Read meets - a recap
The venue was a subject of intense debate because several members felt that readings held at an expensive café was a distinctly bourgeoisie practice, offensive to the sensibilities of some who believe that writing is getting to be a class thing, as well.
So, there was the monsoon, there was Bandra Bandstand, there was the wind, the sea on one side and romance on the other three sides. And there were eight of us (those who RSVPed and did not turn up have since been grudgingly forgiven).
John Mathew bravely read out the prologue to his novel, got plenty of feedback, and he graciously accepted all of it, including the brickbats. This was followed by chai, conversation and a bit of staring at the waves.
On the eighth of August, the second BWC reading was held with the venue being a much-debated subject again. However, the rain scared us indoors and the group met at Deepa Gahlot's place.
This time, there were eight people reading! There was poetry, there were short stories, there were surprise visitors and there was some yumm cake and coffee (and a lot of other munchies, which we shall not list here).
Apart from the poetry itself, there was a warm discussion about whether or not poetry should be edited. This discussion has since spilled over into subsequent readings and continues to perplex aspiring writers, as it has for decades past.
The third reading was held on the first Sunday of September, again indoors, at Pranay Srinivasan's place. More coffee, more cake, homemade grilled sandwiches and yes, more poetry.
This time, the reading took on an interesting turn when two of the members (Ratnalekha and Manisha) read out some prose, inspired by their own frustrations with the current state of education in schools and the overwhelming admission process. This led to a discussion on our flawed education systems, in general, and this was followed by some more poetry.
There was another debate on the merits of rhyme in poetry and whether free verse should be given a free hand.
Most of the work read at these read-meets can be found in the August and September archives.