Vikram Seth read a fair portion of his 1991 book of stories in verse, called Beastly Tales from here and there. The occasion was the release of a sumptuously illustrated version at the India Habitat Centre Amphitheatre in New Delhi.
Vikram Seth reading, takes flight
Not only did he read, but he answered questions from the audience, interspersed with his reading of five of the tales. He gave advice when asked about writing, recounted his journey in the literary world starting as a humble economics student in Stanford, and talked about his interest in several forms of art from calligraphy to painting and music.
Vikram Seth Absolut vodka Blue paintings with Urdu script 'In Blue and Gold, I watch the evening sky Darken, till neither remains nor I'
The audience stayed late into the night, for Vikram Seth was like a musician who is set on fire by the audience response. He congratulated the illustrator, Prabha Mallya, and had the audience give her several rounds of applause.
Prabha Mallya, illustrator of Beastly Tales, with Vikram Seth
And then he stayed back, liberally engaging in conversation those who queued with books to be autographed. He wrote personalised messages, and didn’t hesitate to share his vast stock of knowledge and instant wit with those who waited patiently. It was two hours before KumKum came to the head of the queue with two copies to be signed for her grandchildren. He apologized graciously for the readers’ inconvenience, but was indefatigable himself. And smiling.
Vikram Seth signing and smiling indefatigably
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