Monday, January 28, 2019

Hyderabad Literary Festival - A Peek

Neeraj messaged me. He was meeting Ananta Parakrama at the HLF. Would I want to join in? I said I would. Vinod messaged me too. So I met him first. Vrinda came so it was good to see her. Had a long chat with Neeraj and Ananta in the food court. Abhinay dropped in. Briefly met Elahe who was launching a book. Also met Sridala while walking out. Praveen from MBA, Srinivas from Osmania Univ Cricket team that went to Calicut, Shashi - Mohan's sister in law, Harika, Ritwik and a couple more youngsters from VNR VJIET. Walked about a bit and headed into a session featuring Shashi Despande.
Shashi Deshpande
She is 81 but could pass off for someone in her 60s. Lots of energy and a simple and honest way of telling her point of view. 'Win an award and people will take you seriously,' she joked. Else people would be constantly butting in - writing was not considered serious work. She writes longhand and then types into the computer. She spoke about her novels, her new book 'Listen to Me', how men in the past would get an autographed copy from her and say it was for their wives or sisters, how a newspaper interviewed her and then came up with a 'grandmother' headline totally taking focus off her writing and making it an elderly grandma story. She is vocal about government inaction on Kalburgi's murder (returned her award and resigned) and speaks against hate politics. She in fact said that while on stage here too.

I went again on Sunday because Anjali, Shobha wanted to go. Shikha joined us. Vinod was there again. Rheeya joined us with a couple of her friends. Neeraj was there too, at the food court, and I was happy to see Jawahar Thomas who I was to meet. We spent a long time at the food court again. Abhinay came. Anjali and Rheeya went for a clay modeling workshop. The weather turned heavenly and very cold.

Left at 5. The Food Court was nice.

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