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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Time flies as it's meant to.

Gosh, it's been three years on the lit fest circuit, three years of work that has gone into the making of Off The Shelf. Three years of dealing with authors of varied sensibilities, propensities and manner.

Some are propah, others like to shock - for reasons literary and otherwise. Some are engaging minds, others focused on selling their book and getting over and done with you. Some give you thoughts to last you a lifetime, others are gone as swiftly as the 10 minutes of air time. Yet each of them leaves you with a lesson. Depending on their disposition it can range from one in haughtiness to one in modesty.

Yes, it's been a journey that will never have another parallel. Over the weeks, months and years, some authors have felt like family, others have become family and
some have made a special place in my heart.

Kiran Desai is one of them. I met her for the first time at the Galle Literary Festival in January this year and it was an immediate connect. In an earlier post, I'd mentioned meeting her was "almost like bumping into an old friend." And it felt the same way in Ubud.

Untouched, unspoilt by her success, she seemed slimmer, at times a little exhausted, yet she never skipped a beat when it came to meeting people who wanted to know about her or about her work. Between sessions, you'd see her gamely posing for photographs at Indus, granting interviews to pretty much whoever came along - and lots of people did.

We managed to sneak in a dinner at the Cafe de Artistes after the Amandari Cocktail evening and indulge in some surreal conversation at Blanco and it sure felt like time stood still for just that little bit.

Kiran will be appearing at the Galle Literary Festival next year together with her mother Anita Desai. I don't know about you, I just can't wait....

Kiran has spoken of the "debt of gratitude" she owes to her mother. Both mother and daughter have enormous respect for each other's work and it shows. I've unfortunately missed out on the whole mother-daughter relationship and when I took a closer look at this shot, I couldn't help but wonder what things would be like, when Aneesha grows up. Who knows.....

Apologies for the darkened shots. This was the best I could get on my camera phone in the Amandari lighting. Lots was said in this session with Shashi Tharoor. More on it later. If you have better pix, replacing these is no issue.

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