Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sharanya's Launch at Indie Scene Cafe

There's been a lot going on this weekend. and I'm only just getting round to blogging it!

First Sharanya had a do at the Indie Scene Cafe Fiday night to launch her prety chapbook, Iyari. The event was supposed to start at 7 p.m. but it was a total nightmare to get down there with all the jams and it was after 8 when I arrived ... and that after running from the top of Bukit Bintang because I couldn't stand any more crawling in traffic.

Luckily (for me!) the start of the reading was delayed by the carolling "Santarinas" in the foyer of Piccolo Galleria. Sharanya had got a great crowd of friends there, and the atmosphere was just so warm and supportive. Even before anyone began to read, I was glad I had got my lazy self out of the house.

Sharanya has posted everyone's biodatas on her blog, so please go there for more information on her invited "talents". But here follows the pics I took.

Sharanya looked gorgeous in a black sari with gold trim and with big white roses in her hair. (She had also grown a few inches thanks to her platform shoes!) She did her job as host very well indeed - the open mic readings falling between her own readings. it was very special to hear her read poems that I've only seen on the page before.

Hafiz performed a beautiful song called Dengarkanlah (Please Listen) with lyrics by Nizam Zakaria (below). (You can download a demo version of the song here.) I didn't snap Hafiz because I was busy eating pizza!

Roy read a piece about being stopped at a police road block when neither he or his friend had a valid driver's license and ... er ... coming to an arrangement with a policeman.

Datuk Shan and Faridah Manaf did a nice little duet with a poem they had bounced back and forward by e-mail the night before.

Tshiung Han See read his poems ...

... and Priya K read a short piece ...

Nicholas Wong is distressingly talented for one so young (17) and has already won awards for his writing and had his poetry published. He's off to Columbia University in September to read Comparative Literature and Creative Writing.

Another very talented young man ... known simply as KG! His cousin also read a piece.

Somewhere in there too was me. Sharanya introduced me as the matriach of the local writing scene. Aiyoh, that sounds very scary!

I read a short short about an old couple warring over a dining chair that ends up abandoned and ruined in the garden. I wrote it some months ago and still haven't got polished to the point where I'd feel happy sending it out. Maybe after this I'll revise it again.

Thanks to Sharanya for inviting me and putting such an enjoyable evening together. Thanks too to Jasmine and Nicky for making this excellent little venue available to us. Indie Scene Cafe closes at the end of the month. How nice it would be to have a more permananent home for it ...


lil ms d said...

i had surgery... uuuwaaaaa!!! cnt believe i'm spending xmas in bed alone. sob. i am also bored and way behind work!

bibliobibuli said...

i wish i could cheer you up, ms d ... have an idea ...

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Thanks for blogging this, Sharon! :)

Am tremendously encouraged by the great crowd the other night, most of whom were people I hadn't met before! A crowd that came together without any publicity from Klue or Kakiseni, at that! I counted 40-something heads. The best part was how patient they were, waiting for the carols to end. Am very touched and thrilled.

Could you please email me the other pix and video you took of me (are you going to put that on Youtube, btw?)? Tnx!

Merry Xmas! :)

lil ms d said...


what happened with the elarti launch?

god the meds are driving me nuts. i'll be asleep, really asleep for a good 3 hours and then i'll be up and perky for another, then i zone out again. should be good by wed...

your blog has another purpose too :) cheers the ailing at home hehe

bibliobibuli said...

sharanya - will send you all the pics. the video didn't turn out well though - can't hear your words at all! we must redo it one of these days.

ms d - am going to put it up but didn't have time yesterday. my friend lye whisked me away for a big christmas makan.

Chet said...

Why got no picture of the matriarch, wan?

bibliobibuli said...

forgot to snap myself. don wanna snap myself. no-one else snap me. all eyes on sharanya.

Chet said...

I got one of you, taken when we were at KLPac. But I won't post it. I dowanna get killed on Christmas Day.

bibliobibuli said...

don wan don like pics of me. unless they look like someone else. but you can post the klpac one if you like.

hope you are having a good christmas, chet. see you soon.

Sina said...

:/ Sharanya is well beyond her years. A little precocious maybe, but in a good way. I thought it was a very well-done event, although they should have considered the carolling that night. Most of the readings were very enjoyable. Particularly some of the younger voices -- Nicholas Wong (who will get better at performing, I hope) and Priya K (very strong voice). I was a bit disturbed by KG. I heard him read a poem on his first anal sex experience in La Bodega a few months back, and his style has changed in a strange way. Methinks he reads too much Sharanya. Even copied one of her titles in a pretty flagrant imitation. Hmm... Anyway!! We need more young voices and less of the same old, although originality is always a plus point!

bibliobibuli said...

precocious? i certainly used that word about sharanya when i first met her at 15 and when i put her first story in the silverfish collection i was editing when she was 17. i marvel at how quickly she's maturing and know that she is definitely someone to watch out for in future.

both nic and KG are just 17 years old - so growing as people as well as writers. both undoubtedly with a lot of promise. it was nic's first time reading his work in public - scary stuff and something he couldn't even imagine doing a few days ago.

it strikes me that writers and poets might need to be helped in the performance aspect. malika booker's workshop was helpful to those that attended. and maybe some of the folks who do this well could step forward and help others to become more confident. live literature is really taking off and it is such a good first step for writers getting their words out into the world.

the copying of sharnaya's poem ... she herself had based her poem on this one ... i am going to write one called "you bring out the brit in me/ the fish and chips on a rainwashed evening ..."

and i guess at 17 we're all just finding out way and who we are and what we love ...

cut the young 'uns some slack!

kG said...

Dear Sina,

do I remember you from La Bodega?

Anyway, if you pick up my chapbook and flip through, you will realize that I have a style that is inconsistent. I'm still in search of my voice, at 17.

Sharanya was inspired by Sandra Cisneros' 'You bring out the Mexican in me' and she came out with 'You bring out the Sri Lankan in me', and in turn inspired me to come out with 'You bring out the Tamizhan in me'.

That piece wasn't written to impress you or anyone in particular, it was simply something I needed to say. And so I did.

I am a fan of Sharanya, and she is a dear friend to me. But perhaps you should read and experience more of my work before coming to a conclusion of plagiarism.

My second piece that night, Promiscuous, was written months back -and was supposed to have been read at La Bodega that night -but I didnt because we were running out of time -incase you didnt notice, I was debating with Jaz on how many pieces I could read that night. Clearly, I opted for Anal.

But what you have then said had I read Promiscuous that night ?

kG said...

Correction: What would you have then said had I read Promiscuous that night?