Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Book Bond With Ashwin Sanghi - Prelude to Tata Lit Live

Photograph Credit: Vaisakhi Mishra
The most awaited International Literature Festival in Mumbai - Tata Literature Live has finally arrived. This is the Fifth consecutive year that the fest is being held, this year the dates allotted are Thursday 30th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014. The schedule is out and the venue is NCPA and Prithvi Theatre. Each year the festival has more add-on's that highlight the beauty of literature surrounding us and connects it to the masses with collaboration with media.

The festival is an enriching platter full of various speakers, award winning novelist, journalist et al. A sneak peak into the fest that connects over 125 artists under one roof. The speakers would be Amir Or - The multi-awarded poet whose written 18 poetry's in Hebrew and whose work has been translated in over 40 languages, the bestselling author Anita Nair, the young Eurig Salisbury who won Welsh Children’s Poet Laureate) 2011–13, Amish Tripathi, Ayaz Memon and Barkha Dutt to name a few.

As a prelude to the upcoming festival, the Tata Lit Live team organized a Book Bond meet and greet event with author Ashwin Sanghi (Chanakya's Chant and The Krishna Key), for bloggers in Mumbai. The event took place on 20th October at Vivanta by Taj, Mumbai. The whole session that lasted around say roughly around 1- 1.5 hours was a captivating and an interactive one.

It started off with Anil Dharker, Mumbai based writer, columnist and the director of the festival initiated the evening discussion. The session heavily focused on the Indian literature, our outlook towards it, the current and the past trends of publishing and the center of it all - The Indian Author and the Publishing Industry. The discussion sifted effortlessly on how we have evolved both as a reader and an author, still not losing touch with our history and the deep rooted mythology. There was a considerable amount of time devoted to mythology, as Ashwin Sanghi has structured his stories around them, countless discussions of God and sharing of funny incidences from both the authors and bloggers lives enlivened the evening.

One of the best part was that, this discussion had a bit of an informal touch where we came to know a bit more about Ashwin as to how he started of with being an accountant to a novelist. And how his maternal grandfather gifted him a book till he passed away. Now I'm not so good at remembering numbers but the round figure what he said was somewhere around 370 or 377, and the best part being he still has all those copies (he remembers not because he still has that book keeping streak in him but also because the books are numbered.) I was totally in awe of his grandfather and how he shaped Ashwin to what he is today, a brilliant author and an equally humble man!

Photograph Credit: TataLitLive
Coming back to the discussion, we not only came to know how the Tata Literature Festival was conceived or about Ashwin's journey but a lot of other minute things that we tend to neglect. The discussion was thrown open to bloggers, with several new questions that brightened the evening further. And giving a world view of different perspective. Along with prose even poetry was subject touched upon  where Anil Dharkar said, “Poetry is the final distillation of Literature, of thoughts. But very few get it and poets are even less.”

Anil Dharker officially announced the shortlists for 3 coveted Book Awards – Tata Literature Live!

1. Book of the Year (Fiction & Non-fiction),
2. Tata Literature Live! First Book Award (Fiction & Non-fiction) and
3. Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award

Photograph Credit: TataLitLive
Alas! All good things come to an end, and so did this evening. But is any literary event complete without a book? No right, the highlight of the evening was the autographed copies of ‘Private India’. by Ashwin Sanghi co-authored with James Patterson,

Awaiting the festival that commences tomorrow! Keep on reading and re-reading.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Social Media Week Mumbai 2014


I've always been interested in Art, Culture, Media and Literature. There is something about media that when blended with society brings about a change, a betterment. Being part of NGO's I can say I've been part of this social movement, bringing about change in the most basic of ways. Be it either teaching young shelter home kids or elders who wish to improve their communication in English so as to raise themselves to a better employment sector of our society. In a way, it helped me view the lives of people at the grass-root level thereby understanding them and bringing a smile on their faces. But despite all this, I never did get a chance to explore it in the media way, I always heard about various organizations fighting for trafficking or rape victims but never got a chance to interact with them directly. Then apart from that there is always a factor of blogging, being an avid blogger myself I wanted to socialize and venture more into this arena.

Blogadda gave me this opportunity to attend social media week, (me thinks if I didn't get this opportunity I wouldn't have found time in my schedule to even attend it). The Social Media Week was held in Mumbai, at Novotel Hotel, Juhu.

So, I registered for 4 events that could fit my schedule but call it bad luck I could attend only 1 of them as I fell ill on the third day of the event :-/ and have just recuperated just yesterday. (Started off with mild fever and cold and went onto allergies that eventually banned me from leaving the bed). So end of this sob story, let's continue on the workshop I attended.

This is the pass I was given at the entrance and could be used for attending all the workshops and events. The event I attended was "A Perfect Bite" - A masterclass on Food Blogging by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal. Ring a Bell? Nah..Okay let me stop the misery, she is a food blogger, an amazing one at that. Her blog is full of small notes and filled with personal touches as well as mouth watering recipes.

What I remember the most of her amazing session is this line, "Being a curator of information." She began the presentation by focusing on what is Blogging all about, how to be a blogger, make a blog and other smaller things that make a blogger.

Ten minutes post  this, the presentation on Food Blogging finally began. Never being a food blogger, this one had me hooked; I wanted to know that how's and what's of food blogging. And who better teacher than the speaker herself.

Some of the points she spoke to be a Good Food Blogger were; Being a writer, A recipe creator, Food Stylist (how you present it to your audience), a photographer (very essential), Designer (plating and all is important) and finally a marketer. And finally every post should motivate the reader, motivate to try the recipes and eventually experiment their own recipes.

I would like to end this post on both a happy and a sour note. Happy because I agree with the speaker, that Blogging gave me an identity. And sad because I really wanted to attend this event,  "CASE STUDY ON CITIZENS AGAINST RAPE, MOLESTATION & ATROCITIES (CARMA)" The speaker also the founder of CARMA Ashwin Mishra is a friend, we used to teach at MAD together and I had heard a lot about his organization with him, but sadly bad health made me miss this one; one which I deeply regret.

But I sincerely thank Blogadda Team for giving me this opportunity to attend this event, even though I attended one, it helped me realize that media is what we make of it.