Friday, September 11, 2009

Regional Shorts

Such a long gap, from the reading group! (is not good for anyone)

So the month's second reading session focussing on the theme of the month, 'Region' happened yesterday. The reading of the session had three readings: 'Poetry in the time of Terror', an innovative prose-poem piece by Robin Ngangom, a Manipuri Poet, Gulabi Talkies an interesting story by Kannada writer Vaidehi (and translated by Tejaswini Niranjana) and a story from Manik Bandhopadhyay titled the 'Ascetic'.

People: Sowmya, Bipin, Leonard, Shyam, Rajarishi, Prabhas and Viju

The session started off with discussing the Bengali story, 'Ascetic' whose motive Rajarishi traced it to the Vaishnava saint, Chiathanya Mahaprabhu. The motifs of leaving and return were discussed. Viju said the story reflected the prank twists of O'Henry stories. Rajarishi commented that the story was written as the counterpoint of another story of M. Bandhopadhyay called the 'Thief'.

Manik Bandhopadhyay's fights with Tagore and his ironical stories and his mocking of the Bhadralok were also discussed. The text was also deemed a male text.

Next in the line was 'Gulabi Talkies' a Kannada story by Vaidehi. The original story was written in a dialect of Kannada and the feministic overtones of the story were acknowledged first. The public-private spaces, the exposition of the altercations among the womenfolk, the marginalization of the women characters, the division between different kind of women of different classes, and the possibility of dissemination of articulatory spaces for women were discussed. The story also showed the emergence of early film viewing in the rural areas in much evocative detail. Sowmya commented that some parts of the story were used in introductory film texts.
Prabhas said how the talkies in the title might also signify the talking spaces enabled for the womenfolk due to the establishment of the talkies.

The third reading was a prose-poetic essay by Robin Ngangom, a Manipuri poet. His essay, detailing his position as a poet in times of terror, were strewn with poems he wrote and proved to be an interesting and innovative read.

The tone of the essay was discussed by Shyam and Viju. Shyam argued that the quoting of poets from other countries were ironical and was meant to show that the poet was intending it as a retort against the people who think all poets need to do is write poems of beautiful scenery and sentimental romance. Viju maintained that the quoting was meant to create a global lineage for the poet whose witnessing never stops. A poet in times of terror cannot but respond to what is happening around him/her.

The last paragraph of the essay which was meant to clear away the confusions proved to be totally against the whole essay thereby making the whole point of the essay, well, pointless.


Next Week
Friday , 18th
Video of a Dramatic Performance followed by a Presentation of his research work by Thongam Bipin.

The Week After (date not fixed)
Going to watch 'Quick Gun Murugan' or some other movie!

The theme of the next month (October)is tentatively decided to be 'Religion'. Since religion is such a vast topic, we are also searching for a subtopic under religion. Any comments on the topic should be discussed on our mailing list. It is working! Just select 'reply all' to any of our mailing list mails to make it active.

Please comment below the views on the current topic. Comments on the reading group should go to the mailing list.


P.S. Leonard (Lenny) is willing to be the co-writer for the blog. Yayness! Welcoming Lenny aboard!!!