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Of books and modern love

Nov 20, 2012, DHNS:
Book lovers of the City gathered at the Bangalore International Centre to meet six Indian and Australian writers, who have embarked on a journey through the country with a treasure trove of books.

in conversation Abhishek Bhaduri, Shinie Antony and Annie Zaidi.‘The Bookwallah — Traveling Writers Festival’ was here in Bangalore to interact with people from different streams and share their ideas, books as well as make interesting conversation on their way. Vikram Sampath, the founder and director of the Bangalore Literary Festival (BLF), introduced the writers to the audience and said that
Bangalore needed better representation in the field of literature.

“We always wondered why the City does not have a literary festival and hence, BLF was established. It will bring works of various authors under one roof. We are trying to rekindle the habit of reading among youngsters in this ‘Twitter generation’,” he said.

The festival will be held on December 7, 8 and 9 at Jayamahal Palace. More than 75 authors from different parts of the country will be there, including Gulzar, Mark Tully and Shashi Deshpande.

“Along with this, we will also have cultural programmes and some culinary delights of the state will also be presented at the fest. We are looking forward to healthy participation from all,” said Vikram.

A discussion on the topic of ‘modern love’ followed, and a member of the festival, writer Annie Zaidi was called upon to throw more light on the subject along with City-based author Shinie Antony. It was moderated by Abhishek Bhaduri.

“There is nothing modern about love — the ways to express love have become
different. That is the only thing which is modern about it and nothing else,” she said.

Shinie Antony took a different angle and introduced the audience to two new concepts — married love and unmarried love.

“In married love, other women such as the mother-in-law or sister-in-law come as a package. Married love has a lot of strains — when it comes to Indian society,
married love has no wooing. The woman is ready and available,” explained Shinie.

Annie, however, disagreed with this statement and went on to explain that the Indian man cannot be generalised. “If you look at the pahari rituals, they are completely different. I want to quote some lines from the book ‘Absent Traveler’ — the texts, translated from Prakrit, say ‘her bangles are falling off her hands as the lover has been away for a long time and even the mother-in-law takes pity on her’,” she explained.

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