"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."
Jane Austen

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Lovely Date with Myself at the Kolkata Literary Meet and Forum

It was one of the most beautiful mornings that I have had in recent times .. undoubtedly the best after the ones at Shankarda..
Sharmila Tagore's session with Jai Arjun Singh and Balaji Vittal on the Babumoshai of Bombay was about to begin at 11 am and I started early from home keeping the rush-hour traffic in mind. .. This made sure that I reached the entry point of the Kolkata Lit Meet sharp at 10-05 am. It was almost empty and the subtle warmth of the sun felt beautiful in the comfortably cold morning. The flowers looked lovely, especially one large pink rose beside the photo booth. I had a pleasant walk around the gardens and even started writing a poem after ages!
The two sessions that followed would remain etched in my mind forever. Got to know so-o-o much about Hrishikesh Mukherjee and his films in the first session, with my favorite Anupama narrating anecdotes candidly! What a poised personality she is with amazing oration skills! The second session, "Ritu Utsab" was another beautiful one that allowed the audience to know a lot about our dear director whom we lost so prematurely! It was indeed an honor and privilege to hear about him from the people closest to him, namely, Sharmila Ji, Kaustav Bakshi, Sangeeta Dutta, and Darshan Ji. In fact, the entire Kolkata Lit Meet is a privilege! One does not need to buy a ticket, or make reservations! There are no VIP seats! I, having reached so early, could sit in the first row (as I did on the 22nd as well) and listen to the discussion and see the gorgeous Sharmila Tagore from an arm's distance! It is a wonderful opportunity being provided by Tata Steel, allowing us to create these priceless memories and make news friends like Tripti Jalan, while meeting old ones like Utsav DanSujoy Prosad Chatterjee, and Chhordi! You do not see Javed Akhtar Saab walking past you in a hurry too often tongue emoticon
I had plans of taking a break somewhere like Forum Courtyard and go back for the 3-10 pm session that had Srijato, Anupam, Chandril, and stay back till the last session of the day with Anuvab Pal. But, it was a pretty tiring walk and I felt like returning home after having a Subway sandwich at @Burp! It was a pleasant surprise to me that my visit to Forum and to Burp! and my walk around the Pizza Hut corner did not bother me with too many memories. I realized that this is how new experiences suppress old ones.