On the eve of 17th September 2016, Art1st organized a one of a kind, Book Launch of “Kaljai Kambakhat” Published by Art1st Publication and written by Amit Dutta who is considered by eminent critics as one of the most significant practitioners of experimental cinema working currently, has written his first novel in Hindi. The novel is in continuum with his filmmaking practice, reflecting his experimentation with language, narration and the subconscious, drawing richly and indirectly from his own boyhood milieu.
Kaljayi Kambakht (The Time-Conqueror Wretch)
Is a story about a boy named Sham who is a precocious school boy he dreams about making sense of the world he inhabits. Shaman, his friend and alter-ego prods him along. They walk together exploring the gullies and outskirts of their suburban hill village. They passionately glean whatever information is available to them through books or people. They make patterns out of this information and scheme to gain control over their reality. The villagers become characters in their scheme and start revealing the cracks in their reality. As fragments of science, philosophy, fairy-tales, folk-legends and history start seeping into their everyday existence, Sham and Shan find themselves deep in an unmanageable world of their own fantasies.
The launch was graced with the presence of the author Amit Dutta , Udayan Vajpeyi a hindi poet, essayist, short fiction and script writer, and Kumar Sahani who is a noted Indian film director and screenwriter.
Ritu Khoda (founder of Art1st) welcomed the audience with an introduction, to the eminent panelist, and the screening of Amit Dutta’s Movie “Kramasha” which is based on the novel.
After the screening the book was unveiled, followed by a discussion with the panelist. The eminent poet Udyan Vajpeyi gave a detailed account of his experiences while reading the novel. Sighting quotes from the novel he emphasized how Kaljai Kambakhat is a “ Multiple novel”, as it does not have the unity of a novel, instead has the possibility of unity. Which according to him is the beauty of it, as it is loosely knit and is lucid like a musical composition.
Such interpretations led to many interesting anecdotes by Amit Dutta, where he spoke of instances that touched him, and how the novel is an outcome of his collective experiences both conscious and sub conscious.
Our third panelist Kumar Shahani was pleased, because he felt that the novel has an underlying poetry, and for him, that is what made it unique, as it gives the reader the independence to exercise their imagination.
The evening ended with book lovers taking their signed copies home….