Old Lawrencians Book Reading Festival

I was delighted to hear that the 154th Founder’s Day celebrations of my alma mater, The Lawrence School, Lovedale,would have a unique event this year. A Book Reading Festival has been organized in which Old Lawrencians who have written books in recent years would get an opportunity to show case their writing.  On May 2 and May 3, five authors , including yours truly, will participate in this event which culminates in our formally presenting our books to the School Library.

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Tips For Aspiring Authors

Some people were talking to me recently at a party. The topic turned to writing as a full-time profession. A young man said,”It must be fun to live the good life, earning so much that you just write all day long, which anyway is something you love doing.”  I said, “I am doing this as a second career after retirement. Don’t forget I worked for more than 35 years as a professional before taking to writing.” I went on to say, “You have to be a top-notch writer, with a few lucky breaks thrown in for good measure, to be able to live only on the strength of your earnings through your writing.” I don’t mean to be discouraging but a lot of people in India, especially the young, seem to have too rosy a picture of the field of writing. They have a lot of spirit , which I greatly admire but sometimes in their enthusiasm lose sight of some harsh realities. Continue reading “Tips For Aspiring Authors”

Peter Colaco’s “Bangalore”.

I thoroughly enjoyed Peter Colaco’s “Bangalore :A Century of Tales from City & Cantonment.” Perhaps since I have been a long time resident of Bangalore, including some years in the Fraser Town/Cox Town area, every page of the book resonated with me. The illustrations by Peter Fernandes are splendid and go a long way in enhancing the visual appeal of the book.

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Formal Launch of “Only Men Please”

In an earlier post, I wrote about an anthology of short stories from Unisun Publications called ” Only Men Please.” The book was formally launched on March 31, at a very well-attended function at The British Library at Bangalore.  Annie Chandy Mathew and Meenakshi Varma, the people behind Unisun did a splendid job in arranging the function. Jagdish Raja, Shreekumar Varma , Mathew Vincent Menacherry and Jyoti Makhija read out extracts from some of the 35 short stories that make up this book.

After the book launch, we had an interesting debate. The topic being:  “Do Men and Women Differ From Each Other In Their Writing?” Three writers whose short stories appear in the anthology represented the male viewpoint. They were Bangalore’s eminent theater personality, Jagdish Raja, the well-known Chennai -based writer Shreekumar Varma and Mathew Vincent Menacherry, co-founder and director of the Anthea Group. The women’s viewpoint was presented by a strong team of talented writers: Jahnavi Barua, Shinie Antony and  Malathi Ramachandran. The content of the debate was interesting. Eminent writers, Shashi Deshpande and K R Usha contributed to the debate too, as did many enthusiastic members of the audience.

In my view, the choice of topics and the writing style, to some extent does differ but the hallmark of a great writer is being able to empathize and write from all points of view. If a male writer can describe the feelings and emotions of a female in a story just as well as a woman could, he would have done a great job. The same would be the case if a woman writer could do this about a male character in a story. There are many other aspects to be considered but I guess these very differences make for a wide variety of writing- and debate!