A Tale of Two Sessions

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This year’s PILF (Pune International Literary Festival) is special – not just because it’s the tenth anniversary of PILF, but also because I hosted two interviews with stellar authors Shatrujeet Nath and Salil Desai!

The day started with my checking in at the registration counter. All these years I donned the Attendee I-card, but this time I wore the ‘Speaker’ badge with pride!

From there a young volunteer showed me to the Authors Lounge, where I stowed my goods and headed for the sessions that had already begun.

The one with Tuhin Sinha and Mona Verma was fantastic. I could only attend the first half of it. My session was up next so I met Shatrujeet at the Authors Lounge to prep. Turns out we didn’t need much prep because a) we’ve met several times before, and b) he’s very cool and has a similar sense of humour like me!

We had a great session with a super turnout filled with his fans! Shatrujeet shared how he got into writing mythological fantasy. The audience tossed some tough questions to Shatrujeet but he fielded them all with ease.

Our conversation wrapped up on a high note. Shatrujeet moved to meeting his fans for selfies and autographs, while I headed for a quick lunch after having met Salil, who writes the much-acclaimed Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series.

The interview with Salil Desai went smoothly too! It started on a thrilling note as he revealed the trailer for the forthcoming web-series, based on his book ‘Murder Milestone’.

He offered some interesting tips on writing mysteries, creating the main detective character, and building the setting. This was especially fascinating for me because all his mysteries are based in Pune and some significant locations are woven into the narrative.

The cover of the fifth book of his Inspector Saralkar series was revealed, just in time as fans were actually asking exactly about that!

All in all, I am very thrilled that things went well! My nervousness before the discussions were unfounded, and I am happy to say I did not make any blunders, LOL!

The official photos and videos will be shared on the PILF website and Youtube respectively. Here are a few I managed to take in between.

Observe how keenly author Tanushree Poddar and I are conducting a fake conversation/ session!

Manjiri hasn’t seen this photo yet, and I fear once she does see it, she will never invite me to host again! But either way, my immense gratitude goes out to her for giving me this fantastic opportunity! It goes into my resume, and gives my family a lot to boast about!

Have you attended any lit fests in the past? Let me know all about your experience in the comments!

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