Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mumbai Fully Booked – A Unique Literary Event

(As it appeared in the January edition of the BandraBuzz, a local newspaper in Mumbai.)

Literature lovers were treated to a unique literature carnival last month at Mehboob Studios, Bandra. Mumbai Fully Booked, the Times of India’s literary carnival was a resounding success. Large crowds of Mumbaikars thronged this historic site on the first weekend of December. There were many established writers, first-time and would-be authors, media personalities, publishers and journalists present on these days. The attendees of these events basically wanted to catch a glimpse of their favourite authors and media personalities, and possibly even meet them. International and deshi celebrities included William Dalrymple, Ekta Kapoor, Mohammad Hanif, Chetan Bhagat, Vinod Mehta, Tarun Tejpal, Bachi Karkaria and Vikram Chandra.

Many were keenly interested in the intellectual debates between the authors such as “Sex in the City” where four authors discussed stories of love and sexual relationships in Mumbai. Several high-profile book launches took place at this literary carnival including that of “Lucknow Boy”, an autobiography by Vinod Mehta and Meenal Baghel’s “Death in Mumbai” which provided a fresh perspective on the gruesome murder of Neeraj Grover, a young TV producer, and the controversies shrouding it.

One of the highlights of the Mumbai Fully Booked carnival was the sparring debate between Chetan Bhagat and the Pakistani authors, Mohammad Hanif and Mohsin Hamid, on which of the sub-continental countries was better in the field of literature. The debate was as exhilarating as those close cricket encounters between the two rival nations. There was also a humorous yet tremendously insightful interview in which Vinod Mehta elaborated his views on the weird, opportunistic relationships between politicians and journalists. Vinod Mehta’s funny anecdotes and in-your-face replies had the audience in splits. Evidence of the eclectic nature of this carnival could be clearly witnessed by the attendees who feasted on exotic dishes, viewed an amazing outdoor photo exhibition and participated in fun events like Achyut Palav’s expressive calligraphy workshop in which participants relished the awesome combination of calligraphy and music.

13 comments :

Vivek Pereira said...

Vinod Mehta's quips were awesome in that debate/interview. It was great being in the presence of Tarun Tejpal, the investigative journalist. Tehelka's exposure of the NDA government in the defence deals inspired me to write a short story - The Heavensgate Scandal, which has been included in my book "Rose Gardens and Minefields" that was published by Leadstart Publishing last year.

dorothy p said...

I get a fair sense of what transpired during that festival thanks to your wonderfully drafted article. I almost feel that I visited the event although I hardly know any of the celebrities you speak of.

Anonymous said...

Yeah..it sure sounds like folks had a fun time out there.

Cheryl Coal said...

The same goes for me as well. Well written.

Cheryl Coal said...

quite cool I must add.

Cheryl Coal said...

It’s quite amazing that in a book of sixty pages you have a list of poems (about twenty in number), a couple of short stories and essays that take on fascists, dictators, terrorists, Maoists and communal forces. In your book “Rose Gardens and Minefields”, you have written about Indian history, the menace of terrorism, the horror of the Naxalite movement, the current sports scene in India, the nuclear issue, secularism, the hostile acts of regional parties in Mumbai, and lots more. Your book certainly rocks and so do you!!!!!

Vivek Pereira said...

Thanks again, Cheryl!!

Anonymous said...

They should have invited Salman Rushdie for this literary carnival also.

Maurice P said...

Salman Rushdie is like me...a monkey on hot bricks!!!

Maurice P said...

Hey you looking hot babe

Anonymous said...

Monkey on hot bricks....That s a good one!!!

parkerd said...

spurious enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Yabadabbadoo