Favorite Authors

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In an article that I wrote for a magazine some time back I had shared how I got hooked on the reading and why books continues being such an internal part of my life. https://dsukhadia.com/2016/01/09/have-we-stopped-reading

This article is about five of my favorite authors:

  1. Jeffrey Archer – He was one of my first fiction authors that I read and loved. His books are fast paced doesn’t beat around the bush and keeps the reader hooked. I must have read all his books starting and some of them still find place in my library albeit on the topmost shelf hidden behind the more recent ones.
  1. Arundhati Roy: Her first book- The God of Small Things was published when I was in college and reams of newspaper were filled with amazing reviews of this book. It took me sleepless night to know the reason why. This is the only book that I have read more than once and whose copy I have on all three formats i.e. Paperback, Hardback and on my Kindle. It took her years to come out with a second one which is another masterpiece and I had a fan moment when I received a signed copy of this latest one.
  1. Rohinton Mistry – Having lived in Mumbai for seven years and a brief period as a paying guest with an old Parsi Lady. The Parsi community notwithstanding the caricatured version in Bollywood, has always fascinated me. His books brings out the humane side of this very community will all their traits and customs. A Fine Balance stands out amongst all his other works. This books is how Emergency and its aftermath brings people of different backgrounds to form a bond and navigate those troubled times.
  1. Shivaji Sawant – He primarily writes in Marathi, a language that I never managed to go beyond इकडे-तिकडे but his translated versions are available. I read the Hindi version of Mrityunjay and was completely blown away. This book brings out the depth and pain of Karan – the eldest of son of Kunti and how his character pans out in Mahabharata. Another is Yugandhar – on the life and times of Lord Krishna. Both these books bring out facets of Mahabharata I was never aware of. The story, the back story and the compulsions of each character is laid out in great details.
  1. Atul Gawande – Once upon a time I was very fascinated by medical professionals and wanted to become a doctor but खैर वोह हो न सका. But the urge to know how things work continued and was fulfilled by Dr. Atul Gawande. He is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. His books bring out the functioning of health professionals to non-medicos in a language that is both interesting and uncomplicated.

Besides these there are others such as Erich Segal, Malcom Gladwell, Julian Barnes, William Dalrymple and likes. My only regret is that I do not read Hindi books because few are available as e-books and those that are my Kindle doesn’t support.

Happy Reading in the Lockdown !!

Jaipur Literature Festival

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After years of missed plans and dilly dallying , finally managed to attend the 9th Jaipur Literature Festival like someone rightly described it as the Ibiza of Literature ,it was worth the wait and lived up to the hype and buzz around it.

Diggi Palace: The Venue for the festival that has been witnessing the festival grow by leaps and bounds in each successive year. The venue offered the right mix of heritage and grandeur. With 6 different venues inside the Palace offering more than 40 + program daily over 5 days!! The intellectual stimulation that this festival offered is something to be experienced.

The Delegate entry PicsArt_01-29-04.26.06that I had subscribed for gave me the opportunity to rub shoulders and dine with the best, the English Literature has to offer. Luckily I had no one to accompany me for the festival, so this gave me an opportunity to completely soak myself with all the knowledge and listen to the session that was of my interest. The authors from across the globe were in every nook and corner. Like I overheard someone saying “There are so many of them we need a Shazam for Authors!!”

So besides the serious book lovers there were free loaders, Celebrity hunters and the School and College Kids. Most of them PicsArt_01-29-04.28.09there to catch a glimpse of a Bollywood Celebrity spend time in amazing ambience and surroundings and to come out nattily attired.
I too did have my fan moments when had the chance to interact with some of my favorites Authors / Celebrity such as Shashi Tharoor, Javed Akhtar, Atul Gawande, William Dalrymple, Pawan Verma to a name a few !!

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The Festival days began with Indian Classical Music at the Front Lawns and ended with great Musical evenings that culminated with the Writers Ball at the Le Meridian on the 25th January. The musical fusion in the evening had everyone letting down their hair and party away!!

There were some fun and light moments that I managed to overhear and witness.

  • On Sunday when the venue was bursting out of its seams, overheard a middle aged couple complaining “ कुम्भ के मेले जैसा लग रहा है , इतनी पब्लिक कहाँ से आ गयी?”
  • A group of young college boys standing at the gate of the venue saying “बहुत घूम लिए बस एक फिरंगी के साथ फोटो खिंचवा लेते हैं, बस फिर चलते हैं !!”
  • A young lady telling her husband / boyfriend at the end of the day “चलो अब निकलने से पहले एक सेल्फी तो ले लें.”

The festival had something to offer to everybody from the best in Literature, to Food and to Music spread over 5 exciting days. Come 2017 and I am there for sure. The organizers : Teamworks Arts has year after year managed to give a flawless and impeccable JLF , Hats off to them !!