Home India News A tribute to Delhi in Penguin’s spring lit fest

A tribute to Delhi in Penguin’s spring lit fest


New Delhi : Tales from the underbelly of the Indian capital told by a gamut of writers as diverse as William Dalrymple, Sam Miller, Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain brought the curtains down on the open air literature festival- Spring Fever 2010- at the India Habitat Centre Sunday night.

The festival, which began March 13, was organised to promote the culture of reading classics and contemporary Indian literature in English. It was woven around a sprawling open air library – a concept that the publishing house introduced to the capital in 2009 when it showcased its vintage collection of Western and Indian classics.

“This year we took it a level further and designed a series of evening literary events related to the library and Penguin’s latest titles. The spotlight was on Indian and Puffin titles and business was good,” Hemali Sodhi, vice-president of marketing and corporate communications, Penguin, told IANS.

The concluding event was a tribute to the colourful history and cultural melting pot that the capital is.

While Dalrymple read out excerpts from the “City of Djinns” and the “The Last Mughal”, Miller read out from “Trickster City: Writings from the Underbelly of the Metropolis”.

Farooqui and Husain had the packed amphitheatre in splits with their dramatized account of the “requisitions, capers and grievances of the common people, police administration and the ‘baniyas (traders)’ of Chandini Chowk in Bahadurshah Zafar’s Dilli” from the Mutiny Papers, a collection of printed catalogues of 1857 petitions sourced from archives around the capital.

“I am trying to collate the papers to explain how the people reacted to the 1857 uprising in their everyday life,” Farooqui said.

The readings were followed by an hour of qawwali by the renowned Nizami brothers and their ensemble.