The Hindu ’s annual literary festival, Lit For Life, returned after two years in a digital avatar, having been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While not ideal, we hope it [the digital version of the festival] will keep the readers and viewers engaged with books and authors till such time as we are able to meet in person in the next Lit for Life,” said N. Ravi, Chairman, Kasturi & Sons, and Publisher, The Hindu Group, in his inaugural address.
Dr. Nirmala Lakshman, Festival Director, The Hindu Lit for Life, and Director, The Hindu Group, echoed this sentiment: “We are determined in the times ahead to get back to creating exciting literary events that will move forward to restoring what we had as a festival. This digital version of The Hindu Lit for Life reflects that spirit of hope and faith and the resilience of the human spirit.”
The inaugural session featured Indra Nooyi, former chairperson and chief executive officer of PepsiCo on ‘My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future’. She was in conversation with Vinay Kamath, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu Business Line .
Taking off from her memoir, My Life in Full , the conversation centered around the philosophies that shaped Ms. Nooyi’s personal and professional life.
“Somebody like me, so different, coming as an immigrant to the U.S. and being given a chance to lead an iconic American company…something like this happens only in America,” she said.
The lesson from her experiences in corporate America is: “If talent is your competitive advantage, [we need to look at] how do we bring the best and the brightest in to serve whatever entity we are looking at.”
Next up was Member of Parliament and bestselling author Shashi Tharoor speaking on ‘Life, Literature, Language and Politics’. His conversation with Sashi Kumar, print and broadcast journalist, filmmaker and media entrepreneur, centered largely around Mr. Tharoor’s political journey, beliefs, and his take on some recent political events.
“My idiosyncratic willingness to speak my mind is not always a most welcome thing in politics,” he confessed, yet taking pride in his ability to speak frankly and independently and continue to serve in a political party for over a decade.
The conversation also covered ‘Tharoorism’, language prowess, and his latest book, Pride, Prejudice & Punditry .