Friday, July 28, 2006
Malls as literary outlets
Malls are cropping up all over Bangalore. Huge crowds gawking at window displays, teenagers hanging out, hardly places to reflect in calm solitude. But it can be done. Well, not exactly in tranquil surroundings and certainly not in a totally reflective mood.
Some years ago, several of us women writers from Bangalore got to know each other through our published articles. Friendship blossomed and we decided to call ourselves 'Inklinks'. We come from different religious and linguistic communities. There are teachers, professional counselors, a doctor and a painter among us.
Cubbon Park was a great place to club an outing with literary criticism, until the ants took a fancy to Dr. Eva Bell's yummy cakes. They bit poor Eva, perhaps hoping she would bring bigger helpings for them next time. There we are in Cubbon Park. From left to right, Nalini, Dr. Eva Bell, Vathsala, Malathi, and Prema. I took the pic so you see my bag in the foreground. Other members, Lakshmi, Anuradha, Khurshid, and Kamini Williams aren't in the picture, but are very much part of the group.
We disappointed the fire ants of Cubbon Park by supporting Dr. Eva and seeking a safer place. We were pretty skeptical when Nalini and Malathi proposed a centrally located mall. But the rooftop food court proved to be a calm place during slack hours.
We met yesterday, shopped, caught up on gossip, ate waffles and sandwiches, downed strong filter coffee and... Yes, we discussed writing and stuff also.
We have many short stories ready and are serious about bringing out a joint collection. We've received much encouragement from the Times of India folks, who aired a short clip of one of our meetings on their national news channel and published an article about us in their pages.