Monday, April 16, 2012

Kolkata, 11 th April 2012, Oxford Park Street

The time on the invitation said 6.30 pm. I was taking a short afternoon nap at a dear friend's home before getting ready, when I felt a definite shake to the bed. I sprung up in shock and looked around me warily. I know I live with a poltergeist with a fetish for flushing the loo, but the thought that I had brought the poltergeist here with me to Kolkata was a bit too much for even my credulous self to stomach. I was just imagining it, I thought to myself and lay down again, and then the bed definitely vibrated. Nope. It shook solidly for a few seconds. I jumped up and ran out of the room. My friend was sleeping peacably in her room, and it felt blasphemous to wake her, so I said a little prayer and lay myself down again, hoping the bed wouldn't levitate to the ceiling and have me screeching aloud and ruining her afternoon nap. Like I do when I am stressed, I went to twitter and found out that while I slept and jumped awake, there had been an earthquake in the Indian Ocean and aftershocks had been felt in Kolkata. And a panicky person from the publishing house was BBMing me saying the building housing Oxford had been evacuated and Kolkata was to have a tsunami. Given the geographical location of Kolkata, I thought the possibility of a tsunami hitting it was a bit incredulous even for a credulous person like me and informed him that I would be there at the venue, tsunami or no tsunami.
I reached early. At around 6. The venue was filling up quick. By the time it was 6.30, it was packed much to my amazement. I had asked my chief guests, Suhel Seth and Rita Bhimani, to be there by 7 pm, assuming, like in every city I had been to, crowds would show up a good 30 minutes after the time mentioned on the invite. Kolkata was punctual.
People were standing at the back. The other place this had happened was at Quill and Canvas in Gurgaon. It was a lovely event, perhaps one of the best I've had. The beautiful Baisali Chatterjee Dutt read so beautifully, she brought the book and the characters to life. I was actually embarassed to read after her, because I'm not good at this reading business. I rather do all my reading in my head. Suhel Seth and Rita Bhimani were very gracious and kind about the book. The crowd was attentive and interested and laughed and responded.
Here are some pictures.


  1. Come back, come back, come back!!

    Sigh...missing you!

  2. It was an absolutely delightful evening! Talk about an earth shaking event:)

  3. One of the best evenings I've had in a long long time . Come back ASAP