The influence of Girish Karnad and his work were ever-present at the 8th edition of the Bangalore Lit Fest which concluded on Sunday.
The literature festival celebrated the eminent theatre personality with sessions revolving around his work. Two of the three venues at the festival were named after Karnad's plays, Tughlaq and Yayati.
"We had a remembrance for him and he is Bengaluru's own. So, therefore we named our two stages after his plays to honour him," says Shinie Antony, Founding Trustee and Director of the festival.
Karnad passed away in June this year after a career spanning over six decades. He is considered one of India's most noted playwrights, and is a recipient of the Jnanpith, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. He wrote his first play, the critically acclaimed Yayati (1961), when he was still at Oxford University.
A session was also held on Saturday title 'Writer, Playwright, Humanist: The Life and Work of Girish Karnad'. It was a discussion between Jayant Kaikini, noted poet and short-story writer, B Jayashree, actor and theatre personality, and K Marulasiddappa, a Kannada writer. It was moderated by Preethi Nagaraj.
In the session, Jayant spoke about his experiences and encounters with Karnad. "We generally read or see his fiction works in the form of books and movies which gives us exposure to his excellence of creation while his non-fiction provides an extended glimpse of Karnad as a person," he said.
Jayashree meanwhile sang a song written by Karnad from the play Nagamandala. Jayashree and Karnad acted together in the film based on the play.
A four-minute speech by Karnad from the Amar Ujala Awards, which was his last time on camera, was also screened at the festival.
In 2017, Girish Karnad was a panelist at the Bangalore Lit Fest. He spoke alongside Guillermo Rodriguez, who edited a book on late poet-scholar AK Ramanujan. The topic of the panel discussion was 'The World of AK Ramanujan' in which Karnad paid tribute to the poet-scholar who was his personal acquaintance.