At the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013, Avid Learning’s Altering Inks Panel

This Saturday, I made that dreaded long trip into town after yonks. I said my tearful goodbyes to friends and family, packed life essentials, and loaded myself into the car. I was scheduled to be on the panel at Altering Inks, an Avid Learning workshop at the Kala Ghoda festival this year. With horrific memories of last year’s manic hunt for parking at the Kala Ghoda Festival (I was on the Fresh Off The Shelf panel last year, when the book was fresh off the shelf) and rushed in squeaking with barely minutes to spare before my panel commenced and consequently took the mike in husky breathless voice that would have probably been more suitable for a phone in line, than a Very Serious Panel, we set off rather early this year. With the pleasant consequence that we reached much in advance, which was a good thing, because, we could then ingest some solid nutrition before venturing forth into the venue.
This was the first time I’d been in the actual festival, and well, I must say, if one has travelled by local train at peak hour in Mumbai, the experience was comparable. But fun nonetheless, given one was constantly apologising to the various DSLRs hung round the necks of their humans.
Having located the ICIA gallery, we trooped in, met the other panelists, the very well spoken and the incredibly tall James Crabtree from the Financial Times, Pritish Nandy- who needs no introduction, and Anil Dharker, my ex boss from the days when I was a twenty something wet behind the ears intern, and who also needs no introduction. The discussion was titled Altering Inks and focused on how new media was changing the way we consume print. Mr Dharker moderated the discussion, which veered from how print was dying in the West, to how social media is polarising opinions, shorter attention spans in media consumption, how publications track reader interest, the fact that despite blogs and twitter, it is only media houses with the resources to report news that is verified and the growth of self publishing, and how the audience determines what content works. In retrospect, I think I came across as a bit of a Luddite, decrying the lack of quality control over what was getting out there, but yes, as James Crabtree did mention, it is wonderful that one can wake up in any corner of the world and access a newspaper which one would have to pay good money for if one wanted the print edition, even if one could access it.
A kind soul was video recording the entire thing, which is too much typing for mine delicate fingers right now, given I have a ten minute deadline on posting on my blogs before I get down to bread and butter work, and once I locate that link, will share it here.
Here are some pictures of the event. That’s me in the blue, wearing my trademark What Am I Doing Here expression, in the event you get confused.





About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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