Vivek Oberoi: Celebrate art and culture!

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Mumbai, Feb. 8 -- The youth needs to know about the rich culture India has," says actor Vivek Oberoi, who participated in a literary event at the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2018 (HTKGAF) this week. 
The event was organised by the Indian Novels Collective (INC), which was founded by Ashwani Kumar, Sangita Jindal, Anuradha Parikh, and Amrita Somaiya. INC plans to translate to English about a 100 acclaimed novels written in regional languages, including a large number of works in Hindi.
Talking about the event, the actor says, "At the event, I was reading from a Malyalam book, Chemmen, which was translated into English. (Actor) Priyanka Sethia read from Amrita Pritam's Pinjar, which was in Punjabi, while Neenaji (Gupta) read from Sooraj Ka Satvan Ghoda in Hindi. All of these books were adapted into films. There was such a lovely milieu of languages. It is a great way to discover the hidden jewels of Indian literature."
Speaking about the novel Chemmen, Vivek says, "It was written in 1956 and won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, India's second highest literary prize, in 1957. The book was translated into many Indian and foreign languages. We had a discussion about the book, the author, the story and the film with the audience at HTKGAF. I like to take people on a journey, and after we finished the reading, many people from the audience came to ask me about the book and promised they would buy it. That is a victory for me."
An avid reader, Vivek recalls starting a book library as a kid. 
He says, "When I was a seven or eight, I set up a library in my dad's garage. It was my first endeavour. I would let kids borrow books as long as they shared their books as well. We would talk about books we had read and loved."
Vivek also enjoyed being at the event, which was held at the David Sassoon library, a place he visited often as a kid. 
"I would go there with my friends and my parents. HTKGAF makes Mumbai come alive, and it is a huge part of the spirit of the city. It is a good way to celebrate our culture, and it reminds us of who we are and what the city is. Mumbai is home to Bollywood and Bollywood can overbearing sometimes, but the city has so much more in terms of art and culture. It is a great thing that we should celebrate," says the actor.