Warm, Intimate Book Launch, Not Just a Housewife
The beautiful Saturday evening and the cosy settings of Kunzum Travel Cafe offered the perfect launch space for the debut book of poetry by Cecilia Abraham. The place, the book and the creative person behind this expression are all very special. I remember how we had bumped into each other few months back at Kunzum Cafe at a poetry event. The sharp eyes, firmness in the voice and the attitude confirmed that this woman will leave a strong creative imprint soon. How correct my observation had been. She soon announced at another poetry event at Lodi Road that she was going to self-publish her book, Not Just a Housewife and she earns herself the distinction of being the first Indian woman to get her book crowdfunded.
How important it is for all of us to realise in the first place, indulge into seductive introspection and then do things that we always wanted to accomplish. The thoughts which keep playing within, satisfy for sometime then it paves way for a commotion/ unrest which has to be settled. These are the cynical moments which each artistic person goes through paving her way to sanity when creative outpouring is acclaimed.
The gathering of like-minded people at the cafe was assertion of the fact that they all had faith In Cecilia and stand as a testimony to her poetic journey.
The presence of two special guests Alok Vaid Menon and Nalini Taiyabji added special character to the launch event. Alok Vaid Menon is an internationally acclaimed Indian American non binary transfeminine writer, entertainer, performance artist and activist. He shared how being an Indo American and transgender made his life difficult and how he was laughed at. His experiences made him pen his expressions on questions of diaspora, trauma, race, desire and politics.
So powerful and notable had been his expressions that he was invited to perform, speak, facilitate at universities, conferences and his works have been showcased by MTV, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, Tedex and many more.
Nalini Taiyabji who prefers to be called a whimsical artist makes vibrant splashes on canvas. She lends chromatic hues to regular mundane lives and a childlike enthusiasm speaks through the characters of her paintings like sweater clad birdies, colourful owls, crazy eyed felines, homely witches. It was inspiration for the other women to know of her journey as an artist.
Uppa Santwana is a Delhi based poetess who has a regular presence at slam and other poetry events. Poetry allows her emotions, experiences and aspirations a creative escapade. As an affirmation to Cecilia’s Not Just A Housewife she made her poetic offering, The Housewife.The dialogue which went on Women Domesticity & Art was very inspiring. Nalini Taiyabji shared her creative journey; Alok spoke how his grandmother turned to Art at the age of 75. Cecilia earlier wrote on social media which was largely for self-gratification but the appreciation from friends, fine-tuned her confidence to pen more. The anecdotal references left many teary eyes and lump in the throat.
Then there was formal launch of the book, culmination of all the hard work of Cecilia, by Alok and Nalini Taiyabji. The gathering was warm and intimate within promised timelines and Rekha Rao held the show beautifully and crowd was in rapt attention. Though art germinates in isolation but needs to be patronised, well recognised and appreciated.