“Caste haunts you in the food that you eat. It might offer a moment of solace through community support. It might even offer you a god but there are more disadvantages to it”, says Ambai (C.S.Lakshmi) who has translated the Perumal Murugan’s ‘சாதியும் நானும்’ into English. The book is titled, “Caste and I” which was also the subject of discussion of conversation between Ambai, Perumal Murugan and the publisher Kannan Sundaram. Continue reading “சாதியும் நானும் – Caste and I”
Kaavya Sanje, or an evening of poetry is a regular event that was started in 2013. Sixteen editions later, the 17th was at Bangalore Literature Festival 2017. These evenings bring together various poets from across the cities who write in various languages. Poetry in Kannada, Hindi, Urdu, and English found their way this evening.
Good writing or Good marketing? Ask Savi Sharma & Varun Agarwal.The session had both Savi Sharma and Varun Agarwal and was a treat not to be missed. Ying and Yang, they definitely do not fall under the same stars. Savi Sharma, India’s first successful female self-published author navigated the audience through the journey of her success. It was astonishing to hear about her writing flight which started through Facebook and ended in Amazon.
Her love of writing took Savi Sharma from her C.A. pursuit. The first novel she wrote took about 4 years to complete and was discarded by her as it did not feel right. Ironically. her second book, ‘Everyone has a story’ took about just 3 months, and that is now the sensation. In the session, Savi Sharma’s love for writing and her belief that good content can always garner an audience was evident. It was a juxtaposition to what Mr Varun Agarwal of Anu Aunty fame felt.
Varun Agarwal’s claim that anyone can become an author if they can pen down 60,000 words might have raised some eyebrows in the audience. But he charmed the audience when he himself admitted that his debut novel, How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded a Million Dollar Company’ required quite many spell checks and was grammatically wailing. After all, who doesn’t love self- depreciation?
The importance of marketing was stressed upon by both the authors. However both the authors had different views on the same. While Savi Sharma admits that it is a necessary evil, Varun Agarwal expressed that marketing is what that can make or break a book. It was quite inspiring to hear how Savi Sharma used social media to market her book by posting quotes and extracts from her book. This eventually garnered her enough audience that she felt quite confident to sell her books on Amazon.
The session thus provided the aspiring authors’ different takes on the path to success.
About the Author – Vibhuthi Viswanathan is a Potterhead and chocoholic.Curling up with the ‘Balabhumi’ and spinning out tales from its illustrations to her little brother was her first interactions with a book. Although she has moved on from good old BalaBhumi, she still hasn’t stopped twirling words and pauses. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.
Journalist and News anchor, Sagarika Ghose’s book titled ‘Indira: India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister’, was published by Juggernaut Books to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi. ‘Insecure daughter, Betrayed wife, National heroine, tough dictator’, reads the blurb for the book. Journalist, Political commentator and documentary filmmaker, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta too began his discussion with Sagarika on the same note. Continue reading “Indira”
“I was looking at the end of my career when T20 came in. I played my first T20 for Surrey. Yes, World Cup victory in 2007 changed the entire scene. I played 3 IPLs. The first one was a major challenge. While it took me 4 overs to warm up otherwise, I had to produce results in 4 overs in IPL. It was said that the RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) was the best test team of the century. Everything was against us.”, Anil Kumble quipped in his inimitable style. Continue reading “How India’s T20 World Cup Win Changed Indian and World Cricket”
“India’s aspirations to become a permanent member of the UN security council is realistic and doable”, says, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs during his conversation with Ambassador P.S. Raghavan at the Bangalore Literature Festival. The session was on the back drop of his book ‘Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos’. Having had a 40 years long momentous career in diplomacy, the Minister spoke about his time in the UN Security council as representative of India and India’s diplomatic relationship with major countries across the globe. Continue reading “Perilous Interventions – The Use of Force and the Continuing Chaos”
Madan Padaki, co-founder & CEO of 1Bridge, a last-mile services platform for Rural India was right when he said, “Conversations today are having a different meaning altogether. There is so much of impatience and distrust in conversations these days”. He was in discussion with Arun Maira, Former Member of Planning Commission of India and author of ‘Listening for wellbeing: Conversations with people not like us’. The book talks about how to have conversations with people who are different from us and have a different perspective.
Arun says the trigger to write the book came when his grandson pointed out that he did not answer the woman who was knocking at his car’s window begging for money. Arun had not even realized that someone was knocking. He says it was a shocking self- revelation about how he has been conditioned to not listen. Effective communication is not just about conveying your message across rightly but also about listening to the message being conveyed. Communication is incomplete without listening. Arun says, his friend who was surprised to learn that his brother was an ardent supporter of Trump was probably not listening to the conversations with his brother during family gatherings.
Arun quotes Tagore from Gitanjali,
“Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls”.
He says the consequence of not having a conversation has resulted in the divisions of the world as it is today. The structures of social media are only making the walls tighter every day. People are friends with likeminded people and are not ready to indulge with people who are different.
He quotes from Tagore again,
“Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit”
He talks about how the mind today has been trained to think fast that we have lost the ability to thinking slow. Thinking slow, he says, helps you with empathy and compassion.
Arun remarks that the media houses today are yelling at each in debates and discussion. Everyone yells and it looks like a tribal war. He wonders which one of them is listening.
Dalai Lama who wrote the foreword for Arun’s book observed that listening is first of the two wisdom tools advocated by Buddhism. The other two being contemplation and meditation. The way yoga which is about conscious breathing can help in healing a lot of ailments, something as simple as listening can fix the problems of the world.
Arun leaves his audience with a very profound message about listening. In his own words, the cultivation of skills for deeper listening begins with the listening to the stranger within us. How true can that be!
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta – a leading Indian journalist and a political analyst, quite amusingly quoted the abbreviation ‘SLAPP’, as if it were one of his favourite jargons from the Oxford dictionary. For a journalist like Guha, SLAPP or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation is no fun actually. Now globally prevalent, it is a lawsuit that is intended to silence and even harass critics, to the point when they withdraw their voice of dissent. Lawsuits come with burgeoning legal costs and journalists often have to fight them with their own money and this can take years in the court. To add, a journalist can also lose his or her job while all this happens. Continue reading “Death by Litigation – The Perils of Business Reporting”
Creative writing, that many would love to hone, brings in a certain kind of joy, and pride to the writer. Rajorshi Chakraborti’s session on a breezy Sunday morning was packed with exercises that not only helped budding writers develop skills but also experienced writers go back to the basics. Chakraborti was born in Kolkata and grew up in Mumbai. He currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the author of 4 books, two of which have been nominated in different categories for the Crossword Book Award. The fifth one is due in Australia and New Zealand in March 2018, and is titled ‘The Man Who Would Not See’.
As feminism is finding strong ground today, it is nothing but essential to look into the past and realise the importance of women who were as much a part of mythology as their male counterparts.With this idea, on the bright Sunday morning of Day 2 of Bangalore Literature Festival, Ira Mukhoty and Kavita Kane sat with Reena Puri.
While most expect a dry little discussion when it comes to economics or the Reserve Bank of India, the session with MS Sriram, YV Reddy, and TCS Srinivasa Raghavan broke all those assumptions hands down! With wit, humour, and extensive knowledge coming together, 45 minutes flew by in a bunch of laughs, and many, many head nods. YV Reddy served as the Governor of the RBI between September 2003 and 2008 and has also held various positions of high importance. He is also an eminent writer on economic issues, with his latest book being ‘Advice & Dissent: My Life in Public Service’. TCS Srinivasa Raghavan’s experience is also extremely vast. He’s the General Editor of RBI History, VOLUME 3, and a Consultant to RBI History, Volume 4.
Continue reading “RBI, Government & Individuals: It’s Complicated”