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HTKGAF 2018: Booked! Mumbai writer’s work transports audience to a fictional village

As he read, Kiran Nagarkar transported the audience to the fictional village his novel is set in

mumbai Updated: Feb 10, 2018 22:37 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
HTKGAF 2018,Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,Jasoda
Kiran Nagarkar at the launch of his book Jasoda at the David Sassoon Library gardens on Saturday. (Hemanshi Kamani/HT)

A packed audience settled in at the David Sassoon Library gardens on Saturday to hear Kiran Nagarkar discuss and read from his new book, Jasoda.

As he read, Nagarkar transported the audience to the fictional village his novel is set in, and managed to send out a clear message against khap panchayats and regressive societies.

“To think that the khap system is limited to certain parts of the country is ignorance. What khaps do to women also reflects on the men,” said Nagarkar, in conversation with poet and novelist Sampurna Chattarji at the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

His book’s prologue offered the audience a glimpse into its protagonist, including her villainous side.

“You offer such horrific details of the life of the protagonist, but your writing remains matter-of-fact. Any particular reason?” asked Chattarji, to which Nagarkar replied, “When the events are so horrific, I see no reason to make them sound more horrendous. I believe in telling a story the way it is.”

After the talk, a queue formed to buy copies of Jasoda and have them signed by the author.

“Nagarkar’s writing has always shown the darkest parts of our society, in the form of black comedy, and what I love about his writing is that he manages to introduce a comic side into the darkest of situations without becoming offensive. I’m a fan,” said Maneesh Suchak, 48, a businessman and Colaba resident.

Another enthusiastic reader couldn’t contain her excitement over meeting Nagarkar in person. “I’ve carried four of his books with me, and I hope he will sign all of them for me today,” said Sara Ahmed, 27, a student from Goregaon.

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 22:37 IST