There are those who talk, and those who do. And thankfully, then, those who do and then talk about what they do. The festival season has just begun, with some powerful thinkers debating everything from medicine to film. There are some usual suspects, duplications and out-of-the-box invitees.
Bambolim, Goa, till 6 November
“Any thriving democracy is nurtured by ideas, and we needed to create a space to take ideas beyond the everyday debates of cricket and Bollywood,” says Shoma Chaudhury, managing editor, Tehelka magazine. The thought behind the THINK fest ensures anyone above the age of 18 can attend for free; it seeks to draw the world to India as an ideation destination, and creates a cocoon of Goa’s susegad, which sets the tone for the fest. The flavour of the month definitely seems to be Siddhartha Mukherjee, writer of The Emperor of All Maladies (who will also make an appearance at Literature Live! also on till 6 November at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, or NCPA, in Mumbai). The highlights at THINK are Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee, architect Frank Gehry, Sherbanoo Taseer, daughter of slain Pakistani governor Salman Taseer, and Chinese blogger Hu Shuli. There will also be the Bollywood triad of actor Aamir Khan, wife Kiran Rao and nephew Imran Khan, and an interesting artists’ corner where you can watch artists such as Yusuf Arakkal paint canvases. THINK is being held at the Grand Hyatt Goa, Bambolim, north Goa. For schedules, visit www.goathinkfest.com
Wordsmith: Germaine Greer will speak at The Alchemist Hay Festival. Photograph by Javier Salcedo Rico.
The Alchemist Hay Festival
Politician Shashi Tharoor will be here too! For this multilingual poetry and culture fest’s second year in India come poets in Spanish, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Welsh, Icelandic and English, as well as Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and biographer of Mao Zedong, and Germaine Greer, who will speak on Shakespeare’s lovers. The venue will be the stunning Kanakakunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram. Last year, Sting ended the fest, jamming with Bob Geldof, so Hay is definitely one to watch out for.
Delegate passes of Rs 2,500 (which will buy you lunches and dinners with the invitees) are available at the venue. There is no charge for attending the fest. For details, visit http://www.hayfestival.com/kerala/
Mumbai, 18-20 November
WikiConference India is a wonderland for new technology geeks. It will feature sessions on integration of OpenStreetMaps, crowd sourcing, operating Ajax and Jquery systems, and on incorporating Wiki’s research abilities in Marathi, Telugu and other Indian languages. It will also address issues relating to gender, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and women.
You can register at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiConference_India_2011/Registration. The cost is Rs 1,550, plus Rs 50 processing fee for individuals. The venue is Mumbai University. Registration will be open till the available 700 seats are filled.
Mumbai, 27 November
TEDx’s day-long Gateway, a think fest advised by Sangita Jindal, Ralph Simon (father of the ringtone), Anant Rangaswami (editor at Firstpost.com, a digital newsroom) and music mogul Seymour Stein, has compellingly interesting speakers, such as Suneet Singh Tuli, creator of the $35 (around Rs 1,715) tablet “Aakash”, Shabnam Virmani, who runs the Kabir Project, Anu Sridharan, who works in water purification technologies, and Kranthi Kiran Vistakula, founder of the Litre of Light movement. Yashraj Akashi, curator, TEDxGateway, explains that those wanting to attend will be screened based on submitted essays. Only 150 fellows will be selected. The venue is Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai. TEDx is a part of the non-profit organization TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). For registrations, visit www.tedxgateway.com/ticketing till 15 November. Passes cost Rs 2,100. To apply for a TEDx sponsorship, visit www.tedxgateway.com/attend.aspx
Jaipur, 8-11 December
The posher version of the fests is the INK Conference 2011, in association with TED, from 8-11 December at the Jaipur Marriott Hotel. Themed “Power of the Journey”, it includes an impressive line-up of speakers from the first female space tourist Anousheh Ansari to oceanographer David Gallo, music conductor Italy Talgam and perfumer Yann Vasnier. You can register (it also has a screening process) till 20 November. The fee is Rs 1 lakh for Indians. To register, visit http://www.inktalks.com