Friday, January 30, 2009

Festival notes 6

Some final scrapings from the Jaipur-fest barrel:
People loved Aamir's Ghajini because it laid everything on so thick – it's like eating vada pao and tikki. Incidentally, everyone talks about it being a Memento copy but hardly anyone pointed out that the scene with the blind man is a straight lift from Amelie
(Chetan Bhagat, discussing popular taste and in the process revealing that he watches French films)

You can be a magpie when you write in English. If I were writing in Bangla I don't know if I would have been allowed to use non-Bangla words
(Tahmima Anam)

I like my friends! They call me a gregarious hermit.
(Vikram Seth, in reply to Sonia Faleiro asking if he was a solitary writer who wasn't too keen on making friends)

Before coming here, I was told that pleasure was one of the characteristics of Hinduism. Well, we certainly had a lot of that here!
(Scottish poet Meg Bateman, discussing the weeklong "Found in Translation" workshop for poets in Neemrana)


More Nadeem Aslam:
I'm told that it's a good time to be a Pakistani writer – people are interested in your work. Well, I feel the opposite: I'd much rather that my country wasn't burning and my books didn't sell.

I find it very difficult to define people in terms of a religious or nationalist identity. I have 51 first cousins – yes, I know, that's the BJP's nightmare! – which means that right since childhood I've known 51 different ways of being a human being. One cousin is a non-believer, another is devout, one is happily married, another is divorced, another is unhappily married but sticking to the marriage...I can go on and on and on, there's a whole spectrum right there.

And on a completely unrelated note, two blog posts I recently read and enjoyed: Scott Adams' very moving post about his beloved cat Sarah; and Roger Ebert on...many different things, including parthogenesis, the Donald Duck family tree, and the mathematics of the hereafter.


  1. thanks to you, i came to know about the festival and went with it, to fulfil a long cherished dream with a friend :) i seriously cannot begin to thank u enuf...and i love ur coverage and these small small quotes which we surely missed :)


  2. How did "Jugalbandi" go? Fill me with something about Gulzar saab..

  3. I have seen Amelie! Why did it not occur to me?!

    I am a tube light!

  4. Thanks for covering the entire event on your blog. It seems like I was right there.

  5. Neha: glad you made it for the fest, and hope you had a decent time.

    Anon: missed the Jugalbandi. It was on the day of my session with Kunzru and I was a little nervous, re-checking notes etc in the couple of hours leading up to the session. Missed other stuff that was happening at the time.

  6. we did, infact we had a marvellous time. :-) at least got inspired to write ourselves... :)