The first, Devan Memorial Lecture delivered by Dr.Gowri Ramnarayan on the 8th. captivated the audience throughout the one hour she spoke on Kalki –his ideas and ideologies. She took us on a journey through Kalki’s life and his works which captured and touched the hearts of Tamil readers. She interspersed her talk with a few songs and quotes from the author’s works which were mostly of historical nature.
Prior to the meeting even as the members were absorbed in having high tea that was being served, suddenly their attention was diverted towards the reception with people screaming and shouting. One of the members who came up by the elevator got out by drawing open the grill door and had the presence of mind to jump back into the elevator when he found the glass door in front didn’t open and the elevator was suddenly on its slow descent as someone on the ground floor pressed the button. The gentleman was totally rattled and we were too scared even to imagine the consequences if he hadn’t the presence of mind to jump back into the Lift.
We all felt it was high time the director of the Centre showed some concern and ensured safety of people using the Lift which appears fit to carry goods and not humans.
The second event was launch of Kalki’s book, ‘Sivakamiyin Sapatham’ translated by Pavithra Srinivasan and published by Helios Books. Mr.Ashokamitran, renowned Tamil literary author who was the chief guest took us back to the days of Kalki’s writings in the Tamil magazine, Anandavikatan and his starting of the magazine Kalki and spoke about reactions of his contemporaries to his works. In a lighter vein he said while answering a question from the audience that English translations unlike original writings in English did not find favour with international readers as his experience had proved.
n.meera raghavendra rao