Mumbai Storytellers come together for a session to commemorate World Storytelling Day. Please note, this is a session for 18+ year olds. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Angkor Hangover is a series of photography events to be held in various cities across Asia as a way to introduce photography community to bodies of work created during the Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia every year. The first one was held in Yangon, Myanmar. More info here: http://angkor-photo.com/
Join us for an evening of photography slideshow projections by photographers across Asia who attended the 2016 Angkor Photo Workshop in Cambodia. This event is meant to be an introduction and interactive session for people interested in attending the workshop. Andrea Fernandes, member of the organizing committee of the Angkor Photo Workshop will be present to introduce the session. Past participants and photographers Aishwarya Arumbakkam, Zishaan Akbar Latif and Karen Dias will also be present to share their experiences of attending the workshop.
We will begin with a short introductory note by Andrea Fernandes followed by a 45 minute set of multimedia projections by photographers from China, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Russia and Bangladesh. Andrea, Aishwarya, Zishaan and Karen will be available to answer questions regarding the workshop at the end of the session.
This event is open to everyone.
We request everyone to please be on time.
Applications for the workshop to be held in December 2018 are now open: http://angkor-photo.com/apply-workshops/
Chomp! Chomp! Chew! Chew!
Slippery lychees, squishy jamuns, sour tamarinds, shiny spinach – is that a food monster over there?
Come by for an interactive session and create your own food monster! Get to know about the treats we can eat through the year!
Fill up this form here, we have limited seats, so please ensure that your child (or you!) do not have prior commitments, so we can minimise last-minute cancellations.
There is an essay in ‘The Groaning Shelf’ about reading in bed. And I so very much identify with it. Most of my childhood summer vacations were spent with a book clutched in my hand, right or left, depending on how comfortable i was, lying sideways , with some chips at hand. It being quite unnecessary back then to keep track of time, the afternoon sun travelled to the other side pretty quickly. But that was my favourite way of reading. Morning, evening or night , reading in bed just seems the right way to read!
The author Pradeep Sebastian ,literary critic and columnist in The Hindu, reflects about his life as a bibliophile. ‘The Groaning Shelf’ is a veritable library of readers’ habits and quirks, a wonderful addition to the ‘Bibliophilia’ genre. The essays are divided into themes such as browsing for books. My favourite section is the essays grouped under ‘Ruined by Reading’. The book also includes Sebastian’s favourite writers and their influences , and his favourite bookstores, imagined and real ! Did you know there is a bookstore dedicated to keeping just the genre of ‘books on books’? And Sebastian’s description of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris is refreshing. Not intimate, but through other books – the way a bibliophile actually travels.
With the summer heat sapping us, we find ourselves eagerly slipping into nostalgia mode. A remembers it as the time when she would re-jacket all the books at home with old calendars and rearrange them. In Walter Benjamin’s words, it is the time for ‘Unpacking my Library.’ Reading Sebastian makes you want to go back home, dust your bookshelves and indulge yourself in re-reading some favourite paragraphs . Touching an oft-read book makes it worth it, even for someone who abhors the cleaning bit. (read: me)
‘The Groaning Shelf’ is our reference-only book, so the next time you visit us take some time out and read it. You will fall in love with this genre of books , like i did.
P.S. Forget Book of the Week, A calls it one of the Books of a Lifetime!!
If you have already read ‘The Groaning Shelf’, you will also like ‘Would You like some bread with that book?’
Author Veena Venugopal chronicles her love for books in these essays and keeps us entertained. Do read ‘My three rules for reading in a Bombay Train’. This is a weekend read , getting to know another reader with each essay.
While reading the letters of P.G.Wodehouse, one searches for his characteristic wit and humour which brought the omnipresent butler Jeeves and his wealthy employer Bertie Wooster to life. And Sir Wodehouse doesn’t disappoint. In his letter to Arthur Conan Doyle, he starts off by addressing him as Comrade and then comes the humour. Short, intimate, makes you smile or laugh-out-loud – the author’s correspondence tells the story of who he was as an individual.
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse aka P.G.Wodehouse lived in a time when telegrams and letters ruled. So everything from his feelings on love to inspirations for his characters to his appreciation for fellow writers to his description of a married life finds a mention in his letters.Wodehouse wrote about tumultuous times too. When he was imprisoned by the Nazis in Berlin and had to send telegrams asking for money to England. His letters reveal his plight (although not quite bad, as he usually found a way to remain jovial) under Hitler’s regime. You will read how he played cricket in the internment camp. You will sense the anxiety in his voice, when he was termed a traitor by his countrymen. How he had to stay away despite War being over.
One of my favourite parts is his correspondence with Leonara, his step-daughter. The love and endearment for her can be felt in each sentence. His descriptions tell us about the writing life in the 20th century and the history of his time. Like Prohibition and how he would manage to get his alcohol.
Sophie Ratcliffe has edited the letters and grouped them together. So the readers get a cohesive and structured view of the relationships Wodehouse had with his close people. As biographies go, this one is undiminished by any bias as it is Wodehouse’s life in letters.
If you have read ‘A Life in Letters : P.G.Wodehouse’ you will also like ‘The Authors XI – A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon’
That R.K.Narayan was a natural writer is no revelation, and it is obvious why the beauty of his writings hasn’t faded away. The author whose name is synonymous with Malgudi, has written quite a few novels for adults too. Like the popular one ‘The Guide’, made into a movie by Dev Anand. In ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’, he introduces Gandhi as a character against the backdrop of political revolution. He contrasts the ideals of Gandhi with the view of struggle. In ‘The Vendor of Sweets’ the generation gap between a foreign-returned and educated son and his father forms the crux of the novel. Or take ‘The World of Nagaraj’, his penultimate novel where just like the previous stories, simplicity is of essence. His autobiography titled, My Days reveals the intimate details of an Indian joint family.
Readability is one of the traits which is consistent in most of R.K. Narayan’s works. He expertly takes you through Indian landscapes and makes the fictitious town of Malgudi come alive. This book contains excerpts from his autobiography, novels, an overview of his essays, short stories and travel writing. It is an apt selection for the summer. With every passing hour the sun forces you to retreat inside, and with ‘The Malgudi Landscapes’ you can select from the varied writings of Narayan.
‘The Malgudi Landscapes’ is edited by S.Krishnan and introduces us to his connection with Narayan. He reveals that Narayan could quote Omar Khayyam with the same passion as Macbeth. Each excerpt starts with an Editor’s Note that gives you a brief background of the story. A simple collection of the best of Narayan’s writings, this book is a worthy read.
If you have already read ‘Malgudi Landscapes’, you might also like ‘By the Tungabhadra’
Written in 1965 by Saradindu Bandopadhyay, By the Tungabhadra has been translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha. This is the story of the Vijayanagar and Kalinga empire. How an alliance of marriage between their prince and princess changes the dynamics of the kingdom. Termed as historical fiction, the simple story will grip you. The original novel was titled ‘Tungabhadrar Teere’.
The season of change is upon us. It’s chilly in the evening, and the sun shines brightly heralding the start of March. It’s the perfect time to slow down a little and indulge ourselves in some reflections about life.This week, we are happy to introduce a delightful surprise as our Book of the Week. A collection of poems by the famous Javed Akhtar brought together in the Hindi book ‘Tarkash’.
Tarkash (noun) : a quiver or a container for holding arrows.
It has been the longest time since we read Hindi poems, and Akhtar’s poetry is simple and yet deeply meaningful. Some call him the urban shayar and it is this quality that makes his writings approachable. Like his couplet on the concrete jungle we live in, where he skillfully accuses the makers of taking away his share of the sun. I just can’t recreate his words in English!
Reading poetry aloud is magical,and doing so in Hindi, is simply beautiful. You enter a world of the sheesham ka darwaza and the moofat aaina. Akhtar helpfully provides the meanings of some Urdu words, so don’t worry about being lost. He introduces himself in the preface as a Gwalior boy who went to Lucknow and then reached Mumbai,and his poems talk about love, nostalgia and the simplicity of life in the era gone by.
You should read ‘Tarkash’ to know that ‘shafkat’ in Urdu, means ‘sneh’ in Hindi, which means love in English. Maybe you can quote him to impress someone, maybe you can enjoy the poems in solitude.His poems are a gentle reminder that it is time to unplug and get in touch with yourself. Not overtly sentimental, not too philosophical and yet ‘Tarkash’ is a beautiful collection of powerful poetry.
The Art of Choosing – Sheena Iyengar
In the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Professor Dumbledore tells Harry that ‘We are not defined by our abilities, but the choices we make tell us who we truly are.’ And this freedom to choose is what our consumerist world is based on. Never mind the lack of difference between two soda bottles. It is obvious that you have a preference of Pepsi over Coke or Sprite over Fanta. But if we think practically, don’t these 4 brands peddle the same thing ? Yes, a soda bottle! So is it truly a choice then?
In ‘The Art of Choosing’, author Sheena Iyengar talks about how our choices affect our lives. It is her psychological take on the power of a choice and why they matter. She shows us how cultures influence the decisions we make. Like the age old saying, East is East and West is West is completely true. Love marriages are high in the Western culture, while an arranged marriage is the norm this side of the Pacific Ocean.
The preference of a group is highly values in Japanese culture, while the individual is of prime importance in the USA. She elucidates her theories with examples and makes one aware of the choices one has or should have. An interesting story is of the demolition of the Berlin Wall and how the East Germans didn’t particularly rejoice despite the freedom.
Iyengar talks about the famous Red Button Syndrome and how advertisers use it. Choices are a form of comparison and the parameters differ depending on each individual. While a consensus on her studies is not necessary, it does equip the reader to make an informed decision in the future.
If you have already read ‘The Art of Choosing’, then another suggestion is Drunk Tank Pink
Adam Alter’s book is about the subconscious way shapes, colours, syllables dominate our world and influence us. Advertisers consult psychologists to perceive what appeals to their dominant group. How a particular shade of pink weakens our minds or the meaning of your name says a lot it is all there in this book.
Here is our Book of the Week to start with
Being Mortal – Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public health researcher, has written four books that take a fresh and honest look at the state of health care. He is not just an excellent writer, his real strength is in explaining the causes and consequences of many outdated beliefs and practices that are counter-productive in a society that now lives longer but also faces new and terrifying diseases.
Being Mortal (2014) is under our spotlight today, because in these uncertain times, we seem to be losing touch with what it means (to borrow a much used phrase) to be human. This book is a ‘medical narrative’ but it is not just for doctors only, it’s also for those who are care-givers, balancing our work lives while looking after our parents and children.