Sunday, November 20, 2011

First Public Reading from "Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard"

Gave my first public reading from my novel "Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard," to an intimate group of Caferati at Suniti's place at Chembur, a suburb of Bombay. It was a short excerpt from Chapter 3 of the novel posted here. Caferati, if you don't know it already, is a forum of writers. I had rehearsed it twice at home (I always rehearse before a reading, it helps me get a feel of the content and that's when I decide when to emphasise which passages.). I take all readings - be it poetry or prose or fiction - seriously. Do read the chapter and let me know what you think.

I saw that a few in the audience were emotionally moved. I don't know if it is the portion I read, my melodramatic reading, or some coincidence. I wouldn't ascribe much to it except to say that the novel is full of raw emotions and the protagonist writes (It's a first person narrative, like all my novels.) with his heart on his sleeve, so to speak. 

Unfortunately, there were no photographs taken. Suniti, being the best host there is, plied us with sandwiches (the fillings, mm, I just can't describe, forgive me), biscuits, and tea. Dinner was had later at a pub in Chembur called "Jewel of Chembur." Chembur, the suburb my childhood, where I grew up, has changed so much, I couldn't recognise some of the places. The pub is situated where my friend and classmate Gangadharan Menon's dad had his business.

Oddly, the joint blasted a song that had as lyrics: "Brown dog... Brown dog... Brown dog... Brown dog... Brown dog... Brown dog... Brown dog...  Brown dog...." Then it mounts into a crescendo and after a lot of screeches, bangs, wails, screams, and syncopation (seemed like utensils being thrown around, it sounded as much) on expensive Bose music system, it became unbearably loud. I don't know what charm music played at high decibel levels have on human minds. I think somebody should research this. How about some nice and easy numbers, "Bole re papihara," "Yeh, mera Deewanapan hai," "Aa ab laut chaley," etc. I used to laugh at Saigal once, but his "Babul Mora," and "Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya," seem evergreen hits now. Or, so I think. Or, how about Jim Morrison of The Doors, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits? What all this nonsense about, "  Brown dog...," eh?  

What's it with rap music and dogs I wonder. Another song goes, "Who let the dogs out," and incidentally, a rapper is known as "Snoopy Dog." See what I mean?

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