HYDERABAD: The city’s literature enthusiasts will have to make do with an online version of the Hyderabad Literature Festival this year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, people are in for a treat as award-winning poet and lyricist Gulzar will be inaugurating the event on January 22, which will be followed by an hour-long poetry reading and talk session.
The festival will be broadcast on HLF’s YouTube channel. The details have been published on the festival’s website. While the essence of a literature festival may take a backseat, the organisers are hoping that this year’s tech-enabled gathering becomes a memorable page in its history.
Speaking to the media, Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary for IT and Industries said, “After much deliberation and uncertainty, it has been decided that the Hyderabad Literature Festival will be conducted this year on an online platform. We realised that, considering the momentum that the festival has gained over the years, it is best not to skip it in 2021. In light of the current circumstances, this is the safest way for everyone to enjoy the festival.”
Amita Desai, one of the festival directors, said, “The online broadcast will be of a hybrid nature. While most of the author’s talk sessions will be live, these live sessions will also include pre-recorded readings by authors, poets and activists. Apart from this, workshops too will be conducted live online and the recordings will be further uploaded once the festival is over. Because the festival is happening online this year, we have decided that it can go on slightly longer than previous years, thus it shall continue up to February 11.”
“However, the one group of people that we will definitely miss is the young volunteers from colleges across Hyderabad, who brought in enthusiasm and energy to the festival. HLF is a learning experience for both them and us and we love the fact that a section of the volunteers keep coming back to us every year,” said Dr. T Vijay Kumar, another festival director.