Report On The First Readmeet At Pune 2005
On a cool wintry evening we gathered on the fifth floor of a quiet building. Introdutions were to be made differently, since peoply shyly censor a lot about themselves-but an influx of new faces made us abandon this idea i.e. friends introducing their close friends.
Caferati@Pune is encouraging informal meets before the readmeets so that the general ambience thickens into a deeper shade of friendliness. About 31 participants were there when the readmeet kicked off with Mr. Ramgopal Rao reading out four of his older poems. He gave us a detailed account of what sort of mental frame he had when he penned the poems. Very well received, as his reading is lucid and melliflous.
Akshay M. read out a rather touching account of a lady and a dog staying with him and interacting with him. It was written in a style described as psychedelic for want of a more accurately descritive word and heads nodded in silent agreement. Poems of serious nature were read by a guest from Delhi who had another companion reading another poem.
Pranay Srinivas next read out a collaborative piece that he had cooked up after a lunch at Atreyee's place, a sort of dialogue between a man with a long scar on his hand and a mole on the other side. He appeared reluctant to talk about these identification marks, though he talked till the very end. Quite well received.
Sonia Menezes read a long story which she said was a short story entitled Wednesday Afternoon. As she had lost her voice a few days back, she asked Avi Das to read out for her. It is always better to let a female writer's story to be read by a male voice, Manisha had told us earlier. This was all about a domestic servant and her travails in the house, with more characters joinging in. There was a slew of queries that Sonia fielded quite confidently.
So we had two guests from Bombay, Pranay and Avi, and another guest from Hyderabad, Rakhee.
As per my announcement, there was ample discussion after every piece and I had to intervene to cut short some very passionate outpour so that we could finish off the readmeet well before the deadline. We did that but I had to snip off my story, since time was up and Open Space employees had come on a holiday to help us out.
More than 20 members have been coming regularly. Non-reading listeners included Archana D., Harshavardhini, Nyssa [Rucha Gokhale] -her first readmeet-, Maitreyee Desai, another Maitreyee, Major Uday Sathe and another ten new faces with Open Space connections.
All told, quite a rocking meet.