Monday, December 17, 2007

14 minutes of fame


As mentioned earlier, I was at the India Habitat Centre on the evening of Friday, December 14th as a participant at the Young Writers programme that was part of the ongoing Delhi International Arts Festival. It was also my birthday that day. I turned 32, an age some of you might find too advanced for me to be considered as a young writer! Anyway, the other two participants, Amandeep Sandhu (Sepia Leaves) and Advaita Kala (Almost Single), are around that age too, so I guess that’s ok.

So there were the three of us, and Shrabani Basu, author of Spy Princess, and Nafisa Ali up on the dias in the Stein Auditorium for nearly two hours. I hadn’t prepared a talk, so I fumbled up there, the reading we had to do went better (I read from pp.47–51 of my book), and I managed to get a few laughs during the Q&A round at the end. Surprisingly, I was told my performance was pretty good.

Thanks to all the people who turned up, especially my friends and relatives—and as for those of you who didn’t turn up, I expect you to do so next time, though I have no idea where or when that may be! Here’s the Indian Express’s story on the programme. Anuj Bahri, who some of you might remember from an earlier post of mine, later took a small group of us up to the Habitat Centre bar on the sixth floor for drinks after the event. The perks of being an author you see. The actual birthday party was a get-together at a friend’s place on Saturday night; they told me I would have to do a reading for them too, but thankfully I was spared!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Shillong and northeast India, and who might have thought of it as this otherworldly place after reading my Scorpions post, here’s a reminder that the simmering frustration and resentment found all over today’s India is present in my part of the country too. The events described in the linked article took place in Guwahati, just 100 kilometres from Shillong, 18 days before the Scorpions’ concert. The rally in Guwahati, the concert in Shillong: two different worlds.

4 comments:

Umesh said...

"... although Saikia staunchly denied that his book possesses any autobiographical overtones"

Ha ha ha ! I like that tone ... they seem to imply you're denying the truth ! :-)

Sayantan said...

I have read ur book...jet city woman..i stay in pune..and well i got it and completed the book in a day..it left me mesmerized...it was written in a simple language but it leaves me wanting for more...i hope i will soon get to read ur second novel..
i want a piece of advice too..i am writing a book too and i am 19...i can't divulge the subject but its about teenagers.so what do you suggest me.is it too early for me to begin writing.......a full fledged book.......and rite now i am hearing jet city woman.[for the first time]....great song...great book...

Ankush Saikia said...

Umesh: the narrator went to Edmunds too...how's that for a coincidence?! Sayantan: Thanks for writing in, and i'm happy you liked the book. You probably have a long, long way to go, but just keep writing. I wrote an unpublishable novel at 21, and it took me 10 more years to get published. So don't give up!

Sayantan said...

Thanks a lot...i will always keep your advice in my mind...and i won't give up for sure
what should be my next step when i complete my novel...will the publishers give me any weightage...a newcomer who is 19[may be 20 by the time i complete it]..

one more question...who inspired Naina's character....i would really like to know...because even i fell in love with the character...head strong, full of attitude yet a reticent girl/woman with a sadness one can't aptly decribe...

and if the character is from ur imagination then hats off to you....

what about a sequel to this book..i would really like to read a sequel to this book....please think about it

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