The experiential quotient at Hindu Lit for Life is ever evolving- Siddharth Ganeriwala, Aura

The seventh edition of literature festival The Hindu Lit for Life was held at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall in Lady Andal School in Chennai from January 14-16, 2017. Organized for the fifth year in a row by south India’s premier experiential agency, Aura Integrated Solutions, the festival spanned wider and deeper, noticeably far from its humble beginnings in 2010.


Nirmala Lakshman, festival director and director of The Hindu group of publications, commented, “The Hindu Lit for Life is a festival that reflects the spirit of our times. It brings the paper to its readers and places writers and readers on the same platform”.

The South has historically been known to be artistically, literary and culturally inclined. Several pertinent events jostle each other in each of the five states at various district and rural levels. To meet this demand, the Hindu Lit for Life was launched in 2010 to commemorate 20 years of The Hindu's Literary Review - a supplement that has fed the book hungry readership of the paper for two decades. What began as a one-panel discussion back then, this year featured 59 sessions over 3 days, 12,000+ registrations, 23 workshops for children and adults and a whopping 147 speakers including Rishi Kapoor, Shashi Tharoor, Amruta Patil, Ritu Beri, Kanhaiya Kumar, Anosh Irani among others.

Having organized The Hindu Lit for Life for five years straight, Siddharth Ganeriwala, founder, Aura Integrated Solutions says, “Aura has watched the event grow in scope and scale over the years. From an audience of about 1500 in our first year the fest has grown to12000 this year. It is a matter of pride for Aura to be part of such a vital living entity.”

This year regional literature received special focus at Hindu Lit for Life with sessions on Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Urdu literature. Additionally, a children's festival was added to make the audience more inclusive.The kids festival featured a science lab, a zumba session, storytelling and colouring, and even a tea party where children were dressed as their favourite literary characters. There was also an open-air library for children to browse and read while lounging on beanbags.

“The event is much more than the sessions and workshops”, expresses Ganeriwala. “Pre-event Interactive engagements played a large role in projecting a friendly facade to an audience who are not necessarily of the bookish mould. In fact, they were a major draw to the event in its initial years - colourful, innovative and creative these activities truly put the 'Life' in The Hindu Lit for Life!” he adds.

In 2013, when Aura came into the picture, the event featured eight sessions over two days which took place in just one venue - the main auditorium. Over the years, it has spilled over into workshops in tents that have mushroomed around the main event area. As the sessions have grown, it has attracted more authors and achievers, both of international renown and national acclaim, from allied fields like photography, journalism, music, dance and the like. The fest has featured some big names in all these fields, be it a Steve McCurry, or a Ruskin Bond or a Vairamuthu!

“Today we have five parallel sessions happening simultaneously so the experience management angle has clearly catapulted exponentially. We certainly have our hands quite full managing artistes, venues, award sessions, ambience, audience engagements”, concludes Ganeriwala as the curtain goes down on Hindu Lit for Life 2017. “But we will never stop evolving the experiential quotient.”

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