The Launch - from the inside
That Friday at 6 pm people started to filter in one by one. Manisha was the first, ok ok I was there before her, but then I am the guy who communes with the shelves and hence I dont count. The lamp was there and the wicks and Meera the lady from Oxford had the press kits ready.
It was decided that tributes be paid to the greats who passed into history last month. Manisha read out Mulk Raj Anand's Moustaches - a story about how the society in India is divided by the style of the Mouchie. Then Vijay took over and read out the first poem from Arun Kolhatkar's Jejuri. I would have loved to have a few more of those glass poems read out but the launch had to happen.
Deepa - the Chief Editor of SATCT took over and introduced the concept of SATCT and the Bombay Writers' Cafe. Then Peter spoke about the rules and the dos and the donts and spoke about the website.
There was a brief session of questions and answers, where the audience cleared their doubts. The Lamp was lit by Max Babi and the candle was passed on to the others who are the custodians of the forum.
It was chaitime thereafter and the Cha Bar was generous with the cookies and the masala chai. People interacted for over an hour. Menka Shivdasani - renowned poet was part of the audience and shared her thoughts and ideas on how the forum can progress. There were publishers who wanted to pitch in. A young man from a finance consultancy who wanted to help with sponsors.
The evening ended with people promising to write the stories and help in making the BWC rock and grow into a revolution.
I hope it does.
Sunil R Nair
P.S. on a personal note - a gentlemen old enough to be my grandfather walked upto me and tapped me on my shoulder. He spoke words which I will value forever. He said that he had been a part of so many writers forums in the past. He has rubbed shoulders with Nissim and Dom and many more. But this evening was important for him. He saw that there were no egos, there were no prima donnas. And he said he knows this will grow. I was overwhelmed and thanked him profusely. Unfortunately I could not ask him his name.