When Indian Literature Met Indian Cinema

One of the most interesting transformations that I have noticed in our Indian literature is the introduction of celebrities/actors as authors, err, best-selling authors. Mere a celebrity name arrests the attention of Indian readers as in India people cannot get enough of celebrities.

One of the most successful actor-turned-author that I can think of is Twinkle Khanna. Her books have been topping the charts constantly.

So, when actors have turned authors, their presence in Literary Festivals is quite natural. This year, many celebrities left the visitors cheering at the 10th Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) making the event even more exciting.

Clad in usual Kurta-Paijama and a brown shawl, ever graceful Gulzar Sab gave the perfect mesmerizing start to the Fest with his lovely poems. Oh, listening to him is such a pleasure!

‘Usne jaane kyu apne dayine kandhe par nilgai ka ek tattoo gudwaya
Maar jata kal dango mein
Achche log the
Gai dekh ke chhod dia’

A slight touch of politics in his poems made him clarify that those poems don’t bite, they just bark. ‘Sometimes, we must sit together and think about the country too,’ he said.

His book ‘Selected Poems’ (Penguin India) has been translated by Pavan Varma. Have you read them?

Rishi Kapoor’s presence in JLF was super-duper-hit. And, why not? He was charming then. He is charming now. And, a thing that makes his charm even more striking is his honesty and candidness that reflect in his first book too. In conversation with author and professor of Indian Culture and Cinema at the University of London, Rachel Dwyer, Rishi Kapoor was in Jaipur Lit Fest to discuss and promote his just-launched book ‘Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored’ (Harper Collins India) that he wrote with Meena Iyer.

The book speaks all about his personal and professional life.

His presence in the front lawn of the Diggi Palace, and honest confessions engaged the book lovers brilliantly. He accepted that the popularity of Bobby made him arrogant. He chatted and signed copies for his lovely readers.

Even before ‘Bahubali – The Beginning’ releases and answers the much-awaited question –  ‘Why did Kattapa kill Bahubali?’, Anand Neelkanthan, author of Asura, launched the cover of his book, ‘The Rise of Sivagami’ that is based on the story of movie Baahubali. It’s the first book in the Bahubali series (Westland Books). SS Rajamouli, director of movie Baahubali, and Rana Daggubati, popular south Indian star who also stars in Baahubali, launched the cover on Day 3.

Author Anand Neelakantan with SS Rajamouli (Director of Bahubali) and Rana Daggubatti (actor)

This discussion was scheduled to promote the book and the movie as well, which is supposed to release in April 2017.

‘My book is not a biography of my father. It’s a diary of my life,’ said Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush, dressed in nice Indian attire, about her first book, ‘Standing on an Apple Box’ (Harper Collins India). This book, a memoir, is about a girl among the stars.

Her impressive presence attracted the visitors on Day 3 of JLF where she talked about her book, her father actor Rajinikanth, and her actor husband Dhanush (Ranjhnaa fame). She was also found to be supporting Jallikattu.

On her next book, she said she has been toying with the idea of writing a short stories collection.

Imtiaz Ali, director of Jab We Met and Sudhir Mishra, director of critically acclaimed Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi and Chameli attended the 10th edition of JLF to discuss the Narrative of Indian (parallel/commercial) Cinema.

People enjoyed the session ‘After the Angry Young Man, the Traditional women, What?’ with Javed Akhtar, known for his frank and bold opinion, on Day 4 where he discussed Bollywood, and relentless women crimes.

He recited his new poem ‘Naya Huqmnama’, which goes like –

Kisi ka huqm hai ki saari hawaayein chalne se pehle bataayein ki samt kya hai, hawaaon ko batana ye bhi hoga, chalengi jab to raftaar kya hogi…’


Tarang Sinha is a freelance writer & author of 'We Will Meet Again'. Her works have been published in magazines like Good Housekeeping India, Child India, New Woman, Woman's Era, Alive, and a best-selling anthology @ Uff Ye Emotions 2.

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