13th June 2015, Saturday
‘When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.’ (James Joyce)
James Joyce was the focus of the evening on Saturday as literature lovers gathered inside the Centre to enjoy, rather ‘rejoyce’ in an evening of excerpt readings, screenings and coffee.
In the novel Ulysses, Leopold Bloom was a humble vessel elected to bear and transmit the best qualities of the mind. And it is with exactly those qualities that the people of Ireland would celebrate this day, with great pomp and pride. As an added celebration, there was even a tip of the cap to another Irish literary great in this week, as Ireland revels in the 150th birth anniversary of the legendary poet W.B Yeats. The latest addition to this year’s Bloomsday celebration in Ireland will be the Bloomsday Express, a Joyce-themed train that will run from Dublin city to Sandycove on June 16th. While Joyceans in Pune couldn’t enjoy a train ride, Mr. Khare’s inputs about the mad genius of Joyce and why Ireland loved the author so much gave those present much to ponder about. A multimedia presentation ran in the background, as the author’s past and the concept of Bloomsday was explained. Following this, clippings from the movie Bloom (2003) were screened, with Mr. Khare narrating in between, in effect fusing the clips as a whole.
“Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a glass: he had a hairy face.
He was baby tuckoo.”
Talking in a sing-song manner, Keya and Hemant later read from Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’. Some paragraphs invited a few chuckles from the audience, as Stephen Daedalus’ life was explored, drawing stark comparisons between him in Joyce’s first novel and in Ulysses. The evening concluded with a soulful composition- the only known composition by James Joyce- sung by an Irish Tenor, named ‘Bid Adieu to Girlish Days’. It was indeed a fitting tribute to the legendary author and his work in a tiny alcove of the city.