Literary society launched with new chat series

Author Sreemoyee Piu Kundu and activist Apsara Reddy kicked off the launch with a session on single women, selfintrospection and more

Apsara Reddy and Sreemoyee Piu Kundu addressed a host of topics in their chat.

An attempt to bring together literary and art enthusiasts led to the launch of the Whitefield Literary Society by V R Bengaluru recently.

Aiming to feature discussions on art, culture and books, the society opened with an event called ‘Salon with Shree’, a special monthly chat series by novelist Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, which featured transgender activist, columnist and TV personality Apsara Reddy at its first edition. Topics like single women, child psychology, merit over sexuality, dating were discussed at the event. Pankaj Renjhen, COO, Virtuous Retail says, “The Whitefield Literary Society will bring together like-minded individuals and give them a platform to discuss, inspire and share their stories.”

‘Salon with Shree’ is a celebration of the first anniversary of the book ‘Status Single’ by Sreemoyee, a work on female identity that received international acclaim.

Book focussed on single women, who are increasing in number

Sreemoyee said the book covered her, and 3,000 other women’s, journey of being single. Observing that there are 74.1 million single women in the country, she added, “Experts say that once the Triple Talaq Bill comes through, this number can shoot up to 78 or 79 million. We have the highest number of single women in our history. This includes divorced women, disabled women, members of the LGBTQ population as well as abandoned and separated women.”    

The book set forward a movement which led to discussions on dating, policies for single parents and so on.

Show will be about real people, initiate discussions

“I wanted to launch a live chat show and the Salon series is on those lines. The show will talk about real people and issues, show known faces who have their own stories to narrate and will celebrate causes that include gender diversity and inclusiveness.” 
Why such a series now? She says, “A lot changed with the #MeToo campaign. While most of the accused men are being hired
back into their jobs, people like Priya Ramani or Tanushree are still fighting court cases. Women putting up such a fight is unprecedented and this kind of activism calls for more discussions.” 

‘The series made me introspect’ 

Transgender activist and national general secretary of All India Mahila
Congress, Apsara Reddy says that such conversations are needed in progressive India.

“People from all strata of the society should have honest dialogues about sexuality, gender rights,” she says, adding that such events should not be limited to malls. 

Apsara adds, “The series made me delve into areas I would not have introspected myself. It made me think about rebuilding relationships, looking within to understand my strengths and weaknesses, looking at love through coloured lenses
etc. I realised I was too focused on my professional life and very little on my personal side.” 

Bengaluru changed my life

For Sreemoyee, Bengaluru has always been very accepting. “It is the city where I became single at the age of 24 and that changed my life. I have since then rebuilt my life, but the most painful chapter of my life happened here. The salon series marks the relationship I have with Bengaluru, which is now more sweet than bitter.” 

(The ‘Salon with Shree’ series, a live chat show, will be held till December on different themes)

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