Monday, November 13, 2017

Poetry Session — Oct 13, 2017

The poetry attendance was sparse, but what was remarkable was the 4 to 1 ratio of men to women in the attendance at CYC, which became 5 to 2 when Joe and KumKum from Arlington, MA, were added as virtual attendees with their recorded voice files sent via Dropbox.


The choice of poets was all modern. Therefore penetrating the meaning posed a challenge to the readers and listeners, but that is just as well. For it makes one ponder the words of the poet, recite it aloud to discover what may be hidden in the sonority, and examine the possibilities. As Ashbery explains, obscurity can convey more in the same number of words than crystal clarity can.

Priya and Ankush

As before Priya was responsible for gathering the readers and reporting on the session. The readers responded and pictures of the occasion testify to the draw of poetry.

Sunil, Thommo, Sugandhi, Priya, Ankush, Hemjit (seated)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Julian Barnes — Sense of an Ending Sep 21, 2017

Julian Barnes is the author of the 2011 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Sense of an Ending. It is an intriguing novel with an ending that many of our readers found unsatisfactory, like the ending of a mystery novel which the author deliberately wishes to leave unresolved.


It is also a novel that speculates a great deal on philosophical matters, starting with Albert Camus’ fundamental question: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” That schoolboys in senior classes are not only seized of such questions, but also incisively dissect matters of memory and history is credit to the school system.


Adrian Finn is the precocious youngster whom the schoolmasters recognise as scholarship material from the start. Tony Webster, though not as bright, becomes his friend and they have a fateful shared relationship with the same girl, Veronica. Tony gets off unscathed, but Adrian who gets second dibs ends up a suicide; we never learn why, but are encouraged to surmise by Veronica who repeatedly says about Tony that he never ‘gets it’. Neither do we readers, in spite of the algebraic relationships Adrain leaves behind as cryptic clues.

Cake for Priya's Birthday!
An alluring feature of Barnes’ writing are the numerous allusions to the poems of Philip Larkin, scattered throughout. Joe and KumKum saw the film of the novel, but it deviates so widely toward the end that it carries the sense of a different ending, made more palatable to the reader by the director, Ritesh Batra, who made his debut with The Lunchbox in 2013.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Poetry Session – August 4, 2017

Pamela, Ankush
The poetry session began with a surprise phone call from Kumkum in Boston, wishing the group a great session. She was sad she could not participate and her health issues did not permit her to submit poems in the Dropbox via a voice file, as Joe managed.

Onion Bhajjis for refreshment

Priya took the notes for this post and administered the session, and Hemjit contributed many of the live pictures of the readers during the sessions. Ankush showed up having missed the previous one on Pnin for family reasons. Onion fritters, tea and coffee were served.


Thommo informed the members that the tea and onion bhajis would be his treat for his belated birthday, which he shares with George Bernard Shaw! Saras suggested that KRG should have a birthday list of its members and we could celebrate birthdays at the reading sessions. Pamela made a note of the birthdays of members present – many of whom share theirs with literary personalities: Shoba with Shakespeare, Thommo with GBS, Hemjit with Muhammad Ali, but Priya would like to hide hers for it’s an infamous date in modern times.

Thommo, Priya, Zakia, Pamela, Saras, Ankush, &  Hemjit (seated)