The first book was launched at hotel Savera to a packed audience which was not surprising considering the fact that its author, Mark Tully is a well known name in journalistic as well as elite circles. Everything about the evening appeared perfect including the rich fare that preceded the event, justifying the ‘high tea’ that was printed on the invite. The meeting commenced on time with Mr.N.Ram and Mr.Tully taking their places on the dais and the former starting a conversation with him where several aspects the author had dealt with in his book were covered. Q and A that followed proved the questioners are yet to learn to ask ‘questions’ and not make supplementary speeches ! Despite Mr.Ram requesting the audience to switch off their mobiles, a few mobiles started buzzing to the annoyance of everyone around. Giving company to this interruption was a crackling sound of a carry bag which the lady sitting behind me had on her lap. Left to itself the innocent bag would have remained silent but the lady didn’t allow it to do so because she was checking its contents every now and then.
I came out admiring the author for portraying our country and its people so very vividly without mincing words but just wondered if any Indian writer would make a similar study about the negative side ofU.S.and candidly write about it!
The second book launch was different in quite a few ways—it was organized by The Madras Book Club and Roja Muthiah Research Library and was held at the Rain tree hotel. Ambassador K Kesavapany, Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore introduced the book giving details as to how the book came about. It was the result of a seminar on the subject where various papers were presented, he said. Mr.Subbiah who received the first copy gave a very brief speech in response. Mr.C.V. Karthick Narayan, translator of Ponniyin Selvan and student of Chola history delivered a Special Address (he read it out ) which was very informative and historically enriching.There was pin drop silence through out the one and half hour meeting with cell phones co operating for once.
I think who ever is in charge of making tea and coffee in the hotel should get lessons from someone who has perfected the art.
n.meera raghavendra rao