How often do we flow into the city and see it as a living, breathing space that weaves in memories? Imraan Coovadia, the author of five novels (‘The Wedding, ‘Tales of the Metric System’, to name a few), Suketu Mehta of ‘Maximum City’ fame, in conversation with Ravi Singh of ‘Speaking Tiger’ were in to discuss the workings of the city, and what these residents bring to help the cities thrive. Both authors bring in their experience of being in multiple cities in their lives, tracing it from their forefathers seeking to move out of their cities in India to cities elsewhere around the globe.
Author and Journalist, Raghu Karnad quotes journalist James Cameron as he sits down with India’s first woman Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao to discuss India and China. India and China: How History is a Fickle Mistress – the session could not be more aptly titled given the immense depth of the relationship between India and China.
While there can be various sides to this discussion, I would put my foot forward and say that it might not be necessary for you to read to become a writer. A writer has to write. There is no dearth of writers today who don’t read. How do you tell the difference?
I delighted myself with the joy of spending an entire day in front of the gates of the Central Jail in Bengaluru along with a friend. On retrospection, it sounds like a stupid idea to wait in front of the gates of a prison for whatever reason. However even the stupidest of ideas leave you with an experience worthy of writing. So here is my recollection of how the day unfolded.
The expansive Cubbon Park seamlessly transforms into a cultural melting pot of the city on weekends. There are so many events happening at any particular time that one shouldn’t be surprised to find a couple of poetry events underway in two different corners of the park at the same time. However, when one is faced by the question – how much is enough? it becomes clear that no number of such events would be enough. Imagine a city, a village or a town with lines of the named and unnamed poets and vacillating voices of various developmental philosophies of the time, floating in the air. What pleasure it would be to see people discussing ideas and just ideas everywhere! Utopian dream? Maybe, but this group doesn’t care.
India celebrated Republic Day yesterday. We celebrated National Youth Day on 12th January. We also celebrated the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on 23rd. As I started for my work location on 12th of January, I saw on my way, a statue of Swami Vivekananda in a park. The statue shimmered like diamond, was garlanded, and ameliorated with marigold. The visage was beautiful. A similar image awaited me on 23rd January for Netaji and as we celebrated our Republic Day yesterday, I see flags and flowers blanketing the city. I had a question to myself. Have we limited our appreciation and celebrations to just a tweet a year, a post-share per annum of their famous quotes, cleaning of their statues, and garlanding them? The second question in front of me was – How many ideas of these great minds have we garlanded so far?