Event: At the Bangalore launch of her debut novel Faraway Music, SreemoyeePiu Kundu remembers her tryst with the city
A balmy evening in Bangalore. Soft music fills the cool interior of Fava at UB City where the launch of Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s debut novel Faraway music is being held. Large glasses of wine and delicate canapés are being circulated. Several women glide in gracefully leaving behind trails of floral perfume in their wake. Amidst this all, bustles the author herself, radiant in a jewel toned sari, welcoming her guests with palpable warmth and pleasure.
It is hard to believe however that the decision to launch the book in Bangalore was not easy. Having spent close to five years here, the city is no stranger to Sreemoyee but she confesses that her relationship with it was once a troubled one.
“I’ve always thought of Bangalore as detached, aloof almost,” she says. Perhaps it was because she lost so much here, “A long term relationship ended close on the heels of a terrible motor accident I got into here. It was a double whammy,” she says.
Yet she admits that her visit here was good as it helped her finally bury the skeletons in her closet and put her at peace with herself. “Bangalore may have broken my heart but I realize today that it was a good thing,” she says, adding that she had actually revisited the spot where she had her final conversation with the man she had loved and spent some time there. “It was cathartic—I realized that life had come full circle and I finally moved on remembering that day as the first day of this life,” she says.
Also at the launch was Geetanjali Kirloskar, Chairperson of the Sakra World Hospital and renowned Kannada actor Chetan.
Geetanjali recalled interacting regularly with Sreemoyee during the author’s journalism days. “She always had so much energy,” she recalls adding that she had loved Faraway Music because, “Every character, every detail was lined with such poetic promise.”
The book, which tells the story of young woman’s (Piya) growth and evolution is rife with emotion, packed with description and very real. “I have always been a rebel romantic,” confesses Sreemoyee. Chetan, who read from the book, believes that it is the emotion and development of character that makes Faraway Music such a delightful read. “The history and background of every character is delved into which is why her characters are so strong.” He confesses that he especially liked the character of David—an artist who becomes Piya’s lover and then husband. “David epitomizes cool. He is the kind of guy who sees the world as a traveller and not a tourist—absorbing different cultures and fighting for things that are on the verge of extinction. Also, he has a beautiful compatibility with Piya,” he says.
With three more books on its way, for Sreemoyee this is only the beginning.
“This is my last active promotion before I get back into writing,” she says. “And I think that it is only predestined that it is in Bangalore.”