Bhubaneswar: The third edition of the Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet (TSBLM) was inaugurated here today to a packed audience. The three-day festival, which celebrates and seeks to promote this rich heritage, was inaugurated by renowned children’s author Ruskin Bond and Odia literary exponent Manoj Das along with Chanakya Chaudhary, group director, corporate communications and regulatory affairs, Tata Steel and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, editor of Sambad.
Renowned children’s author Ruskin Bond addressing the gathering
Mr Das, the award-winning Indian author and proponent of Odia Literature, spoke about his journey tracing seven decades of the country through his writings. He also talked about how budding authors should draw inspiration from the adversities they face while writing while expressing concern over how creative imagination was being challenged by the evolution of technology.
Mr Bond, whose much-anticipated presence at the event was evident in the large number of young students in attendance, spoke about his journey of being “an unknown author to a reasonably well-known author”.
He joined veteran journalist and Indophile Mark Tully for a session where they shared their views on nationalism and patriotism, drawing upon their rich experience of chronicling India. A veritable icon for children even today, Mr Bond responded to the deluge of questions from students of the city’s schools with his inimitable charm. The students were also captivated by Mr Tully’s reflections on how the country he calls home had changed over the decades he has spent documenting it.
The day concluded with a mesmerising performance celebrating music and poetry. Historian and best-selling author William Dalrymple joined celebrated vocalist Vidya Shah for an evocative performance.
Mr Chaudhary said, “As part of our corporate philosophy at Tata Steel, we have always believed in promoting sports, art, and literature. Over the past three editions of the TSBLM, we have seen the event grow exponentially and the response from the people of the city has been tremendous, now becoming a much-awaited part of Bhubaneswar’s cultural calendar. We seek to make TSBLM bigger and better with each passing year.”
This third edition of the TSBLM promises to be an enriching experience with the participation of eminent personalities across an array of genres and expertise, bringing together readers, writers and thinkers on one platform to inspire people. The event pays homage to the best of Odisha literature, while also going beyond the confines of the purely literary and bringing on board various pursuits such as theatre, art, dance, music, cinema, journalism, and politics, all of which directly or indirectly affect literature. TSBLM is in alignment with Tata Steel’s corporate philosophy of encouraging and supporting initiatives that aim to foster and encourage intellectual and cultural pursuits in society.