Literature festivals are all about discussing heavy tomes and chasing heavyweight authors for their pearls of wisdom about being and nothingness. Not really. Three women have come together to start a literature festival that caters to children from three to 14 years, and is particularly careful not to bore. So at Fully Booked, children listen to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with a generous helping of chocolate soon after or they read a book on ballet dancing with some experience of ballet from a trained teacher.

(L-R)Shabnam Minwalla, Lalita Iyer, Shamim Padamsee
(L-R) Shabnam Minwalla, Lalita Iyer, Shamim Padamsee

The idea, Ruchita Dar Shah, the founder of First Moms Club and one of the organisers of the festival, says is to inculcate a reading habit among children in a fun way. “These days, everyone has a very low attention span and reading habits are visibly dwindling. We want children to grow up reading but are often confused as to how to go about it. In some cases, even when the parents are not readers, they want their children to read. Festivals like this help develop an interest in books,” she says and adds that a children’s literature festival is unheard of in the suburbs and Fully Booked will set a precedence.

Om Puri
Om Puri

The festival has been organised by three women Lubaina Bandukwala, an editor and curator of children’s film festivals, Aditi Shah, founder Kids Club and Musical Bonding and Ruchita Dar Shah. Bandukwala, a former journalist and a children’s writer, said that the events and workshop have been carefully chosen and involves many prominent and upcoming writers from Mumbai like Shamim Padamsee, Lalita Iyer and Shabnam Minwalla. Apart from them, the legendary actor Om Puri will also attend the event as its chief guest. “We were planning the festival as a small event but it kept growing in size as we prepared the schedule and it is now a two-day event,” she says.