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HTKGAF 2018: Explore Mumbai’s soul through celebrated writer’s new book

Author Jayant Kaikini shared memories of how Mumbai became a liberating force for him, a bazaar that is informal, intimate and intense

bhopal Updated: Feb 09, 2018 23:38 IST
Madhusree Ghosh
Madhusree Ghosh
Hindustan Times
HTKGAF 2018,No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories,Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
Author Jayant Kaikini at Kala Ghoda on Friday.(Supreet Sapkal/HT)

“Why do my stories revolve around Mumbai? Because I never felt lonely here. From the moment I entered the city in 1977,” said author Jayant Kaikini, 63, discussing his latest book, No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories, at the David Sassoon Library gardens on Friday.

Author Indira Chandrasekhar was in conversation with him as they discussed this great. lumbering, energetic and energy-draining city, Tejaswini Niranjana’s English translation of the work, readers, reading and their shared love of literature.

“Bombay has been an enigma to me. I came from Gokarna, which is a temple city. I came to a city where work is worship from a city where worship is work,” Kaikini said. “This city liberated me. There’s a minimalistic living, there is a collective mind here.”

He shared memories of how the city became a liberating force for him, a bazaar that is informal, intimate and intense.

“Any writer lives intensely. There has to be a society in a man. It has to be a part of your subconscious. The stories come from there,” he said.

Kaikini went on to read a small passage from the title story, about two lovers who are also orphans and how their world shatters as they draft their wedding card. Funny and poignant at the same time, it touched the audience.

Does the story have a happy ending, Chandrasekhar asked. “Each story has its life and its end. I usually don’t think about how to end a story; it happens organically,” Kaikini said.

Aditya Sharma, 40, a freelance writer from Sion, said the event was the highlight of the festival for him. “I’ve read many of his books and I’m an ardent fan,” he added. “It’s been so rewarding and absorbing to be here.”

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 23:38 IST