Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring is in the Air - Literarily!

You can feel it in the air. You can hear it in the chirps of the birds. You can see it bloom on the trees. It's here. Spring is here!

To celebrate this joyous time of new beginnings, Penguin India is holding 10 days of events at India Habitat Center aptly titled Spring Fever 2012. Celebrating 25 years, this is a special year for Penguin India and they are going ahead guns-a-blazing interacting with book lovers and giving back to the community by holding events throughout the year.

Photo Courtesy - Penguin India

Photo Courtesy - Penguin India 
March 16th 2012 was the first day of this literary event of book readings, talks with authors, music performances, and fun activities. The inaugural event was a rather interesting talk with Vikram Seth about his poetic new book The Rivered Earth. Mr. Seth came across as a versatile personality as he explained his love for words and the influence and importance of music in his life. There was a certain Faayyer (Fire) (Sorry! bit of an inside joke. You had to be there to understand this) in the way he spoke and interacted with the audience. Prepared with projected slides and musical intermissions, the talk was a great insight into the mind of a writer and probably the most interesting and fun book talk I’ve been to so far.

Photo Courtesy - Penguin India 
While a crowd gathered afterwards to get their favourite Vikram Seth book signed by the author (and the poor chap was humbly signing a good 45 minutes afterwards as well), I made my way to the cozy little reception put up by Penguin India where one could Wine, Dine (snacks), and listen to some wonderful live music.

Events like Spring Fever are a beacon of hope. Having arrived a good 30 minutes late, thanks to the Delhi traffic, the Amphitheater had no place to sit, and this interest in literature is a good sign that the battle against the idiot box (which mind you I adore as well) is not completely lost.

Have a read of the schedule below; you’ll see Anupam Kher in it and the lovely Yana Gupta. Gulzar will be there and so will Shashi Tharoor. You can participate in a Movie Quiz or if you are a closet writer, it's time to present your next big breakthrough writing to Penguin to maybe get published.

My only disappointment, I didn't spot the now almost iconic Penguin Car. Soon... I hope!

A few tips for the event;

Penguin India has put up an "Open Air Library" which can be visited from 16th March till 25 March 2012 from 11:00 am till 7:00 pm at the Amphitheater, India Habitat Center.

Get to the special events early. All the evening events begin at 7:00 pm, so if you want good seats, make sure you get there by 6:15-6:30 pm.

Penguin India has been nice enough to put up a big screen just outside the Amphitheater. Like us, if you are late, you can always view the event on that.

Check out the Penguin India collectables and merchandise which are a nice little touch to owning your favourite literary works in the unique form of a diary or a mug or postcards. Ask Vikram Seth, he was drinking out of A Suitable Mug during the talk :-)

Most of the events are open for everyone with prior or on the spot registration. Follow @PenguinIndia on Twitter or on Facebook for more details on how to register.

If you are reading this post after the event has culminated, fear not, Penguin India is having numerous events throughout the country around the year.

Spring Fever is an annual event, so just keep in touch with Penguin India for dates for next year, if you missed out this year.