There was no wine, no cheese. Yet it was a full house at the 600-seater Ansari Auditorium at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Author Arundhati Roy was in conversation with Prof Shohini Ghosh. Some had to be turned away.
In a two-hour-long talk, the essayist talked on the Maoist crisis, discussed Kashmir, and also brought up the new novel she is working on — in passing. Asked what she feels for the US President Barack Obama, Roy said, amidst laughter, “I try not to feel for him.”
The author began the afternoon with a selected reading from her new book, Listening to Grasshoppers — Field Notes on Democracy. During the question-answer session with the audience, she was sometimes witty, sometimes serious, occasionally passionate, but always engaging. The session ended with an applause. Roy was later mobbed for book signing. One foreigner wanted to know if she had any plans to speak in London soon. Another guest — a teacher at Sri Venkateswara College — was introduced to her as someone who just wrapped up a Phd on her. “I fear you will tell me something about myself which even I don’t know,” Roy quipped in her dazzling smile.