Ladies compartment, 8.47 local: Book release function and review

Sometime early last month, Mumbai experienced a few days of gloomy, cloudy, rather funny weather.Though this type of weather was quite uncharacteristic for Mumbai, it was  typically London weather. And suddenly I was remembering and missing my days in London. On a whim, I put a status update on my Facebook wall about missing London, which elicited some responses. One of the responses I got was this:

You really miss England, don’t you? Go back, Sudha. Steep yourself in the legends and the history, touch the old walls and let them flow up your finger-tips into your heart, let the lakes and the streams and the little sudden springs soak into your soul, let the 40 shades of green fill your eyes and mind, let the cathedrals and the quaint corners whisper forgotten secrets and fervent prayers to you. Then come back home again.

As I read these beautiful lines, I did “travel” back to England, experience all that it said I should and came back “home” rejuvenated. And excited. Excited, because these lines had been written and posted by Suma Narayan, whose first book I had agreed to review. If these lines were a preview of what Suma’s writing would be like, I knew that the book would be a good read.

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A competition, two surprises and a Sunday

Last Sunday, instead of waking up late and pottering about the house the whole day doing that and this, I did something different. I co-judged the city-level Classmate Ideas for India 2010 competition held in Mumbai.

An initiative of the ITC as part of its centenary celebrations, the Classmate Ideas for India 2010 competition has youth in the 14–21 years category present their ideas for the “betterment of India”. These ideas are in the fields of Science and Technology; Environment Protection; Education for All; Encouraging Social and Religious Tolerance; Infrastructure for a Better Tomorrow; and Emerging India.

The first round of the competition saw the competition receiving over 60,000 ideas from all over India. These ideas were then evaluated on the basis of originality, feasibility, practicality, and impact factor and then whittled down to 500 ideas equally divided over 10 cities and their surrounding regions. For example, the Mumbai Idea Presentation had entries from Maharashtra and Goa. Each city’s Idea Presentation would pick out a winner for the National Finals to be held later this year in December. The entire event is being managed by KrayOn, an event management company for kids and youth events. They were the ones who contacted me to judge the Mumbai event.

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