The second day of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) saw sessions with speakers such as Joshua Matthew, Lieutenant General Asad Durrani and A.S. Dulat, Hamid Ansari and Geeta Mohan, Milind Soman and Roopa Pai, and Jeffrey Archer.
Mr. Archer engaged the audience in his inimitable style, holding forth on a range of topics. To a question by author Nirmala Govindrajan, who was moderating the session, on why he wouldn’t write more children’s books — he has written four — he replied, “I am 80! I’ve now got to write eight books on [detective] William Warwick before I die. If I had time I would, but I don’t.”
He also had an advice for aspiring authors: “Only morons and idiots hand in their first draft. I apologise… Only morons, idiots, and geniuses. Not me. Even at the age of 80, when I have been at it for 40, 50 years, I’m still doing 14 drafts. There is no shortcut. If there was, I would have found it by now.”
He also spoke about his situation during the pandemic stating that he has been privileged (“I was locked down for 144 days during which I wrote the third William Warwick book”); the difference between writers and storytellers; his admiration for R.K. Narayan and women’s rights (“If I dare say, your country is way behind on that particular subject”).
While last year’s edition saw a crowd of 25,000 people, this year’s festival, muted owing to the pandemic, saw an in-person attendance of about 550 people at the Bangalore International Centre over the two days. The number of live attendees online was about 5,000 over the two days, according to V. Ravichandar, honorary director, BIC, who is also part of the core team of the BLF
Earlier, Chetan Bhagat spoke about his latest book, One Arranged Murder, in a session moderated by journalist Shrabonti Bagchi. Stating that he read a lot of crime books in preparation, Mr. Bhagat added, “It’s a very different ball game to write a murder mystery.”
He also spoke about the obsession with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the media’s coverage, and the dangers of it.
Awards were also presented to the winners of the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize 2020 and the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation Book Prize