya. We got to hear many little nuggets of information about the Little Master, along with the panelists views on the way forward for Indian cricket.
Meanwhile at the quadrangle, Joanna Rakoff, in conversation with Mira Jacob, discussed the context, inspiration and challenges involved in her book "My Salinger Year".
Back at the Son-et-Lumiere, a candid session with Amit Chaudhuri on his 6th novel 'Odysseus Abroad' kept the audience at Tata Steel Kalam enthralled. One interesting nugget was the close resemblance between Chaudhuri's uncle and Odysseus.
The next session at the Quadrangle saw a passionate discussion on writings from the margins - Tahader Lekha. The panel featured Manoranjan Byapari, a former rickshaw puller who learned the alphabet late in life and came through a lot of adversity to become an author. Also on the panel was poet and actor Tista Das, who also has acted in a biographical documentary - "I could not be your son, mom'. Ratnaboli Ray moderated the session.
Raghu Rai and Malvika Karlekar spoke about exploring a life in photography through a visually enriching session at the Son-et-Lumiere. The audience got to hear about Raghu Rai's experience of interacting with Mother Teresa, Mother manages to see everything.
A session on 'The World of Tiger' by Valmik Thapar. Various paintings and video clips of tigers (mostly from Ranthambore, where Thapar started his work at) were shown to the audience. Valmik Thapar drew an interesting connection drawn b/w tiger &the feminine force
A spooky session featuring Ruskin Bond and Jeet Thayil, along with Sandip Roy, on ghosts, called 'Lovely, Dark and Deep.' The audience getting to hear what Mr. Bond would want to be back as, if a ghost!
Session 8 - Anant
A musical evening with Javed Akhtar to bring an end to the day's sessions, where he read his translations of Tagore, alongside Bengali and translated renditions of the songs.
"On the Wings of Music"
Pratim Gupta conducted a conversation between Shantanu Moitra and Aruna Chakravarti on Moitra's influences and his musical journey. Before the session began, a rendition of Shantanu's greatest hits were performed and the man himself also took to the stage with his guitar, as the discussion was interspersed with musical bridges and verses sung by Shantanu. Details about who encouraged him to write and how his book came into being were discussed.
A riveting session with Ayesha Jalal & Aakar Patel in conversation with Sayan Bhattacharya on why Manto's stories and works should be read and taught in India and Pakistan. The panel discussed about his influences and best works and what made Manto so different from other writers during his time.
Nilanjan Bandyopadhyay moderated a session about how Bengali literature is going digital and the issues it is facing with this change. The panel consisted of Bani Basu, Procheto Gupta and Srijato, all of whom had their own points of view about the topic as they discussed the pros and cons of Bengali literature in the digital medium.
Kindle bi annual release by Javed Akhtar
The first ever Kindle Bi Annual magazine was released by poet, lyricist and script writer Javed Akhtar.
Quadrangle Family Album
Daman Singh and Malavika Karlekar conversed with Jayanta Sengupta about how photographs and memoirs would fit into a nation and it's history.
Quadrangle Shabda Naishabder Akhyan
Four notable luminaries, Bharati Ray, Joya Mitra, Aparajita Dasgupta & Sandip Bandyopadhyay discussed about the status of females in Bengali narratives and where the female voice stands in Bengali literature.
Narratives lost on the information highway
Aamir Bashir and Rahul Bose spoke with Prithi Kejriwal in an amazing session called "Narratives Lost on the information highway".
Quadrangle Polish Poetry
Three of Poland's best poets shed some light on the history of Polish Poetry, what were their influences and what are the hurdles that face Polish Poetry. A compact crowd was enthralled with stanzas recited by Julia Fiedorczuk, Dariusz Sosnicki and Jerzy Jarniewicz
How poetry can travel across language
Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi wowed the crowd with some insightful sayings and messages as the pair read some of Javed Akhtar's best works with Swati Gautam. The crowd swelled up at the Son-et-lumiere for this session.
The way things were
Aatish Taseer spoke about his influences and how he got into writing his book, "The Way Things Were". Taseer discussed his love for sanskrit and why he chose to learn the language and then pen his book with Sandip Roy in another riveting session.
Ocean to Ocean
A session for all music lovers as Susmit Sen spoke everything related to Indian Ocean as he was interviewed by another music legend Amyt Datta. Susmit even took time out to play his guitar as he wowed the audience with a few instrumental pieces.
Session 11: Calcutta Club
Here comes the Shero
A power packed discussion on how the changing roles in cinema and television have developed. Shabana Azmi, Jaya Bachchan and Aloka Mitra spoke about how women are depicted in Indian cinema and how things are now changing for females in the industry.
Afterwords @ Akhtari
Begum Akhtar's tunes and works were played out and discussed by Vidya Shah and Danish Husain in the final session of the day, bringing an end to the third day of Tata Steel Kalam.
Students of Modern High School Kolkata give a warm welcome to the all-time favourite author of children's literature Mr. Ruskin Bond at Day 2 of TataSteelKalam
To start off the Day 2 of TataSteelKalam at Victoria Memorial saw Shubha Mudgal, Aatish Taseer and Bikram Ghosh speak about whether forums for literature and classical music are shrinking in India. The session delved into how the commercialization of music has influenced the classical musician. The session also encouraged young musician to meet and interact with each other and respect their culture and traditions.
Anindya Chattopadhayay, Surendro Mullick, Swapnamoy Chakraborty and Shoojit Sircar discuss whether North Calcutta is still the heart and soul of the city. In Conversation with Chandril Bhattacharya. Shoojit Sircar unfortunately could not attend the session which involved nostalgic memories that the speakers shared in North Calcutta.
Indian economist Sanjeev Sanyal, sports journalist and author of Sachin Tendulkar's biography Boria Majumdar and British novelist of Zia Haider Rahman discuss 'What they don't teach at Oxford' at ?TataSteelKalam?.
Daman Singh, daughter of Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had the audience glued to their seats at 'Meet the Parents' session at ??tatasteelkalam?. Thanks you for your presence Daman.
Bhaobishyoter Bhasha featured Gautam Bhadra, Swapnamoy Chakraborty, Chandril Bhattacharya with Jayanta Sengupta. The conversation was about the state of Bengali language in India and how the language has changed and morphed into something else.
'She will build him a city' featuring Raj Kamal Jha in conversation with Yajnaseni Chakraborty. Raj Kamal Jha spoke about his new book 'She will build him a city' and influences that shaped his work.
Malavika Karlekar shared some great insights on visual anthropology and her book 'Memories of Belonging: Images from the Colony and Beyond By" at ?TataSteelKalam?. Here's a glimpse of her session with Rudrangshu Mukherjee - Indian historian and author.
Google High Tea at Calcutta Club delved into discussion about India winning the 1983 World Cup and state of cricket at that period. The discussion featured Kirti Azad, Derek O'Brian, Gautam Bhattacharya in conversation with Boria Majumdar.
Featured Jaya Bachchan on the writings of Taroon Coomar Bhaduri in conversation with Jayabrato Chatterjee. The session presented the audience an insight into the life of Taroon Coomar Bhaduri and his daughter.
Man of Mettle: Naresh Kumar, Utpal Chatterjee in conversation with Sumit Ray on Russi Mody's vision and drive for corporate India. The session presented insights into the life of our every onw Russi Mody.
Round up of Day 1 of Tata Steel Kalam
From legendary authors to film stars to journalists to politicians, Day 1 of TataSteelKalam gave Kolkata a taste of the spice of Literature and Life. A round up of each session follows.
The Meet was declared open by His Excellency, the Governor of West Bengal in presence of Mr Ruskin Bond, Mr Koushik Chatterjee (Group Executive Director, Finance & Corporate, Tata Steel) and Ms Malvika Banerjee (Director, Kolkata Literary Meet).
The tone for the meet was set in this opening session. Mr Tripathi said that Literature is life & learning, Mr Bond reminded us all that the pen is mightier than the sword, and Mr Chatterjee talking about the essence of Adda in the context of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
Mr Bond had the audience smiling when he said, "Wonderful to see so many book lovers out here. It's a sign that people are still reading. I arrived in Kolkata very late. I felt and looked like a '?' mark but seeing you all in the wonderful Kolkata morning, I feel like a '!' mark again. I usually don't go to literary meets, otherwise when would be writing?"
The first session of TataSteelKalam was a true sell-out with Ruskin Bond regaling the audience with his unique style as he spoke of the influences that shaped him as an author. There was advice for young authors, along with insights into the characters he shaped. Jash Sen moderated the session.
Kavita Panjabi moderated a discussion between Aliette Armel and Supriya Chaudhuri titled "Nobel Intentions". How is the Literature Nobel won? Does winning a Literature Nobel change the life of a writer? These and many more questions on the topic were deliberated upon at this TataSteelKalam session. The session concluded on an omniscient note that while winning the Nobel does not change the genius of an author, the world around them especially the socio-political scenario certainly changes.
In this TataSteelKalam session titled "Comrades at Crossroads, Rudrangshu Mukherjee and Sunanda K Dutta Roy discussed the changing equations between two of the most iconic Indian leaders - Subhash Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. We heard of the similarities that entwined their lives, as well as the plethora of decisions, discussions and acts of the two iconic figures as well as Mahatma Gandhi, which shaped the face of Indian history.
The fourth session on the opening day of TataSteelKalam, 'Good Democracy Vs Fast Development' had Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Sanjeev Sanyal start the discussion by examining why voters vote the way they do. It was largely felt that the Indian voter base, especially the lesser popular neighbourhoods need to be provided a basic all-round education. It is the responsibility of the elected leader of a locality to take on the mantle. Initiatives such as this would perhaps then be the first signs of an effective democracy.
The first session of the Detective Double Header at TataSteelKalam saw popular actors Abir Chatterjee and Saswata Chatterjee in conversation with Gautam Bhattacharya.
From Topshe, Ajit and moving onto Sabar - Saswata Chatterjee kept the audience glued to their seats with his take on the vagaries of emotions that an 'investigator' has to display or hide, for the movie-goer to keep guessing till the very end.
Having played the roles of Felu and Byomkesh - two of the most famous investigator roles that Indian cinema has ever created - Abir talks on how he balances the two roles of Felu and Byomkesh that traversed between the maturing and the matured personalities.
The second session of the Detective Double Header at TataSteelKalam saw director Dibakar Banerjee in conversation with Pratim D Gupta on the subject of taking Byomkesh to the world. The director spoke of the possibilities, and his attempts in this endeavour while making the forthcoming film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.
The concluding session of day 1, "Did 2014 Change India", witnessed a turning of tables wherein the policitian posed the questions, leaving the answering to the journalist. Rajdeep Sardesai took the readers through his recently published book in conversation with Derek O'Brien.
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Press ReleasesTata Steel to be the 'Title Sponsor' of Kolkata Literary Meet
Kolkata,Monday, January 12, 2015