The printed word enthrals this group

Their eyesight may have faded a bit but not their love for books. The printed word has its dedicated following among a group of senior citizens who get together for some serious literary discussions on Monday mornings.

One member, armed with a well-argued analysis, introduces the group to the book after which the floor is opened to questions. The activity is part of the Nightingales Elders' Enrichment Centre's line-up of activities for its members.

This Monday, C. Kotiswaran (74) reviewed Freakonomics by Lewitt and Dubner. It was inspiring enough to encourage others to check it out.


The good thing about these sessions, said G.B. Talgery, is their flexible nature.

There is no particular category one needs to read, nor are the reviewers obliged to answer all the tough questions.

“It is not an exam,” said Mr. Kotiswaran, who managed to dodge a few hard ones.

Writers too

Some Mondays are dedicated to the writers among the members.

“These are not profound pieces. Many of us read out even from our scrapbooks,” said Mr. Talgery about ‘Writer's Monday'.

So is there any competition between them for who read/wrote best. Ripostes G. Ramachandra, who has been a member of this centre for the last 12 years, said: “We are done with the rat race. Through these intellectually stimulating sessions, barriers are broken and horizons expanded.”

No regional languages

However, there was one complaint. Sunanda Krishnamurthy, an avid reader of Kannada books, said the books were always English. But as Swati Bhandari, programme manager of Nightingale Medical Trust, explained: “Many of our members are from outside Karnataka who settled down here recently. So books should be a familiar language.”