Some of the best books that have come out from India in the past few years belong to the non-fiction genre. And that’s one of the reasons journalist and author Naresh Fernandes is extremely happy that somebody has finally decided to put the spotlight on this particular genre and come up with ‘India Non Fiction festival’.
Centered around the theme, Be Bold Stay Real, the festival that will take place between June 21 and 23 at the Nehru Centre in Worli, will deal primarily with non-fiction writing and will see experts across sectors come together to disseminate their wisdom and insights. “I’ve been a great fan of the non-fiction genre, which really is a craft by itself. And I’m glad that somebody is putting it centrestage,” says Fernandes, who will be moderating a discussion between writers Meena Menon and Harish Nambiar at the festival.
Kumar Bagrodia, festival director, says that the idea behind the event stemmed from two main factors. “We all agree that we’re living in complex times, whether it’s jobs, politics, career, social administration among other things. The question we asked ourselves was, what is it that bothers the average person? If it’s somebody who’s started his career, then it’s things like progressing in his career or health and fitness.
If it’s somebody who’s at the top of the ladder, then it’s things like leadership, consumer behaviour and philanthropy. If it’s a homemaker, then things like parenting, relationships, cuisines are what concern him or her. All these things are actually genres of non-fiction and that’s what people are reading,” he explains. The other factor deals with the aspirational nature of the people of this country. “We’re a hungry nation,” explains Bagrodia, “We need a certain amount of boldness to go to the next level. There is a realism in every facet and we need to discuss and debate these issues. And all this is best served under the umbrella of non-fiction.”
According to Bagrodia, the speakers at the festival represent the best in their sub-genres. Some of the people speaking at the three-day festival include Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai, Gregory David Roberts, Mini Menon, Rahul Akerkar, Rinky Bhattacharya, Santosh Desai, Tavleen Singh, R Sridhar, Indrajit Gupta among many others. “Not all speakers are authors but they are thinking minds, who can speak on specific subjects,” he adds.
There will be parallel sessions consisting of engaging panel discussions, interesting keynotes and one-on-one conversation with eminent authors. There will also be books on sale and book-signing sessions.
It does not end there. The festival will also see the launch of books such as My Stroke of Luck by author Vijay Santhanam and Directors Cut: 50 Major Filmmakers of the Modern Era by author K Raghavendra.
A treat for bookworms, you say? We couldn’t agree more.
The India Non-Fiction Festival will be held between June 21-23 at Nehru Centre, Worli