Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, January 28, 2013

A Life Apart – book release at JLF


January 28, 2013: Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 concluded today. I dropped into the Writer’s Ball dinner which is a farewell dinner organized at the Kesar Kyari in Amer Fort
I met British writer Aminatta Forna (picture) who released my mother's book earlier during the day at the Amer Fort.
Ira Pande, Urvashi Butalia and Namita Gokhale were very happy with the turnout in the last session of the Literature Festival which was the launch of my mother Late Dr Prabha Khaitan’s book - A Life Apart - which is an English translation of her original work in Hindi Anya se Ananya. Ira Pande has translated it to English.
The release function of the book, an autobiographical account, had a robust presence. Sharmila Tagore and British writer, Aminatta Forna, made a special appearance to release the book adding to the all-women effort. Writer Ambai (C S Lakshmi) was also present along with publisher Urvashi Butalia of Zubaan, Namita Gokhale, Director of the Festival, and Ira Pande.
Urvashi Butalia, sharing her feelings with the audience, said the autobiographical account of Late Dr Prabha Khaitan was something straight from the heart. Namita Gokhale said that it was one of the most honest autobiographies. Ira Pande said that the autobiographical narrative covered all shades of her life’s ordeals i.e., from the beautiful to the ugly.
Others, like Ambai, felt a resonance of her own life with the autobiographical accounts of my mother, as did Sharmila Tagore, who had started reading it.
I feel the English translation of my mother’s autobiography was long due and with the English version many women across India and beyond would come to know the struggles of a self-made lady in India and the social backdrop that shapes our opinion about women.
It turned out to be an event about a woman, by women and largely for the women. The overwhelming number of women in the audience seemed to instantly connect with her life as a woman. I thank everyone for their support.
ess bee

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