Sunday, November 29, 2009

City Sighting - Arundhati Roy, Jamia Millia Islamia

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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Arundhati Roy Sighting

She was mobbed by admirers.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

There was no wine, no cheese. Yet it was a full house at the 600-seater Ansari Auditorium at Jamia Millia Islamia University. A day after her 48th birthday, author Arundhati Roy was in conversation with Professor Shohini Ghosh. The venue was so crowded that some had to be turned away.

In the two-hour-long talk, the essayist talked on India's Maoist crisis, discussed human right violations in Kashmir, chuckled over the idea of a mass struggle of the Middle Class, ripped apart the hypocricy of the corporate media and also brought up the new novel she is working on — in passing. She was in a saree. Asked what she feels for the US President Barack Obama, Ms Roy said, amidst laughter, “I try not to feel for him.”

The author began the afternoon with a selected reading from her new book, Listening to Grasshoppers - Field Notes on Democracy. During the question-answer session with the audience, she was sometimes witty, frequently sombre, occasionally passionate, but always engaging and intelligent. At one point, she suggested the young people to "respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." The session ended with an applause.

Ms Roy was later mobbed for book signing. One foreigner wanted to know if she had any plans to speak in London soon. Another guest — a teacher at Sri Venkateswara College — was introduced to her as someone who just wrapped up a Phd on her. “I fear you will tell me something about myself which even I don’t know,” Ms Roy quipped to her. Shen then walked away - like a jazz tune.

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting

Who is She?

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting (with the Phd scholar)

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy sighting (Shohini Ghosh on her left)

City Sighting - Arundhati Roy, Jamia Millia Islamia

Arundhati Roy Sighting

Arundhati Roy Sighting


Magnus Linde said...

Lovely piece, Mayank

Abdusalaam al-Hindi said...

Man, I was supposed to be there at the event. But I had to miss it because of my stupid job.

Insha'allah,next time.

( )

arch said...


Anonymous said...

Clearly, you are obsessed. How old are you again, Mr. Soofi? This fixation on a lovely author twice your age is not seemly, it's scary!

Peter said...

what! no pic of a beeming Mayank next to Ms. Roy?

Secular Hindu said...

The point about Jamia and JNU is their selective picking of issues. They always have time to protest on US' war on Iran, Israel Vs Palestine India's so called human rights violation of innocent Kashmiris (better known as terrorists.
But what I find funny is they never raise the real issues- reservations, India's security and also the fundamentalism in Islam.

Compared to this Delhi University is far far better. Except during the DUSU elections, DU students are much saner- padai karo, ghar jao aur kuch burning issue ho to hi involve ho jao. Jamia is a useless entity.

(Hope Mayank, publishes it)

Film Achchi hai said...

Hi Mayank.

I wanted to talk to you on many things since I came across your blog.

I know that you are a busy and banjara kind of person, still i think that you will let me have some time with you.

I live in Jia Sarai, Haus Khas.A journalist by profession, not mure than 25. I was doing a story on Old delhi's markets and your blog just came across me. I was so glad. It felt so refreshing that I can not tell you.

One thing I want to know that why do you do these stories, these posts and all the efforts ? Is it for the money or satisfaction or what?

Do tell me.

Gajendra Singh Bhati
If you need...9811633169 is where I will be waiting..

thanks for the time.

Ramit said...

Sorry to be so out of the news. Someone please tell me who is this woman and why is she so famous that someone did a Ph.D. on her?

Rajiv said...

wwwwwwwwoooooooowwwwwww.she is luking so beautiful nd nice dress sense.Like sushmita in main hoon naa.lage rahoooo soofi miyaan jiii

binu said...

hi,Roy looks stunning in sari.

Fahad Shah said...

wow she is looking so pretty as her writings are....

Arunabh said...

I agree with Ramit. Aajkal PhD ke lagta hai topics kam pad gaye hai :-)

But we must understand that a PhD on Ms Roy will surely generate some international recognition from some obscure organization, just like westerners lap up anything on poverty and sex from India.

mao said...


Clearly, you are not obsessed by Roy...then why the hell are you reading this post? Perhaps your farigh-pana is the only real scary aspect here.

Dehli Wallah, thanks for this piece...I missed my one and only chance of meeting Roy when she visited Lahore nearly 10 years ago due to my father's surgery (that was really about the only thing that could have kept me away - a parent undergoing the knife!).

Anyways, a cousin and I fantasized of sitting out in Avari hotel's lobby after the surgery in the hope of running into her when she came back to the hotel. Alas, we were only 16 and we couldn't make it happen.

I still have hopes that I'll run into her and get to tell her that I adore her book, her writings and her political point of view. And of course her sense of style - beautiful contrast of the fuschia with white/black sari!

The Observer! said...

people who rush behind this lady has lots of free times i guess. Read this month outlook...Suhel Seth wrote aptly about her "Arundhati Roy: The on-off and off-on again editor-at-large of Outlook, this Goddess of Small Causes has created a niche for herself, which is about intellectual deception. She is virulently anti-national in most areas, but all the while pretending to be the conscience of the Indian nation: it makes me wonder why, in all of this, she has not had the time to pen another bestseller so that she can let India take care of itself?"

So to you all who run behind this woman - dont you have better things to do?

Fahad Shah said...

i just love her........

nishant said...

Roy stature in activism, Human rights is to be really admired. And, for all those who have a problem with what she writes, i just need to tell;including all neo-classical organizations, who abhors critical issues and thoughts and wants to put all thinkers and writers to be in a ghetto of "self-censorship".She say's what other fears, even the media is cursed, which depicted her in Bad-Light alongwith Medha Patkar; or the Media is manipulated as it is; fearful of all 'intellectual discussions'.
To add what she said, i quote from Amnesty International Report; " Indian Government; Iron Gloves with Silken Hands".