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In the web of words


IT WAS an evening of erudition, where the word came up trumps. Though the occasion was the release of two books by Stellar, an imprint of Om Books International, it was chief guest Kapila Vatsyayan's scholarly bytes that set the tone. Tracing the relationship between the oral and written word, Kapila called them complementary to each other.

"We have a history from shruti to smriti to manuscripts, to the printed text, but the appearance of one has not been at the cost of the other". She appealed to the publishing industry to publish the huge corpus of manuscripts waiting to see the light of the day. Rejecting the notion that visual images would take over the word, noted filmmaker Muzaffar Ali remarked that before creating visual images, the words have to be taken to the heart. "When I was making Umrao Jaan, I asked somebody to record the words on a tape recorder.

I listened to it over and over again until the words evolved into images in my heart." Ali lamented that the English language has limited our stimulation process. "English is not our cultural experience, it is just our educational and intellectual experience."However, the stimulus of words was quickly allowed to be slipped into wine, as the publisher seemed unsure of what he wanted - a page 3 stupor or a scholarly expositio

New authors


As for the wordsmiths of the evening, Dhruva Chak and Anjan Ray, both have dared to look beyond their educational experience into a new world. Dhruva, an alumnus of La Martinere College, Lucknow and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has penned a semi-autobiographical account in "Chatterjee Babu His Life and Lies". Of the novel, which has been called a scintillating parody, Dhruva said, "The book works at two levels. One is a semi-autobiographical account capturing snapshots of the five cities where I have studied and worked in the last three decades. The second is a fictional account coming out of my experience working in the corporate sector in Kolkata, detailing how babudom has impeded the growth of the corporate sector in the city."

The man who has headed GATI, one of India's premier cargo companies, assures that though Chatterjee Babu is a fictional character, he exists among us.

Through "Looking Beyond", Anjan Ray, a product of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and holder of a doctorate in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, is peeping into the spooky corners around us, bonding tales out of supernatural experiences. "We say that ghosts and spirits do not exist, but do ghosts really know this?"

ANUJ KUMAR

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