Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I'm currently in Bombay, enjoying the pleasant aftermath of three days in Goa at the very enjoyable seminar organized jointly by the Sahitya Akademi and Goa University on Fantasy, Science Fiction, and other Forms of the Marvellous in Indian Literature. These two photographs are all that I succeeded in capturing on account of having my camera with me but refusing to take out anywhere, with the result that I could only use my cellphone (All Hail Nokia E71!).

The seminar was only my second experience of an ac-lit seminar but based on these two experiences (the previous one being in Ch'garh ten days ago) I could easily become addicted! It was fun, it was interesting and I think we all came away feeling better and broader for it -- no puns intended. A partial* list participants is:
(* it's not exhaustive becoz this list is cut-and-pasted from the list of those staying at the Hotel NOVA GOA. I'm too lazy to look up the printed list to check to see who else was present at the seminar, if they weren't on this list)

1. Dr. A Krishna Murthy, Secretary Sahitya Akademi
2. Alok Bhalla, Jamia. Delhi, Advisor, Sahitya Akademi,
3. Gitanjali Chatterjee, Dy. Secretary, Sahitya Akademi
4. Arshia Sattar, Bangalore, Seminar Co-Ordinator,
5. Malashri Lal, Seminar Co-Ordinator, Delhi U,
6. Sahitya Akademi accounts/office staff
7. Ahana Lakshmi, translator, Chennai
8. Deepa Agarwal , writer, translator, Delhi
9. Kavita Sharma , writer, academic, Director, India International Centre
10. Madhu Tandan, writer, dream analyst, Delhi
11. Mahesh Sharma, historian, writer, Chandigarh
12. Manjula Padmanabhan, writer, artist Delhi
13. Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher, Delhi
14. Neerja Mattoo, writer, translator, Kashmir
15. Raju Natesh, writer, artist.
16. Reba Som, author, singer and translator, Director, ICCR Tagore Centre, Kolkata.
17. Sanjukta Dasgupta, writer, translator, academic, Calcutta Univ
18. Shilo Shiv Suleiman, Illustrator
19. Sukrita Paul Kumar, poet, academic, ILLL, Delhi Univ.
20. Sumanyu Satpathy, translator, academic, Head, Dept of English, Delhi Univ.
-- ah -- one person who I know was at the seminar, but wasn't on this list is
21. China Meiville, writer, UK, whom we borrowed from the British Council's Lit Sutra.


Paul said...

I think the topic for the conference could have been a little more 'chic'. "And Other Forms of the Marvellous in Indian Literature" reads a little too long-winding and 'strained'.
(Now let me blow the trumpet - I do it pretty well, people say - We had a National Seminar here last month for which Sashi Kumar (Asian School of Journalism, Chennai) served as Resource person and the topic we zoomed in on was "Lnguage, Literature and Media: The Radical Cusp".

(Now that's what I'd call 'chic'. (Consider a happiness emoticon inserted. I'm not techno savvy enough to do it here!)

marginalien said...

Do you suppose ... a chic literary seminar title might be called "Chic Lit"? (ouch! Yes! terrible pun)

Paul said...

hmmmm.... I need to think about that one! By the way, I always wanted to ask you, why do you call yourself 'marginalien'?

marginalien said...

The name "marginalien" was something I developed for the column I wrote in The Week -- I needed a title for the column and I liked the idea of offering something a little to the side, like the kinds of thoughts that are scribbled in the margins of second hand textbook: marginalia. I think that's what I called the column.

And then, since I routinely think of myself as a rootless outsider (wherever I am, not just in India) it seemed amusing to tack "alien" onto the end of "marginalia", to make a composite word to use as my e-mail address for the column. So I did.

Paul said...

And that;s why I had commented earlier that your niece in Chennai looks very down to earth and does not look like an alien at all!

marginalien said...

AH! Now it all becomes clear! I had forgotten entirely about that word in my name. And of course it never occurred to me that my alien-ness would be reflected upon my niece ... yet more ways in which I exist only to embarrass my poor family!