Bengaluru Cheers For Women Writers’ Fest With A Packed House
The city of Bengaluru today welcomed the 15th edition of Women Writers’ Fest, organised by SheThePeople.TV. Giving women a platform to share their perspective of varying subjects, Women Writers Fest welcomed not just authors, but poets, actors and artists. A packed house cheered while listening to celebrated authors like Preeti Shenoy, Andaleeb Wajid, Harini Nagendra, and Lakshmi Sankar, along with actor Kubbra Sait. The highlight of the day, however, was Padma Shri awardee Shashi Deshpande speaking about her autobiography Listen to Me.
SheThePeople.TV Ideas editor Kiran Manral gave the opening note which was followed by the first panel discussion, ‘How Green Was Our City: Bengaluru’, where authors discussed how the city has transformed from a barren land into a vast reserve of greenery, and why it was important to preserve it for the sake of its citizens, and all the art and culture that Bengaluru sustains. As Harini Nagendra, co-author of the book Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities summed up the love of all Bengaluru residents, “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
This was followed by a power-packed panel discussion of women writing women characters in their books, where authors shared their writing process and what went into creating female characters for their books, while also reading from books to the audience. Bestselling author Preeti Shenoy revealed that she wrote female characters differently for her books and short stories. “The female protagonists in my books are more grounded. The ones in my short stories are completely different.”
Andaleeb Wajid said that it took a lot of courage to write characters which weren’t likable.
Following this, the audience got a chance to listen to Padma Shri Shashi Deshpande, who only took to writing after she turned thirty. She mesmerised those in attendance with her insights into how relevant the voice of women writers was to the discourse, and why we need feminist men. “The kind of strength that women show these days is inspiring. Things are better now but men are not able to keep pace with the changing women,” said she.
Following up on the fireside chat with Deshpande was a discussion on the changing culture of Bengaluru, and how times and migration from other parts of the country has shaped it. To sum up the essence that is the city, RJ Vasanthi Hariprakash said, “Culture of #Bangalore makes you feel at home.”
The excitement was palpable when Sacred Games fame actor Kubbra Sait took the stage for a one on one chat with Manral. While her success may seem like instant fame to many, Sait spoke about her struggle, what keeps her motivated and hungry to seek meaty roles and why tags like bold and courageous didn’t matter as all she wanted to do was her job. Kubbra also spoke about the changing dynamics in the entertainment industry post #MeToo Movement breakout, saying, “#MeToo movement has ensured that both men and women are careful about how they speak to each other.”