- Shivani Pathak
People Called Ahmedabad comes to Mumbai!
Tasting the flavors of Ahmedabad in Mumbai! Yes that’s exactly what happened on the evening of 27th of March at the much-loved Crossword bookstore at Kemp’s Corner, Mumbai. Among a curious and interested crowd, the bright yellow lights, small packaged water bottles, standees of the book cover around, a stage and among a flood of books neatly stacked, the second book in the People Place series- ‘People Called Ahmedabad’ was launched with much pomp in Mumbai. The event kick- started with introducing the book, the project, the concept of narrative mapping and what is it that The People Place Project actually does. How the cities are mapped through the stories of the people and how juxtaposing the stories of individuals with the known stories of the place can reveal new, never known before dimensions of a place and give us a new outlook towards it. The event continued with a question answer session between the moderator – Anuj Daga and the panel consisting of the curator of the book- Nisha Nair Gupta, three of the authors- Parth Trivedi, Saylee Soundalgekar and Manasi Chokshi and Shriti Das representing The People Place Project studio. It was interesting to see all of them speak about the book, the authors told the audience about their stories and what inspired them to write those stories, how they found the stories and more. They spoke about how the project aims at ‘Pausing for a while, taking a look around the surroundings, observing and trying to gauge the various stories that surround the place.’ Soon it was time to reveal the book and so the panel together undid the carefully packed copies and unveiled the red and white beautifully designed copy of People Called Ahmedabad. A reading of acknowledgements followed this from the book by Roshni Ganesh from The People Place Project acquainting all of us with the efforts put in by various people to create the book. The event came to a close with a quick q/a round with the audience, which brought some interesting suggestions and ideas to the table like publishing the book in the regional language of the city. The team also revealed about the next book in the series- People Called Shillong, their plans about a children’s version of the first book – People Called Mumbai and their ongoing research for curating other cities like Nashik, Banglore, Delhi etc. Once the event was officially wrapped up, the authors engaged in signing the copies of the books and interactions with the people and each other. The book launch of People Called Ahmedabad in Mumbai brought together people within whom a part of Ahmedabad lives- either as their own personal experience or as something they know as a third person or as a genuine interest in the city and in the whole process that PPP engages in. It brought together people who had various reasons to attend the launch weaved by one common love either for reading or for the city.