It was the 10th Chennai International Film Festival. I surprised myself during the film festival that year by managing to watch a respectable number of films despite a hectic schedule at work. Michael Haneke’s Amour, which later went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, was also scheduled to be screened that year. It was on my must-watch list. I made it on time for the show and the movie was surely beautiful. However, I could not sit through the entire movie and had to walk out.

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How often do we flow into the city and see it as a living, breathing space that weaves in memories? Imraan Coovadia, the author of five novels (‘The Wedding, ‘Tales of the Metric System’, to name a few), Suketu Mehta of ‘Maximum City’ fame, in conversation with Ravi Singh of ‘Speaking Tiger’ were in to discuss the workings of the city, and what these residents bring to help the cities thrive. Both authors bring in their experience of being in multiple cities in their lives, tracing it from their forefathers seeking to move out of their cities in India to cities elsewhere around the globe.

Two of the most prominent sports writers and columnists sat to deliberate on the ever-changing landscape of the game of cricket. As T20s shatter all records of sports viewership and fandom and the International cricket based on the idea of nation loyalties paves way for the domestic leagues of T20s, Gideon Haigh and Suresh Menon discussed the significance of modern cricket dynamics and the future of fandom in the session titled ‘Whose side are you on?’.

“Caste haunts you in the food that you eat. It might offer a moment of solace through community support. It might even offer you a god but there are more disadvantages to it”, says Ambai (C.S.Lakshmi) who has translated the Perumal Murugan’s ‘சாதியும் நானும்’ into English. The book is titled, “Caste and I” which was also the subject of discussion of conversation between Ambai, Perumal Murugan and the publisher Kannan Sundaram.

Journalist and News anchor, Sagarika Ghose’s book titled ‘Indira: India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister’, was published by Juggernaut Books to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi. ‘Insecure daughter, Betrayed wife, National heroine, tough dictator’, reads the blurb for the book. Journalist, Political commentator and documentary filmmaker, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta too began his discussion with Sagarika on the same note.

“India’s aspirations to become a permanent member of the UN security council is realistic and doable”, says, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs during his conversation with Ambassador P.S. Raghavan at the Bangalore Literature Festival. The session was on the back drop of his book ‘Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos’. Having had a 40 years long momentous career in diplomacy, the Minister spoke about his time in the UN Security council as representative of India and India’s diplomatic relationship with major countries across the globe.