Tag Archives: Milngavie Festival

July is done

Why Ruby? Good question. Seeing my grandmother’s ruby set made me wonder about this gem. Rubies known as the “Rajnapura” or King of Gems by ancient Hindus, July’s birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history. Burma has the best colour and quality, the deep red rubies. The names of some of the world famous rubies took me back to my primary school history. Mandalay Ruby,Timur Ruby, the exotic name of Timur or Tamerlane from Central Asia who invaded India and took the huge ruby in 1398!Presented to Queen Victoria it remains in the Royal collection but the fascinating inscriptions on the flat surface records five emperors who owned it and the longest inscription reads as follows and I quote :

“This is the ruby from among the 25,000 genuine jewels of the King of Kings, the Sultan Sahib Qiran (Timur), which in the year 1153 A.H. (1740 A.D.) from the collection of jewels of Hindustan, reached this place (Isfahan).

The description surpasses all:“A drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth”.It brought back the old Indian tale of the ‘Lost Ruby’where the Minister finds the lost ruby in the stomach of the fish and rushes back to return it to the king, one of the many childhood stories that one imbibes as part of one’s culture. July certainly makes the sky ruby red at times and watching the sun set on a late summer evening is wonderful.July is over and it has been a mixed summer weather wise.Sunshine and showers.

There is a lot going on in the Lit world. Book launches, readings, the Ed Fest this month and other festivals galore. An exciting time as September approaches with our own local Milngavie Book and Art Festival to look forward to.

A couple of months to go for my novel two to come out I hope.It is in the last stages of birth. The manuscript transformed to a book makes all the hours spent on it really worthwhile. I can’t wait to hold it as a book in my hands. The minute I get the cover and news of its launch I’ll post it on this blog.

Literary Festivals

April was sprinkled with showers of events that were sad and wonderful.The sudden death of a friend shook me. On a brighter note, the sunny days were incredible, almost a ‘summer’s here’ feeling in its warmth. Prince William and Kate’s wedding drew the month to a happy close.

Though Literary Festivals happen all round the year, the month of May heralds the start of the important ones. Hay Festival is at the end of this month from May 25th to June 5th.There are nearly 250 Literary Festivals in the UK now. Readers are keen to meet the authors who have made the written word a delight. So keep attending them and put my own local Milngavie Book and Art Festival dates in your diary 6th-10th September.

Now how about this?
Asia House Festival of Asian Lit http://bit.ly/iZtMnm

Opening night almost sold out’ (They tweeted.)

The only Festival in the UK dedicated to writing about Asia, May 10 – 26 2011.The line up: Thurbron, French, Anam, Kureishi, Mirza Waheed, Mimi Khalvati, Shukla, Law-Yone, Ali Allawi, Chalabi, Geek Nation, Chinese and Persian food and more. I’d love to be there!


I have started reading this book by S.Mandanna. Yes, it is 600 pages long and should I indulge in such a long book when I have some eye issues? Well, it has been on my TBR for so long that I delved into it, in small doses. The opening pages are promising, her descriptions of Coorg are superb and some of the phraseology in the dialogues are very familiar to the South Indian in me. Words like Tayi, sampengi flowers, monae,kesari rice, plantains,kathi are like the Tamil words that I was used to, growing up in Madras. The plot has still to develop but her ‘Coorg’ has kept me going. Will report later if I did relish it to the end.A twitter friend commented that he gave up on Alice Albinia’s ‘Leela’s Book’ as it had too many references to the Mahabharatha. I want to read that book !(sorry can’t get rid of the underline!)

Three more books caught my attention. Anyone read these yet?