Vishwakarma Publications PILF 2020: An online literary extravaganza like never before

The 8th Pune International Literary Festival 2020 (PILF 2020) was a heady concoction of intense discussions that touched upon themes of the past, the present and the future. In a first for PILF, the 3 day fest was streamed online and saw a congregation of literary dignitaries, which included authors, poets, academicians, actors, singers, writers, politicians, translators, columnists as well as an occupational therapist. Kicked off with a video recognising the association of Vishwakarma publications and PILF, the mood for the event was set. With virtually no glitches, it was a seamless event and all in all, a sheer delight for bibliophiles and savants. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the event:

‘Publishing in Post Covid Times’

The befitting social theme for the year, “Power of Social Media” saw some animated discussions. The highlight though, was a panel discussion on the poignant issue of ‘Publishing in Post Covid Times’. Vishal Soni, of Vishwakarma Publications, addressed the issue of the severely hit sales distribution recovery. He implored one and all to support bookstore owners and buy physical books from them, since their survival is crucial to the survival of the publishing houses, writers, authors and the entire literary society.

Reading Culture, Romance and Women Power

The Vishwakarma Publications’ Marathi panel conducted an enlightening session on the present reading culture, which garnered maximum audience engagement. “Pen for a Change” and “Stories from the Homeland” touched the audience’s hearts in an evocative way.

“The yearnings of the Heart” saw an insightful penetration into the subject of romance. The discussion aptly pointed out the dynamic nature of modern romance and how it is no longer bound by age, gender etc. Another one of the audience’s favourite sessions was the power packed discussion among the Vishwakarma Publications’ women authors. The panel consisted of authors Rupangi Sharma, Ritu Lalit and Sharmishta Shenoy.

Shashi Tharoor and the Battle of Belonging, ‘Atmanirbhartecha Prernastrot’ (आत्मनिर्भरतेचा प्रेरणास्रोत)

Member of Parliament, Shashi Tharoor, was in conversation with Dr. Suhas Palshikar about his new book “Battle of Belonging”. With his famously exotic vocabulary and incisive wit, the discussion between the 2 dignitaries was a treat for the audience and was unlike any other sessions that PILF has witnessed before.

The Vishwakarma Publications panel titled ‘Atmanirbhartecha Prernastrot’ (आत्मनिर्भरतेचा प्रेरणास्रोत), which included Avinash Dharmadhikari, Pramod Chaudhari and Dnyaneshwar Bodake was another stimulating deliberation.

Other Highlights of PILF 2020

One of the prominent highlights of this year’s literature festival was the ‘Yours Truly’ session, with English primatologist and anthropologist Dr Jane Goodall, author Scott Eyman and Lord Meghnad Desai. Issues of paramount importance such as the role of women in the backstage of the world of film-making and cinema were discussed in the session ‘Femme Power – Behind the Scenes and Screens’.

The festival also dove deep into a range of weighty subjects like mental health, suicide prevention and on a lighter note, creative writing and the importance of sleep by Dr Karuna Datta.

The three-day online literary extravaganza organized by Vishwakarma Publications was an extraordinary celebration of myriad ideas and of literature itself. The pandemic deterred none and the show truly did go on, albeit virtually, with the literati having the golden opportunity to watch, listen to and interact with their favourite authors.