Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chennai Book fair & Charu Nivedita . . .

For the first time in my life (innum evlov naaluyya ippudiye solluveenga), went to the 32nd Chennai book Exhibition. Well, this is my first time because this is the first time I’m in Chennai during the expo. I have heard about it a lot and have read about it even more during my Coimbatore days, in Vikadan and Kumudam. Sujatha used to write about it every time it opens up. He will also give a list of books he bought.

So, the first time. Me and Prasanna (my colleague) started around 5:30 in the evening, and through a neck breaking traffic, reached the grounds around 6:15. I was virtually jumping to go inside, and as he came by, entered the expo. It was really a huge site, with books everywhere. All the stalls were neatly arranged, with people flocking every stall. Slowly, we started our search.

Prasanna was keen on buying ‘Naalaayira divya prabandam’ this time and after a small search, found it. I didn’t have any particular book in mind, and as I crossed the stalls, was looking in to the content and the people casually browsing the stalls.

Suddenly, as I was crossing a particular book stall (forgot the name), I noticed a very lean man with a thick beard like that of a sanyasi. He was looking in to a book and was telling something to his son (I presume), and I found the face very familiar. Immediately I recognized him, and he was ‘Vikramaadityan’, the rebel poet. I have read about him a lot (again courtesy Vikadan and Kumudam). Took out my mobile in a flash and photographed him while he was talking with someone.

Then, bought ‘Anbe Arule’ by Baraneedharan. I have read it even while it came as a series in Vikadan. Also, bought ‘Theeradha Vilayaattu Sayee’ by Ra Gnapathy. It came in kalki before many years, and it’s one of my most favorites.

Then, I noticed Uyirmai’s stall. My eyes fell right away on two people sitting and casually chatting at the entrance. One guy was eating ‘Kadalai’ and was watching the crowd, and the other guy was a bit seriously talking to this guy. The first guy’s ear ring and shoes attracted me the moment I saw him. He was none other than Charu Nivedita, the prominent writer. Now, I have read a lot about Charu in the internet, and also have read his ‘Konal pakkangal’ when it came in Kumudam. His style is unique and he has a kind of writing which makes you to read everything he writes. I still remember the Roald Dahl story he mentioned in Kumudam and the climax of it. I mean, this is the Charu I know. I got to know that he writes more serious stuff but have never read those. The other guy was Manushya Puthiran, another prominent new generation poet, who runs Uyirmmai publications and the Tamil literary, Uyirmmai.

And, back in Uyirmai, I bought ‘Enakku kuzhandaigalai pidikkadhu’ and approached Charu slowly. Reached him and gently mentioned to him about me and Prasanna, and slowly asked his autograph. Immediately he accepted and signed in the book. I also asked him to get manushya Putthiran’s autograph and he got it also. Then, as I was talking to him, he got up from his chair and was listening to me and spoke with me in a very gentle manner. As I bid adieu and was walking a few steps, suddenly remembered that I forgot to take a few snaps of Charu. I almost ran to him and expressed my wish to have a few snaps of him. He agreed for that also, and posed with me. You might notice a perplexed expression on my face. Well, that's because of his proximity.

I took two of his snaps while he was autographing his fans. It was an unforgettable experience, talking to one of my favorite writers and one of a very few talented, gifted literary geniuses walking around. He has a good knowledge on world cinema and world literature.

Then, went to Kaalachuvadu publications and bought ‘Nadandai Vaazhi cauvery’, a travel journal by Thi. Jaanakiraman.

Overall, it was a pleasing experience, and I will visit the book fair again this week. It’s a great thing to get associated with books. People in Chennai – go for the book fair. You might get yourselves face to face with Charu!


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms