THE LIVES OF FREDA: THE BLOG
A real thrill at the weekend - a chance to talk about Freda Bedi and The Lives of Freda in the wonderful setting of the Madras Literary Society. It's India's oldest lending library with a history stretching back over 200 years and the Society has been in its current, spectacular, premises on Chennai's College Road for well over a century.
An attentive and well-informed audience came along to the event, which was co-hosted by the MLS and the Chennai chapter of INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. The photo above is a birds-eye view of proceedings - taken from the highest level of the library's vertiginous book stacks - as I am being introduced by Sujatha Shankar of INTACH.
These photographs were taken by Nandan Sankriti Kaushik - many thanks Nandan for permission to post them here.
Quite the most exciting moment was when I heard that a network of women's reading groups across Tamil Nadu had bought eight copies of the biography, which has been sent to different groups with an informal translation of key points of the biography into Tamil. I was told that the groups has been enthusiastic about the story of a woman who challenged convention and moulded her own life.
And I'm adding a couple of other photos - group photos - from the weekend event at the MLS:
These photos of the launch of The Lives of Freda in Chennai earlier this week have been taken by Deepali Saxena, who is in the TV journalism class I teach at the Asian College of Journalism - thanks Deepali!
The actor Kabir Bedi - Freda Bedi's son - was the chief guest at the Chennai launch of The Lives of Freda yesterday evening. It took place at the splendid new auditorium of the Asian College of Journalism, and was presided over by the dean of studies, Nalini Rajan, who is also a novelist.
Three students - from left to right below, Madhulika Gupta, Nivetha Sekar and Aman Khanna - asked questions of both Kabir Bedi and of Andrew Whitehead (all three are in his TV journalism class at ACJ).
Kabir was generous in his praise of the book, and fielded questions from both the audience as well as the panel. More than a hundred people attended, and lots of copies of the book were sold - and indeed signed.
The event was live streamed on ACJ's digital platforms - and you can see a particularly pertinent clip from the evening here: https://twitter.com/mvdhiraj/status/1107991888307482624 And the New Indian Express has done a quick turn-round story on the launch, Freda Bedi: an ode to a remarkable woman
The Lives of Freda
- a blog about my biography of Freda Bedi