Navigating Literature: A Session On A Waterway

Navigating Literature: A Session On A Waterway
For the first time in India, and perhaps anywhere in the world, a literary session was held during a sail. A session of Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet (TSKLM) 2016 was organised aboard the âRivieraâ on the Hooghly on a chilly evening. Amitav Ghosh spoke about the âSea, River and Floodâ, while the barge sailed on the river and went under the fully lit Howrah Bridge, while the waxing moon shone brightly in the smoggy sky of winter.

Malavika Banerjee, director of TSKLM, was the brainchild of the event. She said, âI have read every word of Amitav Ghosh and know the importance of water in his works. So I had the dream of doing this session when Flood of Fire came out, and finally realised it this time.â 

I also asked Ghosh to comment about the predominant element of water in his works. âWater has played a very important part in all my books, but it was not by design. Somehow it entered in all my books in different ways. When I look back on it, I think it is part of a Bengali cultural heritage â river novels, river films â all have been so important in our lives. It is part of our landscape which works its way into oneâs head. I can certainly say that the films of Satyajit Ray had a lot to do with it. I think he filmed water so beautifully â the way he films little ponds pukur.â Ghosh described the eventâs setting as âunique and intimateâ. 


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