Remembering Maya

On 21st October, a week-long exhibition–Remembering Maya–was launched at PageTurners Bookstore. The exhibition is a tribute to renowned cartoonist Maya Kamath, on her 10th death anniversary, which is on 26th October. It was an intimate gathering of family and friends at the bookstore, as Maya’s son Nandan read out excerpts from a book of her cartoons, compiled by his sister Deepa. Some of the family’s close friends also spoke at the launch, remembering Maya fondly.

Besides being one of the most popular cartoonists in the country, Maya also had great compassion for animals, and was among the first people to collaborate with CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action). Nandan and his friends read from e-mails that Maya wrote to her children, talking about the cause that was close to her heart. Copies of the book Remembering Maya are being sold at the store, the proceeds of which will be donated to CUPA.

The exhibition at PageTurners makes it clear that so many of the issues that Maya dealt with in her cartoons continue to be relevant over a decade after she drew them. Journalist Nupur Basu, Maya’s long-time associate, was present at the event and made a point of this, stating that Maya’s work continued to be contemporary.

The exhibition is on at the bookstore till 30th October.

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Crafting Words, talking puppets!

We had another fantastic storytelling session at the store last weekend. Kavitha–the storyteller with a flair for the fantastical–had a puppet show for the kids. Much laughter and merriment ensued, with the kids all make paper lotuses to take back home with them! Here are some photographs, courtesy Mr. Kaushik Sengupta.

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The Bard Room feat. Dominic Franks and Savyasachi Narayan

The 2nd edition of The Bard Room at PageTurners saw some extremely entertaining performances by our featured poets, Dominic Franks and Savyasachi Narayan. Savyasachi started the reading with a bold, opinionated piece spoken from the point of view of a fiendish fanatical peepal tree. His other work talked about displacement and belonging–the constant battles of living away from one’s homeland. Whatever he read, his way with words and the endearing quality of his reading had his audience in splits!

Dominic Franks had all the bearings of a seasoned stage performer, using the stage, his voice and the audience to create an almost interactive poetry performance. Spanning a variety of issues, his pieces always had a way of holding the listener’s attention.

About the poets

Dominic Franks

Over the last six years Dominic Franks has failed at a variety of jobs; sports journalist, amateur doctor, television producer, copywriter, balloon-blower, fortune-teller, one-time stripper and a grave-digger too, to name a few. Poetry has always been the literary genre that he enjoys the most. Silence, solitude, darkness, experience, unreasonable laughter, unrestrained joy and people have been his greatest teachers.

Savyasachi Narayan

Savyasachi  Narayan is a long-time Bangalorean by blood and by birth who both loves and loathes the accelerating pace of change in India.  In high school he was very good at English and Maths but unfortunately did not give too much bhaav to Geography. Consequently Geography was quite hurt and viciously bumbooed him across the world a few times in his callow thirty-one years of age.

In all, a completely entertaining evening, old feelings, new ways with words and an evening to remember! Watch this space for announcements on the next Bard Room, happening later this month. Also, watch out for our YouTube channel, with the bards on camera!

Pictures from The Bard Room

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Crafting Words

On 25th September, the bookstore was swarming with kids and their parents. ‘Crafting Words’–a storytelling and craft-making session–took off with a bang. We had 13 children between the ages of 3 and 8 spellbound by storyteller Kavitha. And it wasn’t just the kids! In the craft session after, children and their parents alike were fighting over crayons and sketch pens, trying to make the best boat in the room.

The session is conducted on Sunday mornings, in association with Gambolla Kids Centre. For more information, contact Anoopa Anand at +91 98454 30054 or send an email to anoopa@sipbooks.com

We hope to see you this weekend, at Crafting Words! Meanwhile, here are some pictures from last week.

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The no-holds bards!

There is nothing that a poet can’t or won’t discuss, and that’s the best thing about a poetry reading. Saturday evening at the store, saw a fantastic turn out of poets, writers and readers. The Bard Room was packed with people who were there to watch poets Anindita Sengupta and Joshua Muyiwa read their work. Joshua started the reading with some memorable work, notable among which were a series of poems he had written for his grandmother. Anindita read next: a mixture of poems she chose from her recently released collection City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010) and a brand new bunch, as yet unpublished.

Both poets chose from a variety of styles and issues, keeping the audience rapt for the entire hour. The poets set their poems in context, discussing the issues, incidents and experiences that led to each piece of work.

After the resounding success of the first reading at The Bard Room, we hope to continue with the readings on a fortnightly basis. If you’d like to read, or know poets who would be interested, do get in touch. We’d be happy to see your work and fit you into a room packed with bards!

For more information on The Bard Room, get in touch with us:

Anoopa– +91 98454 30054; anoopa@sipbooks.com

More pictures from The Bard Room

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Crafting Words

We’re bursting with events this weekend! Come to the bookstore on Sunday and bring your kids with you. Crafting Words is a storytelling and craft-making session rolled into one. It’s for kids between the ages of 4 and 8, but if you like a good story, your age doesn’t matter!

Date: 18th September 2011, Sunday

Time: 11:30AM–1:00PM

Venue: PageTurners Bookstore, MG Road, Bangalore

RSVP: Anoopa–+91 98454 30054; anoopa@sipbooks.com

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PageTurners presents The Bard Room

We’re very excited to announce The Bard Room–a fortnightly poetry reading/performance at the store! Featured in our first event, are poets Anindita Sengupta and Joshua Muyiwa. If you’re in Bangalore, do try and make it; if you aren’t, it’s a great reason to make a trip. We’re having lovely weather as well!

Date: 17th September, Saturday

Time: 5:30PM

Venue: PageTurners, MG Road, Bangalore

RSVP: Anoopa–+91 98454 30054; anoopa@sipbooks.com

Anindita Sengupta’s collection of poetry City of Water was published by Sahitya Akademi in 2010.  Her work has also appeared in several journals and anthologies including Eclectica, Nth Position, Mascara Literary Review, Ourobouros Review, Cha: An Asian Journal, Pratilipi, and Muse India as well as Not A Muse (Haven Books, 2009), Writing Love (Rupa, 2010) and Poetry with Prakriti (Prakriti Foundation, 2010). In 2008, she received the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Creative Writing and in 2010, she received the Charles Wallace Fellowship to be a writer-in-residence at University of Kent, England.

She works as a freelance journalist and editorial consultant and is founder-editor of Ultra Violet (http://ultraviolet.in) , a site for contemporary feminism in India.

Joshua Muyiwa, not yet 26, started writing because he was told, ‘it is time to stop seeming arty and pretentious and actually earn the tags by doing something’. He is queer. In Bangalore, he’s either at Koshy’s drinking tea, smoking outside, drinking rum & coke at Chin Lung or working as Dance Editor at TimeOut Bengaluru. And lately, he is mastering the intricacies of cooking pasta sauce.

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Amitav Ghosh at PageTurners!

Author Amitav Ghosh needs no introduction. The acclaimed writer, on a nationwide tour to unveil his masterfully written ‘River of Smoke’ the second of the Ibis trilogy- the first being the bestselling ‘Sea of Poppies’- dropped by PageTurners on Tuesday evening, enchanting and thrilling the audience with his presence.

Beginning with a reading

A packed house, seated well in time as they anticipated his arrival, got all that they asked for as Amitav chatted with the audience and PageTurners MD, Abishek Laxminarayan, who mediated the event. He also answered questions from the audience, speaking about Amitav the writer, the background of his latest release, and the trilogy itself- which draws its name from the storm-tossed ship making a journey from Calcutta to Canton in China, with a load of convicts and indentured laborers, in the nineteenth century.

The book- like the first of the trilogy- is set in the nineteenth century against the backdrop of the opium wars with much of the action taking place in Canton, a fascinating city elevated to almost being a character in the book. Beginning with a reading of the book, Amitav went on to discuss it and answer several poignant questions.

Answering a question on the vivid descriptions that mark his writing, Amitav graciously attributed all the effort to his readers, saying that they did much of the work by lending their imaginations to his writing. On which came first, the characters or the story, he said it was certainly the characters, who lead the story once they came to life in writing and took on shades of their own.

Discussing the inspiration behind basing his novels on the opium wars, Amitav said that it was the one area of history that had not been explored in terms of personal accounts- something he has tried to achieve through the characters in both the books in this trilogy. Although he has not yet made a decision, and holds no strong views on the translation of his books into movies, he said that he was not closed to the idea, as he sees the two as separate art forms- both open to interpretation.

Speaking of India and China, Amitav mentioned that both countries hold their own, and India should embrace originality- while both must accept themselves and each other for what they are. He then obligingly signed personal copies of the book for the thrilled audience. The session was as mesmerizing and transporting as the book is, and we suggest you get your own copy of this masterpiece as soon as you can!

*pictures courtesy Ajay Menon

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Mamma Mania at PageTurners!

Shabia Ravi Walia, a well known television profession who has worked in the industry for 15 years, sat down to write this book when she was pregnant, with her daughter Sia, now two years old. But the inspiration to complete the book in just three months, she says, came from seeing her baby daughter for the first time.

Launching her book in Bangalore at PageTurners bookstore on the 11th of June 2011, Mumbai based Shabia said, “I read a lot of books during my pregnancy but all of them had a western take. ‘Mamma Mania’ is a small attempt to fill that void. Its a practical handbook for every mother, especially for first time mothers.”

The author also added, “For a country like India which produces a baby every 1.25 seconds, there are hardly any books which present the Indian woman’s experience of pregnancy and motherhood. ‘Mamma Mania’ is written to bridge that gap.”

Sharing with us the experiences and scares she went through during her pregnancy, Shabia said that she also wished every mother could speak of their experiences, as no two pregnancies are ever alike. This book is for everyone, she says, for an expecting mother, a young married couple, grandmothers and young women alike- anyone looking to reminisce or get a peek into the world of pregnancy and motherhood.

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Sparkling Mindz at PageTurners

We’ve been wanting to have our next kids’ event for a while now at PageTurners, and the Sparkling Mindz session proved to be just the one!

An interactive, activity and fun-filled workshop for 8-13 year olds, the Sparkling Mindz workshop at PageTurners had the kids present literally screaming for more!

This fun session based on out-of-the-box thinking aims to make children think at their creative best, exploring and inventing while learning to push boundaries and question the ordinary.  All this, of course, ensuring that they had a great time through the entire session.

Proving that a child’s mind can sometimes be more imaginative than adults, this group of children applied their imagination to each of the activities, working in groups and individually.

The first of many to come, look out for more information on these events at PageTurners- Your kids and you are sure to enjoy them!

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