Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nepal, Cartoons, Mountains, Book Launch

HIMALCHULI with Manasalu beyond and behind it
Patan Durbar, Kathmandu
So -- here's evidence of my trip to Nepal last weekend! It was most enjoyable and I hope eventually to post a link to the talk entitled DANCING WITH DEMONS that I gave at the start of the two-day event. However, in lieu of that here's a link to
Sadanand Menon's piece about the Cartoon Congress, in Business Standard.

I would love to post the names of the peaks* in the pictures but I haven't got positive ID. Kunda Dixit very kindly IDed the peaks in two other pix I sent but these are different pictures and I was probably not well positioned to get a clear profiles of their Regal Immensities, the Peaks of Nepal. If/when I get names to post, I will. I am sure we saw EVERYONE on the way in to Kathmandu, but alas the pilot didn't announce the peaks and that was SOOOOO disappointing. They were in full view, clear as an array of splendid dishes on a buffet table, but NO NAME TAGS. I felt very annoyed with myself for not making a little sketch for myself in advance of travelling, but I didn't so ... that's that.

[instant update! I HAVE now got the correct names -- and have also updated two bits of misinformation regarding who was ed of which mag!]

HIMAL SOUTHASIAN provided an excellent platform for discussion -- the Dixit brothers (Kanak Mani Dixit, editor HIMAL, Kunda Mani Dixit, editor, NEPAL TIMES) were wonderful hosts and the event was successful, I think, in raising consciousness about cartoons, southasian humour (such as it is! Hmmm) and cartoonists. Here's a link to visual evidence of my presence there and if you click around you'll get more news and pix connected to the occasion. I look forward to staying in touch with the magazine and the friends I made there.

And so to the book launch at Gurgaon's OM Book Shop -- aside from the nearly two-hour ride from Friends Colony to GG, it was really quite enjoyable. I read a chapter from the book -- finally choosing the terrace scene in Ch 03 -- then there were a few friendly questions, followed by book-signing. I think both Picador and OM books were pleasantly surprised at the brisk sale and I signed a whole stack of copies with the AUTHOR AUTOGRAPH INSIDE sticker -- naively, I imagined they would be unable to sell books that had the sticker but no autograph -- only to be told the stickers were easy to remove, in case they were unable to get my scrawl on the front page!

Two more readings sched, in Mad and Bom, but after this one Picador is seriously considering a couple more. Bangalore's on the list ...

One last item of interest: I chose this week to change my cellphone number -- naturally, I'm not going to post it here, but in case anyone's been wunnering why the old one appears to be permanently off-line well ... it IS! Though it's still an active account at this moment, it'll eventually fade out altogether. Friends desiring the new number will need to send me an e-message pref with THEIR numbers, so I can SMS the new one.

... and it's a medium nasty one!! How delish. Here it is, in India Tonight

Meanwhile, here are interviews that have already appeared (they're part of what the reviewer used as sources for quotes in her review): Avtar Singh in TimeOut DELHI, MUMBAI and JaiArjun Singh in Business Standard and again at his blog. First City published a review-cum-interview but sadly there does not seem to be an online version.

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