Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vikram Seth Reading 'Beastly Tales from here and there' — Mar 23, 2013

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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Monday, March 11, 2013

Poetry Session ‒ Mar 8, 2013

Ten readers enjoyed the poems of ten poets at this session, the second of the year on Poetry. Men and women were evenly represented among the readers, but the poets were predominantly male.

 KumKum & Thommo

Three poets were read in translation from Urdu, Russian, and Persian, including the incomparable Mirza Ghalib, and the great poet of the Russias, Alexander Pushkin.


International Women’s Day was celebrated on the same day. Aptly, we read the poems of two fearless women , Maya Angelou and Forough Farrokhzad, who battled the burdens imposed on women by society. In addition, we considered the matter of whether women hereabouts are flustered  by the admiring gaze of men!

 Kavita & Talitha

We welcomed back two readers who had long been missing from our company, Bobby and Kavita. Here we are after the evening’s reading

 Priya, Talitha, Kavita, KumKum, Zakia, Thommo, Bobby, Mathew, Sunil, Joe

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