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'Converse 2012''- re-awakening of creative writing in Northeast India
This is a report of a North East Writers Meet which I recently attended at Gangtok. 'Converse 2012'' was an eye opener and a wonderful re-awakening of the kind of creative writing that is going on in the farthest corners of the country, in a region interspersed between North East India and West Bengal.

I RECENTLY visited Gangtok to attend a North East Writers meet entitled: “Converse 2012'' - a gathering of poets and writers of North East India. This was the fourth edition and “Converse'' began in 2001.

It is being organized by a collection of writer activists and supported by Sikkim Govt. College, Dept. of English as well as by the State Govt. I missed out the first four editions and regret doing so. But “Converse 2012'' was an eye opener and a wonderful re-awakening of the kind of creative writing that is going on in the farthest corners of the country, in a region interspersed between North East India and West Bengal. In fact the drive to Gangtok for almost one quarter of the journey, from Siliguri was up to Rangpo which borders North Bengal. Then we arrived in Sikkim, a different world, and Nature's Paradise. The meet was held on the 24th of June.

We were welcomed at Rachna Books, a cosy little upbeat book shop which was filled with guests. The reading was held upstairs. Rachna Books reminds me of a book shop in Shillong “Book Mark Sahaki''. The two look so similar that I feel that I am in “Book Mark''. The ambience is similar, the guests too, book lovers- biblio philes.

The shop was laden with mostly prose and fiction, and some of the writers whose books are lined there are ex school mates, two senior and much junior, Siddhartha Deb.

I look forward to the reading. Robin Ngangom and Guru Tshering Ladakhi, the local muse begin their recitations. The lovely cadence of their verse transport you to another world. Robin is of course very well known. His wrting style has changed, and there are more than elements of satire in his verse. Guru Tsheing speaks in his inimitable style and invokes the beauty of Nature. He is an entrpreneur turned poet.

The next group are very young, in their twenties or early thirties. The ones that stand out for their fiction and poetry are Chetan and Tashi. Chetan's story using the epistolary method is a lovely, witty and humorous depiction of a part of an idle society nicknamed hilariously as the '' Dreamy Layer''. They write to the Govt. Dept. to fight for their rights to dreamy and simply dream in striking contrast to the Creamy Layer who have the best of a world of materialism and prosperity. Chetan is intrepid, forthright and downright funny.

Tashi takes the centre stage next, a gentle lyrical poetry of his surroundings. Some more of the young writers use the language felicitously.

We have a nice writers' dinner that night after the readings were over at 8 pm. Then began the long journey back, with the winding roads, as the plane started overlooking the snow capped mountains, which also Sikkim is bethroted too I have another ' poetic flight '!

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