Final day events of Singapore Writers Festival

swf 2017Today is the last day of SWF. We couldn’t attend any family sessions as we had other appointments. Later we had a panel discussion ‘Challenging conventions in Tamil Literature‘ with S. Ramakrishnan and two other Singaporean writers Shanawaz and Jeyanti Sankar. Shanawas is good in story telling. This is the first time I had a chance to listen to Jeyanti Sankar.


From my perspective, S.Ra participated and ran the show. I was so specific about one of the questions raised, which tried to portray as Thirukural has expired backward ane expired concepts. I thought when a Tamilian can come to this kind of conclusion. We have been discussed in the past, about the damages of explanations given to Thirukural, political agenda of Thirukural without knowing its background. This question justifies as it is asked from feminism context. I like the reply from Jeyanti (I think so), Thirukural has to be explained in latest context. Kannan raised his hand for mic. I stopped him as usual.

We had 2 hours of break. We had a late but tasty lunch with 4 chat items!

Later, we joined in our final session for Tamil ‘Literary Ethics: The Writer vs the Work‘, which is the exclusive speech by S. Ra moderated by Sidharthan Maunaguru. It was spontaneous delivery with a fine blend of wits and quotes.

SWF Aram - Literary Ethics

SWF Aram – Literary Ethics

One of the point made by him was, Tamil is the one & only language, which has provided two females who implemented Aram – Kannaki and Manimegalai. Whats so important  about females talking about Aram? He justifies that, Aram is always dictated (Is it the right word?) by males. But females are the ones on the ground who implement it, by introducing virtue to their kids. But they were never appreciated for this.

Moving males and females aside, why not government capture the implementing power of aram?

Can time’s sickle influence Aram?

Is there any Aram that can not be changed?

The speech touched upon these concepts before audience took part in the discussion.

During this debate, Kannan wanted to sit in the front (or, he wanted to sit away from me). he requested for the mic and started questioning about Aram. I was terribly worried, as he may embarrass the gathering, which was luckily tolerated and managed by the author. He gave the boy a use-case. When someone has two pencils, lending one to others is Aram. What will happen when you have only one pencil? That is how complexity of Aram (அறச் சிக்கல்) arises.

While SWF chooses Aram as its theme this year, it wraps up itself leaving the question to us.

The end

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A fine evening with author S Ramakrishnan

swf 2017I couldn’t attend any further SWF sessions after City of ghosts – screening , as I had other official commitments. Today is important, as the festival would be over by tomorrow. I went with my family as my wife was interested in ‘Surviving Parenthood‘ scheduled at 11:30.

Kannan and I went first to attend ‘Shape a Story with your Body‘ by R Chandran and Amy J Cheng. It included a bit of stretching and dancing. Later kids morphed themselves as seed, plant and trees. I took part in these activities as well – why not, I’m also a kid for my mom!

Shape a Story with your Body

Shape a Story with your Body

Later mother and son went to ‘Surviving Parenthood‘. Kannan came out with crabs and Pig. No No. They are craft items. Singapore encourages (in a way compel) its Citizens to marry and have kids. I could see these kind of family sessions in a nice environment as a way to support Government’s interest of family life. I couldn’t attend this session, not because of I’m very good parent already, I had to look after my 2 year old kid. We had a long walk (really long.. we walked for 60+ minutes), to get packed lunch.


Surviving Parenthood

Later in the afternoon Kannan and I went to ‘எழுதுவதா வேண்டாமா? இளம் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளரின் குழப்பம்’, a panel discussion by young Singapore Writers Elancharan GunasekaranAshwinii SelvarajGayathiri Ilango and Harini V moderated by S. Ramakrishnan. As usual Kannan was so furious at me for not allowing him to question the panel. It was a discussion between young Singaporean writers and a Senior Tamil writer. Whether there is content or not, controversy exist!

எழுதுவதா வேண்டாமா? இளம் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளரின் குழப்பம்

எழுதுவதா வேண்டாமா? இளம் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளரின் குழப்பம்

We attended ‘The Indomitable Irishry: Chronicling Ireland Through The Decades‘ by Rob Doyle, Gerald Dawe and Eilis Ni Dhuibhne (Éilís Ní Dhuibhne). Ireland was the country of focus in SWF, hence it is unfair not to attend any related sessions. I’m not aware of the Irish literature anyway. I could understand least part of the discussion only. Later I met Rob Doyle in the book shop during the Book signing.

The Indomitable Irishry: Chronicling Ireland Through The Decades

The Indomitable Irishry: Chronicling Ireland Through The Decades

We had a long, interactive discussion in offline later with S. Ramakrishnan at Esplanade. Barani coordinated this meeting and came up with this opportunity to Indian expats like me. It was an important session of my own private interest.

A fine evening

A fine evening

I’ve read the following couple of short stories collection by S. Ramakrishnan.

I purchased Desantri, which I forgot to bring when I moved from Chennai to Singapore. I haven’t read him in detail, especially the novels which is my interest. Jeyamohan occupies most of my table space with his Venmurasu. I’d added other works of S. Ra in this SWF. I’d be blogging my reading experiences one by one.

Tomorrow would be the last day of the event.

See you soon.


City of ghosts – screening

swf 2017I rushed back to SWF in the evening. I thought I can get a ticket for City of ghosts. After bustling around the ticket corner, I was able to get one, finally. It was a full house show!

This documentary talks about Raqqa, a city in Syria located in the bank of a river. It starts with peoples’ agitation against the ruling government. An opportunistic extremists group takes advantage of the fall of the Government, which later transforms itself as the Islamic State.

This movie talks in the perspective of anti-ISIS citizens of Syria from Raqqa. How they launched an online campaign to expose the atrocities to the world. Their efforts, losses are portrayed as a pinch of salt.

When they exposed ISIS to the world in its early days, world did not pay attention. Later they realize the risk of this group. As I hear this dialog in this movie, I recalled about India’s global effort to expose Pakistan. Even now, I could see global media, including Straits times, mention them as militants not terrorists!

Still, ‘the nation wants to know’ how an extremism is nourished by global Muslims, though it is clear that ISIS is not fighting or Islam, but for their own benefit. Countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia lost their citizens (men & women) to this group. What makes them to nod their head?



Story reading sessions at Singapore Writers Festival

swf 2017Kannan and I went to Singapore Writers Festival today at the Arts house, here in Singapore. In the previous year, I had attended this event in 2015, in which I had a chance to listen to a panel discussion that involves novelist Jeyamohan and lyricist Na Muthukumar. (It was first and last time meeting Na. Mu)


swf 2015

This time I was not sure about the experience, as I bring Kannan as well. Unfortunately events for kids in Tamil is comparatively lesser. It is pretty much difficult for him to stay muted, while his father was listening to stupid Tamil literature or philosophy!

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We attended the story reading session ‘Tales from Moominvalley’. Kannan had a chance to listen to Paula Parviainen, Ambassador of the Embassy of Finland in Singapore, as she reads her favourite Moomin tale. We have been invited by the moomin doll in the Book Shop. Kannan was not so involved in the reading session but he was so interested in the activities. He was interested in getting moomin story books. I suggested him to try at library first. I promised him that I’ll buy for him if he likes it.

Photo: Moving Moomin photo by SWF Instagram

Photo: Moving Moomin photo by SWF Instagram

After a short break, we attended a book launch function New Titles by Epigram Books featuring Jennani Durai and Shelly Bryant, Singapore based fiction writers. Books of Singapore based Authors It was not for kids, so I hooded Kannan with a Tinkle comics, to save myself from his teasing after he lost his patience. We got a science fiction Launch Pad in this event. Once the attendees started throwing questions to authors, Kannan was so desperate to take part as well. I controlled him by saying it may not be the right session.

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After another short break, we had a book launch session – Aiden Finds A Way– a pleasant story reading session by Leila Boukarim and illustrator Barbara Moxham. Kannan sat in the front row unlike me, yawning badly in the 3rd row. No one to control him, so he started questioning and conversing with the author and illustrator. I was so surprised to see, they engaged him so well. We got two of their publications Aiden Finds A Way and All too much for Oliver.

Leila Boukarim and illustrator Barbara Moxham in a story telling session. Picure (c) SWF official instragram

Leila Boukarim and illustrator Barbara Moxham in a story telling session. Picure (c) SWF official instragram

Later we had an interesting and long conversation about the event on our way back.

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