The second day of the 11th Delhi Literature Festival saw a grand start at the DLF Avenue, Saket who is also the title partner for the festival, with the first session in the afternoon was an endearing conversation between Rachna Singh Bisht and Major Manik Jolly on Bisht’s book Bipin: The Man behind the Uniform (Penguin India). A collection of in-depth interviews with Bipin Rawat’s friends, family members, and comrades, the book is said to be a befitting tribute to one of India’s greatest and most controversial Generals. Major Manik Jolly, a decorated army veteran, and a Gurkha who has served under Gen Bipin Rawat was in conversation with Rachna Singh Bisht and added the perfect flavor to a conversation giving an insider’s view into the army and the life of Gen Rawat.
Dilliwalas were seen beating the rains to attend sessions that started with a drizzle. The second session of the day was on the book Commit to Yourself (Om Books) by Nancy Katyal. Nancy Katyal is an internationally certified executive presence coach and leadership development consultant whose book encourages breaking free from toxic relationships, and self-destructive thinking and habits. The session was moderated by the communications consultant and storyteller who kept the audience spellbound with a freewheeling conversation on breaking free.
Up next was a conversation with the Austrian author, designer, film director and founder of the transdisciplinary art institution REAKTOR Bernhard Kemmel led by Vinita Bakshi, an award-winning social entrepreneur. Bernhard is the grandson of the distinguished Bohemian architect Leo Kammel. Kammel has come out with a fast-paced thriller, Snow White (Om Books), set in Vienna is an interesting blend of missions to save the earth ravaged by climate change.
As the evening progressed we saw the crowds swell at the DLF Avenue, Saket which is hosting the sessions today and tomorrow. In the rains, the sessions that were comfortably moved indoors continued with an engaging discussion on William Dalrymple’s book The Company Quartet: The Anarchy, White Mughals, Return of a King, and The Last Mughal (Bloomsbury). The session was introduced by Ajay Jain of Kunzum. Dalrymple’s book released in 2021 tells the remarkable story of how the Mughal empire, which then generated just under half the world’s wealth, disintegrated and came to be replaced by the first global corporate power: the East India Company. While talking about the book and two decades of his meticulous research, Dalrymple shares in The Company Quartet that he tells the story of the beginnings of the British engagement and that of British colonialism but it also is a story of the power of corporations.
Day 2 of the Delhi Literature Festival concluded at the atrium of the DLF Avenue with noted filmmaker and designer Muzaffar Ali in conversation with journalist, author, and film critic Kaveree Bamzai. Muzaffar Ali who donned several hats in his lifetime shared interesting life stories as a scion of the princely house of Kotwara sharing to producing cinematic masterpieces like Umrao Jaan. A life that saw him cultivating his passion for cars or couture giving the audience a peek into the wealth of experience of a prince, poet, philosopher, filmmaker, and artist. His autobiography Zikr (Penguin India) has recently been released.