Dr. Trevor Carolan, an instructor with the Department of English at UFV visited the University of Mumbai and was invited to do read from his book The Lotus Singers at the Mumbai Writers Festival. Trevor’s trip to Mumbai was coordinated by the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies.
The following is an excerpt from a letter Trevor wrote detailing his trip and experiences:
Thought to send a quick note from Bombay. Things are proceeding very well here. Arrived in good order. Was received very warmly by staff and was introduced around. Gave my lecture to a good crowd of students, English Refresher course participants, and a group of international grad students there on the E.U. program sponsorship. It went very well indeed–some lively discussion from interested mature students. A good light lunch followed. Invited some of the students and staff to the Festival which opened the next next day and to my delight, several did arrive and were thrilled by the buzz. The organizers here know how to pump up the crowds. Events are at the National Perf. Arts Centre–a really special facility. Bollywood stars, sports heroes, politicians, industrial magnates, the cream of Indian writers–huge sellers; unthinkable by Canadian standards–plus a fine group of international authors. Have presented twice at panel discussions addressing The Writer and Activism (with Filip D’Souza and Annie Zaidi, a Tibetan refugee journalist, and Alia Ibrahim, a fine Lebanon journalist who is just away from the front-lines where she covers the war in syria for Arab language t.v.
As fate has it, my hosts are the Nanda family. I only knew Neeru Nanda from her writing and included one of her stories in ‘The Lotus Singers.’ As it goes, her husband is on the Board of Directors at Mahindra Motors Corporation, so I’ve been received into exceptional apex company here. Mr. N. Godrej, another prominent industrialist who co-sponsors the festival with the Tata family invited a small group of of us from the festival to his terrace for a reception evening and I found myself answering some questions about Canada. Apparently, Mr. Harper is leading a delegation here and Mr. Godrej heads the Indian business consortium who are meeting him. Mr. Godrej seemed to me a very kindly man.
At the end of a long, hot day full of enterprise.