"Debunking myths and apprehensions about Literature Festivals"
I have been part of Literature Festivals in Mumbai since for the past four years (and I intend to add more cities soon!) now and time and again I have encountered some misconceptions and doubts about them in the general public out of many interactions.
• "But I don't read, so how should I come."
This is one of the most common and forgive me for saying this, "naive" statements. Not being a reader shouldn't stop you from accessing the best intellectuals and personalities and gaining knowledge about varying fields. This is not an exam, nobody is going to ask you if you 'read' to stop your entry. Come, sit, listen. It is important to know these festivals are not only about "books", "reading", "literature". One glance at a schedule and you will know that the topics traverse through writing, art, music, poetry, history, social issues and much more. There is something for everybody from all walks of life.
Infact, if you are not a reader, these events might act as an inspiration and motivation to read and trust me, there are thousands to whom this has happened to!
• "I don't know the authors, how will I understand"
Again, you don't know authors because you don't attend festivals and you won't know any more authors if you don't attend this festival. It is a viscous cycle. I have discovered around 90% of authors and artistes only through Lit Fests. Take a friend with you for help and discover. If you are transfixed on such silly things, you will miss amazing stuff year after year.
• "I don't like it, it is full of pseudo-intellectuals and pretentious snobs"
Nobody can help you with this stream of thought if you are focused on the 10% of the negative aspect of an absolutely gigantic beneficial and amazing exercise once a year. Maybe it is better you skip the festival. You are ignoring the greater good for menial jibes and it is nobody's loss but yours. But still, come, sit and listen!
Continued in comments..