Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sunday picnic with Shweta Taneja

On March 22 this year, my meetup group Talking Books in Delhi met for a Sunday picnic in the Lodhi Gardens with author Shweta Taneja. Here are some of the highlights from the meet-

Here is the link to the meetup- http://www.meetup.com/Talking-Books-in-Delhi/events/221050231/

We sat down under a tree in front of the Bada Gumbad monument and conversation began to flow. One of our members Mr Neeraj was kind enough to bring a basket full of oranges for everyone. He also brought water in a wine bottle which was a disappointment.

Shweta began to talk about her interest in the occult and what went into the making of her book - Cult of Chaos. She talked about she had always been attracted to the genre of urban fantasies and that's why decided to write her first novel in the same genre.

One of the members was curious about the research that went into the making of the novel. We were all pretty surprised on the revelation that the author had actually gone to haunted places and aghori sadhus to research for her novel. The tales sent shivers down our spine.

On being asked if she would recommend her book to the faint-hearted, her answer was an emphatic no. The novel strictly is for adults and contains graphic content.

One of the group members began the debate about whether tantra is really a science or just superstition. The author was a firm believer in tantra and its powers. Another member mentioned that tantra is just a means to achieve proximity to God. Shweta seemed to disagree with such an oversimplification but the conversation went on.

Mr K K Verma had brought his own books on 'un-learning' and left us some copies. It was all in all, a delightful experience and everyone learned one thing or the other from it. The topics discussed were as varied as spirituality, yoga, meditation and politics.

A got an author signed copy for myself and am yet to read it. Kshitij mention a book called Aghora which is also now on my to-read list. This is an extremely vast field of study and I feel, there is a lot to be understood about the occult sciences.

I feel thankful to everyone who showed up and made the event a success. Here's hoping that this caravan goes on.

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