Skip to main content

Jaipur Lit. Fest. workshop.


The writing workshop conducted by Jugal Mody was on the third day of the Lit. Fest. Jan 21st .We were told by the organizers to 'Be There' at 9 'Sharp':) Sitting in Amchi Mumbai 9 sharp doesn’t sound like an ungodly hour. We are the people who catch 7.52 super fast.

So on the cold morning of 21st, in the Pink City of Jaipur where even the sun was reluctant to show his face before ten, Rashmi Dhanwani and I marched to Diggi palace- the venue for the workshop. And I am glad we did.

The workshop was planned for anyone above the age of 18. The number of participants was limited to 25 and there were a few complaints about it, as the response to the workshop has been so tremendous that the management had to turn away lot of people. Jugal wanted to keep the number small so there could be time for interaction and feed back. Finally, extra participants were allowed to join, and the final count was 32. I could see a few familiar faces of other caferatii .

We all sat there, huddled under our sweaters and shawls waiting for our esteemed moderator to start.

Jugal- the moderator explained to the participants that he was not planning to teach them anything , but share with them a method of thinking which will help them to write better.

And we launched into the workshop.

For next two hours, we followed the moderator’s directions, pencils flying all over our papers, read aloud for every one to critique. Slowly even shy one lost their stage fear and opened up. The suggestions and comments were flying all around and Jugal running from person to person with the mic in his hand got a good work out. After a while people stopped waiting for their turn or the mic and started giving their comments eagerly. The atmosphere was charged with an excitement of the participants who were discovering that they could write. The moderator had made writing seem easy :)

There were all levels of writers. From skilled ones who had obviously done some writing before, to the very fresh ones, who were still discovering thrill of putting their thoughts on paper.

By now people had started walking in to watch what was happening. A few of them pulled paper and pen out of their bag and joined in. One of them was a French lady who had written her exercises in French but obligingly read it in English for our benefit.

After following up on all the exercises, everyone realized that what we had in our hands was a complete story. All day long I kept meeting these participants on the fest grounds. They now smiled at me like old friends, we had shared something fun an enjoyable.

The workshop ROCKED. Like everyone else, I too am planning to hold on to my notes on the exercises. There is a story in there.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The gay and lesbian writing in India.

Perhaps the best session in the recent Kala Ghoda festival was “ Queering the pitch”, a discussion about gay and lesbian literature in India. The panelists were Sachin Kundalkar, R Raj Rao, and Maya Sharma.R RAJ RAO is a professor in the department of English, University of Pune. He is the author of several works including Nissim Ezekiel: The Authorized Biography and Yaraana: Gay Writings from India. Sachin Kundalkar is a Pune based, really talented young gay writer and film maker, writing in Marathi.Maya Sharma is a feminist, a lesbian, and is an activist in the Indian Women’s Movement.The panelists were articulate, came from different backgrounds, and above all, they didn't have an agenda. In fact, they have gone beyond agendas. Creative people, each one of them, they went about their chosen jobs as you are I would, teaching, writing, making films, whatever.Moderator Vikram Doctor kept the conversational ball rolling Raja Rao emphasized the need to look at gay literature as lite…

Tito and the spirit of Satsang

Tito and the spirit of satsang.

“You want me to do WHAT?” I asked in a calm voice. Those familiar with that voice, recognize is as the Early Tsunami warning signal. Tito ignored the warning and blithely carried on.
“Why not! After all you claim to be a poet, so I thought, maybe it is more Your cup of tea than mine. I want it by this evening by the way, if you can manage it please.” That ‘Please’ was an after thought I could see.
“There is a difference between writing poetry and writing a Hindi bhajan to the tune of a film song you know! H-how could you even ASK me to do such a thing!” I sputtered. “And anyway, what do you need a bhajan for? If your mom having a satsang, My dad has loads of bhajan cds. Take any one of them. “
Tito looked mulish. His heart was set on a filmy bhajan.
“Ok, so take any bhajan from movies. Like Alla tero naam. That is a good one.
I have the CD right here.” I started to rummage thru my collection.
“ Nooo. That is a boring old bhajan. Everyone has heard it for hun…

California Summer

I always knew that this visit was going to be different from my earlier visits to this country. Older I get (sigh!), more I find myself shifting from iWANT to iHAVE. This doesn't apply to iPAD of course, but that is indulgence with a capital I.

 When asked what I wanted to do during my visit, images rushed to my mind. It surprised me to find out that most were about food. Anderson's Pea soup, the corn bread and honey which I had for breakfast in Arizona, the square slices from the Round Table pizza, the baked garlic with bread and olive oil in Nepenthe...enchiladas stuffed which cheese with a side order of refried beans and fried rice...not to mention margaritas... boiled corn on cob with melting butter eaten at a camping trip..sourdough bread which is a part of american history...the list was unending. " You need to go on a strict diet" was my brother's detached summing up. Maybe so..maybe so.

Leaving the food aside I would love to visit gardens. I still dream …