Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book readings are basically elite affairs, especially in Delhi, which are attended by a particular set of people, who know each others, and who do not care a damn about the others. But I had to attend this one, the release of Vijay Nambisan’s book of poems, ‘First Infinities’.

Vijay was one of the early people who read the pomes of my collection, ‘Pages from an Unfinished Autobiography’; perhaps he was the only person who read the poems. He gave me some invaluable insight. First, he asked me to wait for another year before deciding to publish the book, and to work on the poems. Second, he asked me to remove some of the poems which did not work at all.

I am not sure how much I could work on the poems, but I listened to him and waited for not one, but three years. The last time I saw him was in 2010, I think, in Pune.

So, I had to go, to say hello to him, to give a copy of my book, to cheer for him, and also to meet Kavery Nambisan, the most genuine person as an author I have ever met.

The event was at The Toddy Shop, the fancy Kerala-themed joint in Hauz Khas, where the cheapest beer costs more than Rs 500, -- you get the idea. I had a beer and bought a copy of the book, which was not that expensive.

It was all worth it, when Vijay started to read his poems, not by looking at the book, but from his memory. What a memory. He remembers when he wrote the poems and he remembers the poem in its entirety, to recite flawlessly, in front of a gaping audience.

This is genius.

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