Last Sunday, I was at “CMYK the bookstore” in MeherChand Market, New Delhi. The occasion was an unusual event, “Nine Minutes to fame”. An online friend of mine, Ajay Govind, organised an event were 5 poets and 2 story tellers took us through nine minutes each, of ‘highway to literature’. This note is to thank Ajay for organising such an event an inviting me to it (he actually thanked everyone, somebody ought to thank him too, right?).
An extended prologue:
I am no poet, nor a story teller. But i do enjoy reading and now, listening to them. This event was an unusual audio-video treat for me, were, Ajay’s venture “Words.Rhythms.Images” conducted an online contest for short movies, shot on a mobile phone. Four creative video’s got shortlisted and they same were also screened after the literary feast by seven dreamers, who shared their thoughts through words and prose.
What it meant to me:
I am blessed by a father who adores reading. He bought an entire library and gifted me (rather forced me) to read when i got familiar with alphabets. My holidays were usually spend amongst stacks of comics, novels and second-hand readers digest’s – my Dad’s strategy to confine a public threat to my home . But, over time, my reading habits ended evolved as scribbles on papers (which never saw daylight). Not that i wasn’t encouraged, but because i never got an opportunity beyond the four walls of my home, into the tier II town i resided in. For me, this event was a stroll through some memory lanes and reinventing something i missed on my way to a corporate house.
What it could mean for today:
This event, were, few shared their literary ventures, is essentially the need of today. I remember my childhood, reading the first novel of Malayalam literature, to the one which got the first Jnanpith Award…those English classes where i familiarised the poems of literary giants like William Wordsworth and John Milton. Language was so simple then, their works so meaningful. Literature was used by many of my generation, right from their tender ages, to express and sometimes to threaten (like i wrote a story about a kid’s suicide letter, an indirect message to my Dad that i need a cycle ). I doubt any of the ‘Generation Now’ have been through those books (unless their English teacher impose them to, with impositions). Worse, very few even attempts to test their talent in the literary waters. Todays prose is … well its complicated!
Here is were such events gain great importance. A mere listener (like me) was encouraged to write or scribble (this note), and express gratitude. Expression or communication of feelings, the basic differentiation of mankind with the other living beings is now more sophisticated, in a language which is near to vulgar. Good works, like the great ones from the past are rare, in spite of the increasing literacy. Not because we can’t, but because we don’t have a platform nor we dare.
What Ajay and team gave to us, yesterday, was a platform for some, and a push for others – to achieve and to aspire, to test and to gain (confidence). Salutes Ajay.
Thanks to those who read their works, i savoured those moments like caviar.
Thanks to the team behind the scenes, the event was beautiful.