The launch of “Inspired by Tagore” brought together writers from across the global

“Inspired by Tagore”, an anthology of stories, poems and essays inspired by the poet and thinker, was launched recently at the British Council. The book is a compilation of the winning entries of the ‘Inspired by Tagore International Writing Competition 2011-12' announced by the British Council last year to celebrate Tagore's 150th birth anniversary. About 300 entries were shortlisted from the 1,400 that poured in from across 37 countries.

Reading session

“Tagore has reached so many people across the world, and it's amazing how they have come together to pay this tribute,” says author Sreekumar Varma, who launched the book. The reading session that followed included stories and poems of some of the writers present at the launch. This was followed by a prize and certificate distribution to the contributors.

Nagma Sadique, a freelancer from Bengaluru found out about the competition online. “It was a very interesting concept and allowed for so many different genres of writing. ‘Kabuliwallah' is my favourite story and has influenced my life immensely. That's why I've written about it in ‘Sackful Of Riches',” she says.

Shreya Sudesh, who won a special mention for ‘Stolen By Your Love', says: “This seemed a good opportunity to write since I've always been inspired by Tagore.”

Also livening up the evening was Guy Hutchins, actor and storyteller at Moby Duck. The storytelling performances, with his powerful voice and vivid expressions, had the audience spellbound. “I'm completely star-struck by the breadth and depth of talent who have responded to this book. I love Tagore's stories and find them direct, warm and honest. I started reading his works as a little boy when my parents were in Kolkata. And from the first few words, I was hooked,” he explains.

(“Inspired by Tagore” is available at British Council libraries across the country)