Tuesday 12 December:
4 PM: Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road

Penguin India hosts a discussion on the book 13 Dec: A Reader–The Strange Case of The Attack on Indian Parliament.

Speakers: Arundhati Roy, Indira Jaising, Nandita Haksar, Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Praful Bidwai, Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

“Most people, or let’s say many people, when they encounter real facts and a logical argument, do begin to ask the right questions. Public unease continues to grow. A group of citizens have come together as a committee (chaired by Nirmala Deshpande) to publicly demand a Parliamentary enquiry into the episode….Every day new articles appear in the papers, on the net. At least half a dozen web sites are following the developments closely. They raise questions about how Mohammad Afzal, who never had proper legal representation, can be sentenced to death, without having had an opportunity to be heard, without a fair trial. They raise questions about fabricated evidence, procedural flaws and the outright lies that were presented in court and published in newspapers. They show how there is hardly a single piece of evidence that stands up to scrutiny.”

Tuesday 12 December
7 PM, Casuarina, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, Delhi

Zubaan presents “Words of Women: First Show”.
Readings by Madhulika Liddle, Mitali Saran and Monica Mody; (I’ll be moderating or immoderating, as the case may be.)
“The intention is to provide a platform to hear the voices, and read the words of the next generation of talented women writers. We will be showcasing three young women – poets, fiction and non-fiction writers – who are at the beginning of their writing careers.”
Madhulika Liddle introduces a detective at the Mughal court; Mitali Saran explores the disappearance of a young woman in Srinagar; and Monica Mody’s poems dismantle taboos, celebrate sexuality and demand an end to silence.


Friday, Saturday, Sunday: December 15, 16 and 17

6:30 pm onwards, India International Centre Annexe, lawns, (IIC, Lodhi Road, Delhi)

Almost Island is a web journal of literature, due to appear soon. It is
edited by Sharmistha Mohanty, with Vivek Narayanan as contributing
editor. To celebrate its founding, Almost Island would like to invite
you to a series of readings:

Dec. 15:
Allan Sealy
Mariko Nagai
K. Satchidanandan

Dec. 16:
Sharmistha Mohanty
Vivek Narayanan
Vinod Kumar Shukla

Dec. 17:
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
George Szirtes

Followed by
A performance of Dastangoi, a lost art of storytelling, by Mahmood
Farooqui and Danish Husain

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of four collections of poetry, The
Transfiguring Places, Distance in Statute Miles, Middle Earth, and Nine
Enclosures. He has also translated poetry from the Pali, The Absent
Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry. He has edited The Oxford India Anthology
of Modern Indian Poets, and the Oxford History of Indian Writing in
English. He teaches English literature at the University of Allahabad.

Sharmistha Mohanty is the author of two novels, Book One, and the
recently published New Life. Her translations of Tagore’s fiction,
Broken Nest and Other Stories are due out early next year. She has also
worked in the serious cinema and has scripted the feature film Nazar
directed by Mani Kaul. She lives in Bombay.

Vivek Narayanan has lived in Africa, the United States and India. His
poems and stories have appeared in journals and anthologies in India,
South Africa, and the United States. His book of poems, Universal Beach,
has been recently released. He lives in New Delhi and is part of Sarai.

Mariko Nagai is a poet and a fiction writer. She lives in Tokyo, but has
spent much of her life in Europe and the USA. She has twice won the
Pushcart Prize, for poetry and fiction. Her book of poems Histories of
Bodies is due out soon in the United States. She is also a translator
from the Japanese into English. She heads the Creative Writing Program
at the Tokyo campus of Temple University.

Allan Sealy is the author of The Trotter-Nama, Everest Hotel, The
Brainfever Bird, and Red. He has received the Commonwealth Prize and the
Sahitya Akademi Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

Vinod Kumar Shukla is a poet and fiction writer. He has over twenty
books of poetry and prose. Shukla is the recipient of the Shikar Samman
and the Sahitya Akademi Award. His work has been translated into several
languages He lives in Raipur.

K. Satchidandan has nineteen collections of poetry, including Five Suns,
When the Poet Writes, Imperfections and other New Poems. He has also
translated the work of major Euorpean and Latin American writers into
his native Malayalam. He has received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award
four times. He has recently retired as head of the Sahitya Akademi. He
lives in New Delhi.

George Szirtes was born in Hungary but has spent most of his life in
England. He has over fifteen collections of poetry, the more recent of
which are An English Apocapypse, and Reel, for which he was awarded the
T.S. Eliot Prize. Szirtes is also a translator from the Hungarian into
English, and has translated the work of such major writers as Laszlo
Krasznahorkai, and Sandor Marai. He lives in Norwich.


Thursday, December 14


6:30 pm, Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road

Book discussion: Scarred: Experiments with Violence in Gujarat, by Dionne Bunsha

From Dionne’s blog: Ameena’s on the run again. During Gujarat’s communal violence in March 2002, she had to escape when her village, Pandharvada, was attacked. Today, she’s running from the law. The police have filed a case against her and several refugees because they dug up a mass grave in Lunawada with the remains of their relatives.

Speakers: Sheikh Naushad Rasool and Hafizabanu Naushad, from Pavagad village, Gujarat
Tanvir Jafri, son of late Ahsan Jafri, former Member of Parliament
Rohit Prajapati, peace activist, Paryavaran Sukarsha Samiti, Vadodara

Friday, December 15

7 pm British Council, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi
For details: British Council website

Spoken Word Series: Malika Booker and Taru Luederitz-Dalmia
Poets have always read from their work so the concept of performance poetry is in many respects not new, particularly in India where court poets over the centuries have entertained their masters with rhythmic ghazals and finely turned couplets. In the grand tradition of epic and not-so-epic poetry, the poets of today are dusting off their vocal chords to bring to audiences what they like to call open mic, poetry slam, performance poetry or, very simply, the spoken word travelling across the world from town to town, reading their work and getting themselves heard.

Malika Booker: Writing is the best way to engage the imagination, to create magic, change the world. I write because my mother tells me I am the first generation of women to be able to tell our stories and because I know there are women in the world who cannot speak. I write to make sense of life, to make the ordinary extraordinary. I write to tell stories, our stories. But most importantly, I write because I cannot do anything else. If I am not writing, then I am not breathing.

Taru Luederitz-Dalmia: Rapper and spoken word artist based in New Delhi; his work draws from the subversive politics of hip-hop culture and Reggae Sound system culture.