Singapore, Mar 4 (PTI) Two Indian-origin retired bankers’ literary work will be featured in the Jaipur Literature Festival which opens on Sunday.
Neil Daswani, who has worked over 30 years in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East, will have his books, ‘On the Other Hand’ and ‘All the Shades of Truth’, showcased and screened at the 11th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival in India and subsequently at the Singapore Book Bazaar in Singapore later this month.
Davendra Bisaria will talk about this recently published work ‘You and Others’, at the festival being held March 5-14 in a hybrid format.
Both retired bankers’ work is published by Kitaab, a publishing company of Zafar Anjum, 47, who also came to Singapore from Delhi in 2004, as a journalist and now publisher and short film producer.
The trio is elated to have their work presented at the festival, which will feature more than 300 stellar speakers from India and across the world.
Speaking to PTI on Friday, Daswani, 59, said, “I am absolutely overwhelmed by this recognition for my poetry from the prestigious Jaipur Literature Festival for the second year in succession.’ The recently retired career banker and a naturalised Singaporean, he said of his writing, “There was a long pause as my banking career took precedence. Over the past two years, I became a banker by day and poet by night,” “The pandemic became a catalyst for introspection. Over the past 22 months, I have authored and published six separate volumes of poetry such as ‘Why Now?’ which debut at the Jaipur Literature Festival in February 2021.
Daswani’s other poems include ‘Seen & Felt’ which was showcased at the Seoul Modern Art Exhibition in June 2021 and was recognized and funded by the Arts Council Korea, September 2021).
He has been writing eclectic poetry transcending multiple cultures – Indian, Western, Chinese, Korean among others.
“I rediscovered love for writing at 56…the 22-year-old never went away and kept tapping me on the shoulder as if to say…I’m still here”, said the banker.
Bisaria, who moved to Singapore in 2016 having worked in Delhi, Mumbai and the United Kingdom, says his work ‘You and Others’ is a compilation of poems that he wrote between age 15 when he started writing, and 38 when he stopped.
“Last year, when I was unemployed and between bouts of job hunting, I started browsing through my old papers.
“Everything just came together at the same time and I ended up with the compiled manuscript,” said 59-year old Bisaria, now a financial consultant, having worked with international banks over the years.
Zafar Anjum, as the publisher of over 100 books over the last 10 years, has been crucial in turning the two bankers into authors and poets.
“Kitaab is proud to have published work of Daswani and Bisaria. It is excellent recognition for them as well as Kitaab to be presenting work of overseas Indians at such a mega event in Jaipur,” he told PTI.
Kitaab started as an online platform connecting Asian writers in 2005, has built a diaspora network with writers in India, Singapore and the United States. It is expanding with more publishing work from Indians based in Canada and Europe.
Kitaab’s non-India work include ‘Monkey Business’, by Singapore author Mark Tan. It is a story of various misadventures of the local grey langurs that went on to create a flourishing market in the forest of Madhya Pradesh.
Zafar Anjum says Kitaab is working to soon bring the ‘Monkey Business’ to India. PTI GS AMS AMS
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Source: The Print