Monday, December 17, 2012

The Times Literary Carnival 2012

It was chance that offered me to live a dream when fellow blogger and ace photographer Vikram Jeet Singh Parmar announced his intention to attend The 'Times of India Literary Carnival 2012.'

And so it began at the iconic Mehboob Studios with the ever lively Bachi Karkaria introducing the graceful Justice Leila Seth, who spoke about bringing up Vikram, her son who is today an internationally acclaimed author - most famously known for his creation - A Suitable Boy.

The Screensavers came alive next where Anusha Rizvi, Urmi Juvekar and Rajeev Masand debated storytelling in bollywood movies. And then there was the vibrantly eloquent Dr. Ramachandra Guha who spoke of his book, The Passionate Liberal, in a manner that was the epitome of passion. And my joy was limitless when i got to meet him, to come face to face with the man who had created a definite masterpiece of literature - India after Gandhi.

But delight knew no bounds when two critically acclaimed writers, Katherine Boo and Suketu Mehta, who work between India and the US compared notes about reporting across boundaries in an unequal, market-global age. It was a bigger sense of delight to have been able to meet Suketu Mehta, in person, in flesh and blood. Coincidentally, i am presently reading Suketu's classic, Maximum City, which is truly one of the best works that lucidly describes the finer and not so fine aspects of this megapolis, this metropolis, this wonder.


Day 1, for me, concluded with the master historian William Dalrymple launching his, yet another masterpiece - Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839 - 42. His ability to tell a story in its vivid, accurate and descriptive form is simply remarkable and unparalleled. It was rather unfortunate that i couldn't attend Day 0, which happened to be on a Friday, thus being taken up by work!

Day 2 began with a more closer-to-home point in case; the fine art of losing! Sarnath Banerjee, Shiv Vishwanathan, Shaheen Mistri and author Manu Joseph moderated that the winner doesn't take it all. A question that came up very pertinently - Why don't we teach our children how to deal with failure?

And then there was The Eternal Manto - translated by Aastish Taseer, read to us by the legendary Javed Akhtar and the poet extraordinaire Gulzaar, steered by the ad man Prasoon Joshi.

A group of the finest story tellers from South Asia then came together in the forms of Daniyal Mueenuddin, Rana Dasgupta, Jeet Thayil, Anjali Joseph and Nilanjana Roy to discuss inspiration and the craft.

And finally, to talk of the challenges of adapting fiction to film, and about her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was the charming, confident and intelligent Mira Nair with the celebrated director Shyam Benegal.

But, it was not all of this alone that made it such a wonderful occasion. I ran into long time inspirations, free souls; DK and JJ - sailors, from another world, free and blissful, something that i can today only imagine.

Footnotes:

Image Courtesy - Vikram Jeet Singh Parmar

Image Description - With Suketu Mehta the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

More pictures from the Literary Carnival 2012 - On my Flickr photostream

20 comments:

  1. I wonder why such literary carnivals don't happen in Chennai? Or maybe they do and I am not aware... But if they happen in future, I guess I will attend...

    Maybe you can do a post on some books that you have read and found exceptional? I didn't even know that there were so many non-fiction books/authors in India!

    Destination Infinity
    PS: The B/W photo enhances its effect!

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    1. DI, perhaps they do happen in Chennai, and as you said, we probably don't know of them happening! In Bombay things like these are more prominent!

      And yes, i'd love so much to do a post on books and i certainly will do so.

      Thanks much, pal! :-)

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  2. That was some description. One could feel the presence of so many writers and books.

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    1. Saji ettan - thanks very much! I did feel so elated at being able to attend this marvelous event.

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  3. Glad to step in hear, and i wonder if I could attend such functions some day......
    Noopur
    http://apparitionofmine.blogspot.in/

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    1. I so wish you would be able to, Noopur!

      And thank you very much for visiting my space and leaving me a comment - truly appreciate.

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  4. Wonderful literary event. This is surely dream come true.

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful event and i'm glad u had came with shoulders of famous authors and for me most of the names are unfamiliar.

    Happy for you Rakesh :)

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    1. Jeevan, my dear, i cannot express in words how i felt during this whole thing! It was a dream come true!

      Thank you very much :-)

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  6. Wonderfulllllllllllllllllllll ... you had a good time and met some celbrities then

    Bikram's

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    1. Oh yeah, Bikram. I had such a marvelous time! :-)

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  7. so good to see your photo and read about your experience!

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    1. Thank you so much, BC. So glad that you feel this way about this.

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  8. Thank you so much for writing about it..

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    1. Thank you so much, Krish, for visiting my space and leaving me a comment - something that makes me feel so rewarded and encouraged!

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  9. Replies
    1. I sure did, Sir. Very much! :-)

      Couldn't ask for more.

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