As the rains lashed through Bengaluru, bringing with it much-needed relief from the searing heat, the graduation ceremony of the first batch of writers from Anita’s Attic, a comprehensive writing and mentorship programme held bi-annually by author Anita Nair, set the mood of the evening. Eleven talented writers read out excerpts from their respective works, including short stories, novels and travelogues, at Rangasthala auditorium last Saturday. Each piece of writing revealed different styles of writing.
The plots ranged from powerful portrayals of women characters, a travelogue about contrasting two cities Mumbai and Bengaluru; a hilarious story about a terrifying math teacher; an intense story of sexual abuse; a story about a man suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder; a story about a woman who cannot forget her childhood sweetheart even as he moves on to love another woman; a story of a grandmother who re-discovers her identity; a screenplay about a woman who wants to pursue her dreams, but her conservative family wants to get her married; a story about a woman who has a transformative experience during childbirth; a stand-alone piece about a tricycle that alludes to life and a humorous story about a mother on a mission to tackle her children’s head lice.
“The batch included a diverse set of individuals from all walks of life,” said Anita, “There were journalists, engineers, professional writers, a student, a professor and a veterinarian.” Nandini Murali read out a chapter from a novel she is working on. Aarthi Gunnupuri read an excerpt from her travelogue. Swapna Narayanan read out a short story. Harini Rajashekhar read out her brilliantly crafted short. Vestin Verghese read a stand-alone piece. Krupa Ge read out from her marvellous short story. Akhil Kakkar read out a well-structured and engaging short story. Meena Chandrasekharan read out a touching short story. Apoorva Satish, a filmmaker, read out her screenplay. Archana Vijay read out a sensitively written short story. Sathya Ramaganapathy piece was a lovely conclusion to the evening.
Anita’s Attic is a joint venture between Anita Nair and *ConditionsApply, a digital agency in Bengaluru. “In August last year, I met Joshi Jose . He asked me if I ever considered starting a mentorship programme. I got a wonderful team and Biju Ebenezer of *ConditionsApply spearheaded the course in so many ways. By November 1, the site was up. In two weeks time, we announced the opening for applicants. I only wanted to work with 10 to 12 people for a 12-week course. I began on January 24.”
The guest speakers for Anita’s Attic included Jayapriya Vasudevan, Jacaranda Press, a literary agent, Srinath Perur, Pradeep Sebastian, Harimohan Paravu, Gita Aravamudan, Aditi De, Sudeshna Shome Ghosh and Karthika V.K.