Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Look into the future

On June 29 at Landmark, Aniket Jaaware will read from his collection of short stories Neon Fish in Dark Water. Dibyajyoti Sarma talks to the author before the launch

Book readings are not very popular cultural events, more so in Pune. Therefore, when an event like this turns up, it’s very hard not to recommend it to people.
The destination this week is Landmark, Moledina Road -- one of the new swanky bookshops where Open Space Talking Poetry is organising a book reading by Aniket Jaaware from his new collection of short stories Neon Fish in Dark Water. The event is scheduled for Friday, June 29 from 5.30 to 8 pm, which will be followed by an informal interaction with the author.
Open Space Talking Poetry has been promoting reading habits, especially poetry in the city for a long time now. However, this is one of the first instances where Talking Poetry is focussing on prose, that too creative writing.
Renu Iyer of Open Space says, "The last book reading event that Open Space had organised was when Meher Pestonji came to town for Sadak Chhaap. That was one-and-a-half years back. We want the book reading culture to grow and we want all to participate."
Neon Fish in Dark Water is a book written by the HOD of English, University of Pune. If you thought university professors were boring and could write only heavy-duty academic stuff, you are in for a pleasant surprise! Jaaware’s book is anything but academic. The surrealistic title explains it all.
Published by Mapin, the book is a collection of short stories set in the future, in 2050. Within this urban locale, the author introduces us to a host of characters busy in their own existence. “This is a work of fiction,” says Jaaware, “Yet, some readers may be disappointed with the stories, since there’s no exploration of psychology of the characters. I have described them from the outside, as observations.”
But the book is not only a collection of short stories; it is complemented by graphic art by the author himself. “These are abstract art,” explains Jaaware. “I included them in the book because they go very well with the narrative.”
And stories set in 2050? Sounds like a science fiction. “There may be an element of it, but the stories are not science fiction per se.” But they are contemporary, and very modern, exemplified by the cover of the book, with a cluster of computer monitors. “They are not computers, they are fishes,” says the author.
Make sure you are there at Landmark on Friday to soak into a world of words and stories.

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