A glance into the chapters of history

BOOK READING

A glance into the chapters of history

  Anjum Hasan, Kirtana Kumar and Prakash Belawadi at the event.Prakash Belawadi, a theatre enthusiast and director; poet-cum-novelist Anjum Hasan; and Kirtana Kumar, actress and film-maker,  read selected parts from classics from around the world.

The programme commenced with the reading of O V Vijayan’s novel Legends of Khasak by Prakash Belawadi. He selected a chapter called Feast of the Ancestors, the tale of a Hindu-Muslim family in a village called Khasak. “In a way, the novel has brought about a sea-change in Malayalam literature,” he opined.

For his further reading, he selected the poems of Rabindranath Tagore. He described Tagore as a yugapurush who transformed the minds of Indians, whose  theories are applicable till date. He read a poem titled Broken Song which dealt with the journey of a musician named Kashinath.

Common Sense by Thomas Paine was another book, Prakash chose for his reading. The book is about what people agree on, and what they sense as a common natural understanding.  Anjum Hasan selected Madame Bovary and Baburnama for reading.

She depicted Madame Bovary of Gustave Flaubert as her all-time favourite and called it a play of perspectives. The other choice of hers, Baburnama, is the memoirs of Babur and has the complete record of the emperor’s life from the age of 11, when Babur ascended the throne. The excerpt she chose for reading, included an interesting part of the autobiography, which reveals the fruitless efforts of Ibrahim Lodi’s mother to feed poison to Babur.

 Kirtana Kumar selected Anna Karenina, The Birds and some poems from different collections. She impressively read a poem called Garden of the Goddess from Kathasaritsagar. She read part one of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy which opens with the lines, “All happy families are alive...”

Kirtana Kumar seemed to be excited and said that she enjoyed the programme fully. “It is a nice opportunity to mingle with like-minded people, exchange our ideas and share our varied experiences with the same book,” she included.

Prakash Belawadi expressed delight in the programme. “Classics always tell the perennial truth. They have the capacity to renew enthusiasm from generation to generation,” he opined. The publication displayed the entire range of Penguin Classics comprising more than 1500 titles from all around the world.

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