Written by: Radhika Mendiratta
Edited by: Vipul Murarka
On the Sunday morning of August 28th, I was jolted out of my sleep, stunned, I walked over to the window to witness the mesmerizing view of the downpour, we were generously blessed with……
A window – it’s more entertaining than T.V. for a person like me who likes to lets her imagination go wild.
The flowers and leaves gleamed with gaiety. The patter of rain on the roof is my lullaby and causes me to fancy pleasantly into a sweet sleep. My reverie was interrupted by a thought which barged in on the sandcastles of my mindscape. The intoxicating thought of making a debut in the Readers’ Paradise – Jaipur Book Lovers Club! The very idea enraptured me and got me going, though I must confess, reverie has its own charm.
The 35th Readers Meet celebrated the New Wave of Indian Authors. As I walked in The Urban Hub Café, I was enamored by the aesthetic interiors which adorned the café. The cafeteria blushed with dainty hanging lights, brightly colored wooden furniture, the wheeled counter, the bookshelf standing tall at the entrance like the crown of the café, and the youthful ambience which infused life in everything around.
As my inquisitive eyes wandered across the faces in the room, I was glad they weren’t lost. A gentleman came and greeted me, I could see eyes brimming with the quest for knowledge and a demeanor so gregarious. His amiable tone of voice made me comfortable. The new faces radiated warm and welcoming vibrations.
In the closed setting, one could behold people of all ages, strata of society, originating from diverse cultural backgrounds and varied linguistic natures uniting in their utopia to bond over a feast of books. The thought of how the universe of books could accommodate heterogeneity with utmost grace and poise was to me the strangest of raptures, and the opening lines of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “Where the Mind is Without Fear” flashed on the screen of my mind….
“ Where the mind is without fear and the
head id held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken
up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls . . . . . . . . . .”
The image of a progressive, free-thinking, dynamic cluster of individuals appeared in a way, that I felt, the ideal world envisioned by Tagore in the poem, was soon to come again.
Conversations began with the contemporary Indian Authors and their Purple Patch prevailing since the year 2000. Their works have failed to benchmark themselves against the classics, however have surpassed themselves in creating innumerable readers and triggering a new wave of reading and writing in India. The’ Vintage Works’, though are masterpieces in their true spirit, but not so much in vogue today.
The wonderfully gripping debates about the process of language in literary works becoming infected and the degrading direction in which it is devolving contrasted with the vocabulary rampant during the ‘good old days’ received the utmost participation. Some members were the stage setters and some became the stage burners with their thought provoking insights on the subject.
The members enthused about their personal accounts and experiences with certain books which have touched their lives in ways inexplicable! There were passionate contributions about how their favourite characters in books helped them imbibe the essence of a similar situation they faced in their lives, and equipped them with valuable learning which they may implement in future. The air of the locale had become fragrant with the magic of reading!
The atmosphere of general informality I was tunnelised in within such a short span of time of encountering new people was an enthralling sight for me. The comfort and honesty the conversations exuded was like the chocolate chip in the cookie of the readers’ meet! A tinge of humour and a pinch of innocuous sarcasm enlivened the ambience with lightheartedness and delight. A connection was established with everyone, a connection which is more than just me being acquainted to them, and they being familiar to me. I realized, I was enjoying my time with a bunch of ‘known strangers’.
What could be a more captivating an idea than spending time leisurely in the companionship of like-minded people? The best-loved lines by W.H. Davies express the idea,
“What is this life if full of care?
We have no time to stand and stare?”
A platform where people enrich each other, while sharing first hand experiences and transmitting to each other with glee more than theoretical knowledge. It’s like food for the mind!
The members of the club lend the conversations a rare combination of youth and experience. Isn’t it incredible how the folks of dissimilar ideological hues receive and respect each other’s perspective so smoothly? Several creatively curious minds dined on a feast of books, communicated their thoughts, in the process is kindled a spark, one which would never get extinguished. It’s an abode where numerous diversified ideologies and philosophies merge and melt and in the favorable heat of passion and patience, is born a new creative idea.
Hence, Jaipur Book Lovers Club is one of the best places for the folks who are immersed in the realm of art and literature. Its enlightening events are dedicated to literature providing aspiring writers and voracious readers an inspiration to promote these art forms and encouraging them in their literary growth. Celebrating a love of books and fostering a passion in young and old alike their event would be cherished with delight driving innumerable people to discover the magic of words whatever their age.
My first time in Jaipur Book Lovers would remain in the archives of my memory forever as I felt I had embarked on a voyage in the ocean of books, with a caravansary of wanderers who aren’t lost. . . . . . . . .
Radhika is passionate about writing poetry, and holds a masters degree in English. Aesthetics and Nature are a perennial source of joie-de-vivre for her. She is gearing up for beautiful times ahead!