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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

20 December, 2004

Report - Delhi read-meet

I lurrrve Caferati!


Now that that's out of the way, I'll get round to writing a report of our Delhi read-meet, which happened on Saturday, December 18, 2004!

This effusive affection is, in part, due to the undebatable success of the meeting. When I mention success, I refer to the fact that I saw all the reasons for which this group was formed, come alive at Anita's place (yes, the same venue again... Anita's been too generous for words). We had plenty of good writing, and it was being shared with other writers, who received it with honesty and encouragement. There was intelligent discussion, no negativity and plenty of warmth and laughter.

I walked in four minutes later than the stipulated time of 3 pm, and some people were already there, including Anita, Rajesh Lalwani, Asmita (Minx) and Richa Dubey.
Sairee and Ritu (Junoesque) followed soon after. Then came Vinod Nair and Rajaraman G. and finally, my teacher-mentor-guide Anjan Ray.

The gossip and introductions lasted a good forty-five minutes. Rajesh began the reading session by reading out a non-fiction piece on how to get in the news, and stay there. This was written for rediff, I believe. Rajesh, who teaches at a public relations/communications institute, clearly knew what he was talking about. The efficacy of the article stands established, as it was followed by a discussion on the media and the questionable quality of news content that we are all subjected to.

Sairee was persuaded to read out some poetry from an old college notebook - it was received with comments ranging from 'fresh' and 'innocent' to "it is so 'you'!". Richa proceeded to read the first chapter and a few other extracts from her unpublished book - a Lewis Carroll-esque take on the world of alphabets, which was received with much laughter and sheer joy - that one of us can write this well - and wonder - that this sort of manuscript can be turned down by established publishing houses!

We bitched about publishing houses, discussed how to get round them, and went on with the reading. Anjan (a scientist too, incidentally) read out one of his short stories, from a forthcoming collection titled 'Just Beyond'. The story, like others in the collection, dealt with the world that is just beyond our 'normal', scientific understanding. He has promised to join the network and post the story on the board, in the first week of January, after the book has been launched formally. Yes, he actually managed to find someone to publish his book!

This was followed by a long discussion on the so-called supernatural realm, and many of us narrated personal experiences that cannot be explained, perhaps.
Ritu prefaced the piece she was reading with one of Atrayee's poems (she won't mind, we trust) - the much-debated 'Kali'. While Anita got out a framed image of Kali and placed it in Ritu's line of sight, she read out from a book about the many legends/myths associated with Kali. This particular legend was one about Kali's creation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, who refused her love, and went on to destroy Kali, before regenrating her as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.

After a short discussion bordering feminist realms, we had Rajaraman reading out two of his sports articles. Both were cricket-related, and his narrative, descriptive style had us all listening like children listen to fairytales. [And yes, Sachin was brought up, in the course of conversation.... I mean, what did you expect?]

Then, Vinod held court with his Urdu nazms. Although we did ignore the rule about translations, at this meeting, it was worth our while listening to Vinod. That he writes well was established (his poems are up on his page and the Nazrana network) but to hear his read out the poems was an additional treat.

Richa also recited a Hindi-Urdu poem, in the general mood of things. Anita declined to read, as did Asmita. Rajesh was persuaded, however, to read out some more. This one was a travel piece, describing a rather adventurous Christmas eve journey (via maal-gaadi and so on) to Jaipur.

I am omitting a description of the goodies we ate intermittently, throughout the meeting - simply because this is getting to be a really long post. Suffice it to say that our tummies were as happy as our minds were. But we did stand up and formally thank Anita, for playing hostess, a third time. It was so much fun!


Did I mention that I love caferati?



Blogger jivay said...

In loving that beast
called Caferati
Oh Lady Annie
thou art
not single...

I too
am such
a sinner
and I know
in the claim
many more
shall mingle...

3 cheers to caferati...!

21 December, 2004 12:10  
Blogger annie said...

I wish I had wings.... just so I could be in all the meets, in every city. Sigh!

21 December, 2004 15:22  
Blogger manisha lakhe said...

annie! amen to your last line! cup your hand to your ear, and you will hear many echoes...

21 December, 2004 18:15  
Blogger Pragya said...

Perhaps one day there will be a New York tri-state area read meet that would make friends back home a little envious like I am now.

You guys are having too much fun!

21 December, 2004 19:28  
Blogger khuto said...

Hi Annie - yes, we have all fallen in love with Caferati haven't we...

You guys seem to have had a lot of fun .. You know I am not too far away in Kanpur - so perhaps will find some time to swing by the next Delhi Caferati read-meet - are there any tentative dates planned?

21 December, 2004 22:00  
Blogger zigzackly said...

Just realised i'm the only one who's been at every one of Caferati's Bombay read-meets. And none in other cities. Wish i could get them wings and fly to all the other ones too. And perhaps i'll get to attend one in Delhi next month?

22 December, 2004 16:41  

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