I had to choose between BF and BLF today morning – Breakfast (BF) at a neighbor’s place where I had dinner last night and was invited, tempted, threatened, black mailed to be there for breakfast as well or to attend the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) at least on the event’s last day. I quickly checked who all from the literary circuit will be there to wake us up from our slumber and inspire us to write again – We part time writers who dabble at it in between our corporate roles and a dozen other pursuits almost like split personalities, need a trigger like this so badly once in a while.

One name was good enough for me to be there – Gulzaar Saab, scheduled for a conversation at 11 AM. An elaborate BF at my neighbor’s place including transit time would not allow me to be there on time. Feed thy soul, mortal, not thy stomach! Is it thy or thou – Whatever. Get the point.

BLF was being held this year just a few kilometers away from my home – Bless the organizers – Crown Plaza, Velankani Park in Electronic City spread across three different sections – Mysore Park, Lawn Bagh and Makkala Koota

Titled – Mera kuchh saman, tumhare paas pada hai, it was really a treat, almost like a dream come true to watch Gulzaar Saab live in conversation with Bhawana Somaya. While clippings of all those great songs written by him were being screened – from legendary Suchitra Sen’s Tere bina Zindagi mein koi shikwai to Aishwarya’s Kajra re, Dimple’s Rudali and Shahrukh’s Dil se, Urmila’s Lakdi ki Kaathi to Rekha’s tere bina jiya jaaye na and of course not to forget Mera Kuch samaan – It was amazing to hear him share some great trivia about these songs and about the people who were involved in their making. This session lasted beyond the scheduled hour and got stretched as we audience roared for him to stay when we were asked by Bhawana if we wanted to listen to him for a few more songs.

While nibbling our Pav Bhaji in a nearby shade as the stomach yelled to be fed, since we remained partial about feeding our minds only till then, we heard Swar Thounaojam in the Playwright section for a few minutes, sipped our coffee and headed towards the book counter.

On our way to books and stalls section, all we could see around were artists sketching, bloggers or journalists taking notes, writers scribbling their thoughts before it slips, excited conversations about literature. We spent a good one hour there.

Estrade, a literary magazine supported by British Library, Ahmedabad gave us a goody bag having couple of issues of their magazine, wanting us to submit stories and our writes.

In The First Book Club at Lawn Bagh, heard Lavanya Sankaran speak about how she switched from short stories to novel and how “Hope Factory” took its present shape. A young lad read something about Anu Aunty – I had no clue who he was.

I was with another author Lakshmi Menon who had just launched her second novel “Cherished” a week back. She runs a writing portal for amateur writers and was more informed about the Varun boy than I was. He runs companies and wrote a book, gives credit to one Anu Aunty I guess?

I will read you another day boy – As of now I picked up Gulzar’s Half a Rupee Stories translated by Sunjoy Shekhar to feed my much deprived soul with some good fiction.

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