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    Stage set for cerebral fireworks: Pankaj Kapur, Rajat Gupta to open Bangalore Literature Festival on November 9

    Stage set for cerebral fireworks: Pankaj Kapur, Rajat Gupta to open Bangalore Literature Festival on November 9

    Stage set for cerebral fireworks: Pankaj Kapur, Rajat Gupta to open Bangalore Literature Festival on November 9
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    By Shinie Antony   IST (Published)

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    The two-day festival opens with actor Pankaj Kapur’s dramatised reading of his novel Dopehri. He, along with Rajat Gupta, former MD of McKinsey, historian William Dalrymple and New Zealand umpire Simon Taufel, kick off the two days of cerebral fireworks in Bengaluru.

    Travel south for a fun weekend – the Bangalore Literature Festival is back! The eighth edition is here with new themes and new speakers on November 9 and 10!
    The two-day festival opens with actor Pankaj Kapur’s dramatised reading of his novel Dopehri. He, along with Rajat Gupta, former MD of McKinsey, historian William Dalrymple and New Zealand umpire Simon Taufel, kick off the two days of cerebral fireworks in Bengaluru.
    Environmentalist Tim Flannery, political scientist Christine Fair, ‘Bad Man’ Gulshan Grover, mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, writer Jerry Pinto, singer Lucky Ali, historian Vikram Sampath, children’s writer  Rohini Nilekani, sci-fi expert Ian McDonald, financial scribe Ed Luce, political commentator Mukul Kesavan, actor Lisa Ray, Wiccan priestess Ipsita Roy Chakraverti and singer Shubha Mudgal are all poised to speak here.
    New stars on the horizon
    Verse Interruption will see Arundhathi Subramaniam, Mani Rao, Karthika Nair, Prathibha Nandakumar, Navdeep Suri, Harpreet Singh, Manish Mundra, Sanjukta Dasgupta and Hussain Haidry bring their poems to the mike.
    New stars on the non-fiction horizon Tony Joseph and Ashok Alexander will be here along with veteran fiction writers like Purushottam Agrawal and Mridula Garg. Malayalam writers Unni R and Johny Miranda will talk about their craft to journalist-writer CK Meena.
    Thriller effect will be provided by Ravi Subramanian (all those banks and bankers in his books!), Bilal Siddiqi (Bard of Blood), Sunanda Mehta (the book on Sunanda Pushkar) and Sumankumar (The Family Man). Bestseller effect will be courtesy Anuja Chauhan, Preeti Shenoy and Ravinder Singh. New voices include Keshava Guha with Accidental Magic and Anukrti Upadhyay with Bhaunri.
    Jagriti Theatre will put up a Jane Austen presentation and Revanta Sarabhai will comment on climate change via dance while Max Mueller’s virtual reality experience on a Kafka character will be on all day. Survivor stories from the Brussels terror attacks’ face Nidhi Chaphekar and Reshma Qureshi who faced an acid attack. Jonathan Gil Harris will evoke the Bard with his one-man show Masala Shakespeare even as Manjari Chaturvedi brings us The Courtesan Project.
    A community-funded fest
    The children’s programming, nicely woven together by storyteller Vikram Sridhar, will see drum jams, a clown from Spain and everything under the sun. Plus, the lovely Janaki Sabesh will enact her stories in her own unique way.
    Two concerts to be enjoyed in the cool evening air – The Thayir Sadam Project and Manasi and Friends – put together with much TLC by BLF’s music curator Sadhana Rao.
    Over 230 speakers and artistes across six venues, including three for children called Abracadabra, Khul Ja Sim Sim, Shazam. The two main stages are named differently this year too – remembering Bangalore’s very own Girish Karnad who passed away this year, these are titled after his plays: Yayati and Tughlaq. The Red Couch, a cozier, more intimate space, which aims to cut the distance between writer and readers will see much frenzy, what with a bunch of readings and book launches set to happen here.
    A community-funded fest, with only a passionate team of volunteers at the steering wheel. Calling all bookworms to BLF!
    Shinie Antony is a writer and editor based in Bangalore. Her books include The Girl Who Couldn't Love, Barefoot and Pregnant, Planet Polygamous, and the anthologies Why We Don’t Talk, An Unsuitable Woman, Boo. Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Asia Prize for her story A Dog’s Death in 2003, she is co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival and director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival.
    Read Shinie Antony's columns here.
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