Mumbai: Five-day word fest at St Xavier's College

Nov 28, 2018, 09:30 IST | Dalreen Ramos

The first edition of a five-day multilingual literary festival at St Xavier's College celebrates languages through theatre, dance, music, and more

Mumbai: Five-day word fest at St Xavier's College
A still from Sudha and Rahul, An adaptation of Only Goodness

Learning a new language has always been a complicated journey for us. Because looking back, we realise we didn't attempt to learn anything at all. We studied it — the need to score good marks being our primary motivation. So, we ended up nurturing distaste, rather than being part of a cause for celebration. But efforts such as Lingua, the new literary festival of St Xavier's College, doesn't only promise to foster learning, but showcase young talent in a set-up where languages are not viewed in isolation.

Qatl, a Hindi play
Qatl, a Hindi play

"Previously we had three separate literary festivals — Ithaka [English], Antas [Hindi], and Aamod [Marathi], but this year as we celebrate 150 years of the college, we decided to have one five-day festival that celebrates all three languages," says Dnyaneshwari Raut, head of public relations at the festival. "We began preparations back in April. Now we're a team of 300 students working on it. The difference between the previous festivals and Lingua is that each play doesn't have multiple shows. There's a new one every day," she adds.

With a total of eight plays that includes a French musical, there are also open events such as a quiz, book exchange, lavani performance and a Bollywood orchestra. In addition, actor Shreyas Talpade will be speaking about his multilingual journey while author Ashwin Sanghi and blogger Prajakta Koli will deliver talks on contemporary communication of ancient myths and the portrayal of women in Indian cinema respectively.

Mariya Sethwala and Dnyaneshwari Raut
Mariya Sethwala and Dnyaneshwari Raut

Festival chairperson Mariya Sethwala tells us that the process for selection of the plays was elaborate, with extensive auditions and productions that required a four-month practice. "It's an incredibly eclectic range that tell interesting stories from the legacy of Samrat Akshoka to a recreation of the English classic Arms and the Man [by George Bernard Shaw]. They've been written, directed and acted by students. We have hoped to include narratives from our indigenous cultures that make for stories that deserve to be told."

On Mahapalika Marg, Fort.
Email linguaxaviers@gmail.com

The Guide's picks
Passes for the plays and orchestra will be available at the registration desk near the college gate

Qatl: Hindi play
A queen is crowned after a forced marriage. The night after, the king is dead. Find out who did it.
On Today, 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Cost Rs 90

Marathi Quiz to Cuisine
Put your knowledge to the test and treat yourself to Maharashtrian delicacies when you win.
On November 29, 3.15 pm to 4.15 pm
Free

Sudha and Rahul: English Play
An adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's Only Goodness, this is a moving tale of two siblings navigating through the brother's addiction.
On November 30, 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Cost Rs 90

Le Choix: French Musical
This fairytale with a modern twist promises to delight you with some classic Disney music.
On November 29,
5.30 pm onwards
Cost Rs 90

Bollywood Orchestra
Join these talented performers and get grooving to the best tunes.
On December 1, 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Cost Rs 100

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