On Power Pens
Five-star hotels or quaint clubs are passe for book launches in the capital. The way to show real power is to have one in its corridors—7 RCR, the Rashtrapati Bhavan or the vice-president’s residence. This of course is not for all authors, only the high and mighty—former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, media moghul and Zee TV supremo Subhash Chandra and books by top bureaucrats or ministers. In the Rashtrapati Bhavan it’s either at the elegant Durbar Hall or the more intimate Yellow Room. In President Pranab Mukherjee’s reign, the functions here have shot up. At the PM’s residence on Race Course Road, which are more rare, it’s in Panchavati, a modest hall good for about 200 people. As for the eats, President Mukjerjee’s spread sometimes has fried fish but at RCR it’s only veggie fare.
Those Who Won
Anuradha Roy’s brilliant book Sleeping On Jupiter has won the $50,000 DSC Prize, the biggest in India. She had tough competition from Neel Mukherjee’s Booker-nominated The Lives of Others, Raj Kamal Jha’s She Will Build Him A City and K.R. Meera’s The Hangwoman. Poet and novelist from Nagaland Easterine Kire has won The Hindu Prize for her novel When The River Sleeps, about a hunter searching for the holy grail which will give him super powers. Kire is also the first woman to win the award, who beat world bestsellers like Amitav Ghosh’s Flood of Fire and Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad. And veteran publisher, Pramod Kapoor of Roli Books, has been appointed the Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the French president. Congratulations to all.