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Friday, January 11, 2013

My new novel No New Mail but Mail from a New Girl. 
Wow!! Isn't it lovely? It's like a new baby you are holding in your arms!  You know, it takes months and months of systematic hard work (which I, of course enjoy) to get a book completed. It's out in e-book form. You may click on the link below, read the sample chapters 1 and 2 and if you like the story so far, you may but it. It's out in Amazon worldwide.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The second day of AKLF saw a host of interesting back-to-back events. It began by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, British journalist & writer speaking to Sujata Sen and Reba Som about her experience from her book Food Stories: Stirring Moments.
This was followed by Transgressions: Essaying the New in Indian Films with filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Onir, actor Dhritiman Chaterji and film critic Mira Hashmi.
book launch of Shobha De's Sethji followed with chief guest Rakhi Sarkar and with interaction with Rita Bhimani.
Afternoon saw a host of panelists in conversation with Urvashi Butolia, touching on topic of Tomorrow and the Written Word. They touched on topics of finding a publisher, what a publisher wants and what a writer should write.
Evening brought William Dalrymple too talk on his Return of a King, the First Afghan War told through the lives of unforgettable characters.
Lastly, it was the announcement of winner and presentation of the 2013 prize by Tibor Jones South Asia Prize Avni Doshi received the prize for her manuscript, Girl in White Cotton.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Jan. 9-13, 2013 began their festival with the first day with a cinemagic: A TRIBUTE TO A CENTURY OF INDIAN CINEMA where an exhibition on An Enchanted Look at Hindi Cinema Through the Priya Paul Collection. This was followed by A Filmmakers Forum and finally Inauguration Ceremony of AKLF 2013 at the historical Victoria Memorial. The inauguration was done by Hon. Governor M. K. Narayanan. This was followed by keynote address by eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal.
The second day seems to be an exiciting day for writers with several book launches. The day has started and I'm off to Rosewood, the banquet hall in Park Hotel for interesting back-to-back events!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I waited. Yes I did. For  some news to put here in the new year. The outpourings in the shape of the first few words of 2013. I was in my teaching centre falling into a day-dream. And then it happened...
The screen of my cell-phone showed the name of Kulpreet Yadav as the cell woke up from its New Year's slumber. "Mo Tejani is no more!" The shell-shocking news caught my voice unawares. Kulpreet went on to say that our writer friend had succumbed to a massive heart attack at 2.30 am on 1st January.
I rushed home, my heart bursting with the news. I wanted to share this with the others. The group message box in Fb showed some waiting text to be read. Andrew Bond, one of our writer friends had already put up the sad news.
We shared the sad music of our hearts by filling the vessel called Mo with our tears. However, Mo's personality was so endless that our tears were ashamed as it failed to reach the brim to overflow. Mo was filled with humour. And his life always gifted him with sudden surprise risks at most bends.
Each and every word that we exchanged in the message box were insufficient to Mo's sky-reaching personality. Now I realize that each and every moment of life is to be cherished. This realization came this time from our departed friend, Mo. Funeral flowers were given from us by one of our writer friends residing in Chiang Mai.
Here is a tribute to Mo in the shape of a poem from all of us the AP Writers community.

Mo, the Humorous Bomb

A humorous bomb is a bomb
which is built within you from the moment you are born.

And when a storm from Uganda attacked you
this bomb kept you alive
because it was fireproof
it was bloodproof.

It gave you courage, this bomb
it confidenced you, this bomb
it united you, this bomb
it loved you, this bomb.

This bomb
became your passport
your beloved     your friend
your son    your daughter
your father    your mother.

This bomb made you sing
it made you dance
it made you play.

And you told Idi Amin,
“You may go to hell.
I have my humour
a stronger bomb
and you cannot destroy me.”

And with your bomb of humour,
you united the people around you
you got us drunk with your humour.
We laughed aloud
danced with funny caps
and cartoon sunglasses.
We tapped our feet in your rhythm.

We became you
because you became us
with your love.