The 6th Scindia Literary Fest
24 November 2023
The 6th Scindia Literary Fest commenced on 19 November 2023 wherein eleven distinguished authors came to the Fort and painted the air ‘literary’. The Chief Guest of the Opening Ceremony was Ms Roopa Pai, a distinguished author and one of India’s best-known writers for children. The ceremony of lighting the lamp was carried out and the Chief Guest, Ms Aditi Krishna Kumar, and the Principal, alongwith the Deputy Senior School Prefect, Aaradhy Shiv Shukla lighted the lamp igniting the spirit of the fest in these hallowed portals. To the chant of the Saraswati Vandana and the excellent performance of fusion music, the fraternity began their day, moving onto the respective sessions. The first session was of Ms Aditi Krishna Kumar. The writer interweaved the idea of fantasy intermingling with reality to form the storyline of the books. She stressed that the habit of reading should come naturally to the readers and one should not be forced into it. Ms Shabnam Minawala had a Zoom session with the students. She talked about the challenges of framing a character which is interesting yet relatable. Mr Anupam Arunachalam, a renowned writer, illustrator, and cartoonist delivered an engaging session. He spoke about how drawing is an excellent way to express emotions because it allows for endless possibilities and interpretations. The Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Awardee, Ms Parvati Anand fondly known as Paro Anand read out one of her works- Being Gandhi, to the students and discussed the origin of her ideas behind selecting a topic to write a book about. She discussed all her books in detail- the idea, inspiration, synopsis, and also the consequence of creating that work. She discussed different genres that she works with. The first day of the 6th Scindia Literary Fest was full of engaging and motivating sessions for the students.
On the second day of the Fest, a session by Ms Roopa Pai was held for classes IX to XII. She talked about her book "The Yoga Sutras'. She explained what religion is and what is the care of Hinduism or Indian philosophy? What can we do to calm our mind, to calm our body, to bring stillness to it? How the Yoga Sutras helped to calm our mind and bring ourselves peace; to be a good person not for getting a place in heaven but for our own peace of mind for our own inner peace. How steps to calm the mind starts by accepting our shortcomings, dividing our thoughts into right, wrong, imagination and memory and taking out everything except right because rest does not matter right now. Next, Ms Parvati Anand addressed the students in the Assembly Hall. The students were the most excited about the book "No guns at my son's funeral". The idea of children becoming terrorist left kids stunned, they flooded the session with the follow up questions. Ms Parvati didn't only talk about the books but also motivated the students to dream and work hard to realize their dreams. The author, Ms Meghaa Gupta has worked in Indian children's publishing for over a decade. She heads the Youth programme at the Green Literature Festival and curates a course on nature writing for new writers at Azim Premji University. In her illuminating session, students saw Independent India in new light. Her New book "After Midnight" talks about what happened after India attained independence. She touched all the topics starting from Constitution to current elections, from British invasion to India's space programmes and from World War to Cold War. She had all the topics that stirred their interests to listen and inquire more about first elections, first mobile phone, the discovery of internet, development and pollution and the meaning of the Millenium bug.
Mr S Hariharan’s first book Runaway Children came out in 2015. Ten Great Escapes is his second non-fiction. His philanthropic endeavours include distributing close to 1,000 free daily meals to guardians of patients at Thane Municipal Hospital, which has now been extended to include senior citizens and people who are blind, deaf and mute living alone in nearby areas. His book Runaway Children is for all the sorry street-bound children of our world; vulnerable, struggling to get by on a few rupees and embraced only by despair. As citizens and as humans, we must pull them out from this state, educate them, give them homes and, above all, their lost childhood.
On the third and final day of the Fest, Mr Sanjeev Sanyal ventured into an interesting part of history which is generally overlooked in our history books and that is the Maritime History of India. He traced it back to the Indus Valley Civilization and then moved to Europe and the Far East. Trade relations and economics of the era were also discussed. Ms Nidhi Sharma is famous for her book ‘She the Leader’. She said that we talk a lot about women empowerment but in reality we do nothing to achieve it. Even after so many years of being an independent nation, we still have not been able to give the woman the place that she deserves. Young authors widely, think independently, live fully, and travel adventurously. They do not narrow the road of their life and Saksham Garg is the most apt example possessing these traits. The seven years he spent in a boarding school of Mussoorie gave him inspiration to start writing his record breaking National Best Seller- 'Samsara'. He took 10 years to finish this extraordinary book, started writing when he was just in school. The students were filled with awe for him when he broke the news that very soon his book will be turned into a series of movies by one of the most popular Hollywood producers. He introduced the twists of the book and threw hints and challenges of solving the mysteries in the story. Mr Vivek Rai Marwah, an Old Boy (Ex- Madhav, 1984) and an acclaimed writer talked about his book, ‘The Mind Traveller, Warrior of Shaka’. Inspired by his proclivity for philosophy and spirituality his first book, A Passage Through Life was published in 2004. His present book is a remarkable story of fortitude, perseverance and spiritual awakening. He related many stories of his life at school and said that the school instilled in him the power to struggle through all situations. Mr Marwah declared the Literary Fest closed.