Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Rayaprol/Thayil Reading

I may as well warn you that this is going to be a frivolous and mostly irrelevant post about the reading.

My great moment of joy came when a friend said he's pick us up for the reading, since he was also going to be there. This meant I didn't have to drive. What's more, the car was an Ambassador (and old-fashioned one, which I'm reliably told, is better than the new ones that are very crumple-able) and my son's cup overflowed.

The University's School of Humanities was where the reading was happening. We were told by a very busy looking HoD that we had to go to the Ashes Building. I was, frankly, perplexed. In the course of the evening, the venue would be variously referred to as the Ashes, Ashish and (just a couple of times in the privacy of my own thoughts) Asses. It's a complicated acronym that I can't spell now after an interval of two days. Sorry.

So basically, we sat around and waited for a quorum. Then we tripped outside (at least, I did. I was wearing Cinderella heels that my sari hid) and had tea under a still-under-construction tent and came back in to wait for some Univ person. Speeches. More speeches. Screeching mikes.

I read and was thankful that I didn't cough.

Jeet was to have half an hour; what with all the speechifying, he managed to do five or six poems. Not that he didn't have time but he very wisely stopped while everyone was still wishing he'd done a few more. Oh - the fuse tripped twice while he read and afterwards (this is a non sequitur) he was mobbed for autographs. Poets are rock stars, I tell you.

The Rayaprol Trust announced a Poetry Prize. Announcements of details later. Jeet suggested that they republish Rayaprol's work so that it's actually available (right now there are a sum total of two copies left of his books with his family). More importantly, he suggested that all the issues of East West that Rayaprol edited - issues of which have contributions by William Carlos Williams (who corresponded with Rayaprol for many years, as did Lowell) and Henry Miller - be republished.

Then we all left for dinner but got stuck in various traffic jams.

The next day I promised Jeet I'd show him Charminar but instead dragged him from one bangle shop to another in Laad Bazaar. I feel remorse (but the bling I picked up!) now.

Photos later.


Anil said...

Ah yes, the speeches, the interminable speeches. I actually resigned myself to an evening of boredom because almost all the speakers began with 'I'll not take up much of your time' refrain.

From past experience I find that speakers who use the above refrain tend to speak the most. Mercifully, that was not the case here. In any case it would have been nice if there had been more poetry and less speeches (of self-congratulation) that day :)

Arfi said...

I do wish Jeet Thayil had read a few more poems but I think I know what you mean by wisely stopped.

will have to go look for his book I guess.

swar said...

Did you just say 'bangle'? I love them bangles. Can you please put up the bangles pics?

Space Bar said...

anil: true, true. i also wish there'd been more poetry.

arfi: me too; though i doubt anyone would have been bored if he's read say another five poems.

Space Bar said...

swar: didn't take bangle pics. i was too busy drooling and buying (till i was stonybroke).

the upside is, if i manage to meet you, you have a portion of bling reserved for you.

km said...

Ahem - could you tell Mr. Thayil that I first read his poems in my early teens (not sure now but I think it was Pritish Nandy-era Illustrated Weekly) and I thought he was a rock star.

Lekhni said...

Brings back memories. I have never been much of a bangle buyer. So I would admire the bangles from afar and move on. But after the bangle shops came the gunmetal shops, where I'd drool at every beautiful statue and wall hanging, and empty my purse.

Space Bar said...

km: does this mean you have a copy of gemini?

lekhni: ah...gunmetal! yeserday i was at someone's house and was seized with nostalgia at the amount of bidriware and brass on display. there were these cupid figures holding up lights and horses and sqare -70's style furniture. *siiiiiigh*

Lekhni said...

Cupids, horses and lamps! I think I know exactly what you mean. My parents have one of those at home :) (One of us got it as some school prize).

We also have the Mephistopheles and Margherita. I think the Cupid(?) is some Greek legend, but I have no idea which.