Sidelights of The launch of two books: ‘Non-Stop India’ and ‘Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia’ 19/12/2011

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


4 thoughts on “Sidelights of The launch of two books: ‘Non-Stop India’ and ‘Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia’ 19/12/2011

  1. V Raghavan

    In the meeting at the launch of ‘Non-stop India’, there was some discussion on the word ‘jugaar’. I am quoting from the book: Stuck at a railway level crossing, the author posed a question “Well, why doesn’t someone do something about the build-up of traffic on both sides of the road?” The answer from an on-looker was “Arre, who does anything about anything in this country? Why are we Indians religious people? Because we know that this country only runs, because God runs it!” Jugaar loosely translates as muddling through. The author says it means to him ‘a talent for muddling through!’

    1. I don’t make such claims. If you wish to have a real good cup of coffee, this is the right time when the music season is on. The aroma of the beverage permeates all over the canteen space of the Music Academy .Rasikas of music and connoisseurs of coffee make a bee line to the counter.

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