Bhubaneswar: The third edition of the Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet (TSBLM) was inaugurated here on Thursday.
The three-day festival, which celebrates and seeks to promote the rich heritage of Odisha, 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’.
Das, an award-winning author, 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.
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, Bond responded to the deluge of questions from students of the city’s schools with his inimitable charm. The students were also captivated by 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.
“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,” said Chaudhary.