Night at the Library

Katharsis started as a result of our deep passion for books and the love of reading!

We had always wanted to create some kind of forum where we could interact with other booklovers. We dreamt of getting into a caravan library and travelling the country! We wanted to set up a writers’ retreat in Goa. So these are small steps to making all those dreams a reality. 

Katharsis was created as a forum which could bring together those who believed in the magic of words—as readers and writers of all kinds. If you passionate about reading, if you love writing and if you believe in the transformative alchemy of words, this is the place for you.

We curate a series of immersive experiences around specific genres so that lovers of books can find themselves in a space with others like them and share the joy of a community that loves the same things. We plan to bring together readers as well as writers of a specific genre, to engage with each other and understand as well as appreciate what makes the other side tick. These will be informal but well planned events where you can enjoy dialogues, discussions, debates, meta-analysis, and maybe even some specially crafted thematic meals!

We launched Katharsis on 9th Feb with our favourite– Sherlock Holmes!! This was followed by one more event on Sherlock Holmes, then one on Shakespeare Ka Swag. We celebrated the world of magic through the event Witches, Wizards and Wands. 

Popular demand for Agatha Christie made us wonder what would be the best way to showcase the works of the Queen of Crime. 

The answer? Read her books by torchlight in the magnificent Asiatic Library!

By an amazing coincidence Agatha Christie had written a book just for us! 

The Body in the Library.

Thanks to an excellent report on the event in the Sunday Mid-Day we had an overfull registration list and had to reluctantly turn away almost 20 members.

We met in the Dr.P.V.Kane room. This is named after Bharat Ratna Dr. PV Kane spent 50 years in research and study to produce the monumental multi-volume History of Dharmashatra.

 We were joined by the President of the Asiatic Library, Mr. S.G.Kale and the Secretary Ms. Vispi Balaporia.

This library was founded in 1804 and holds 1st edition copies of two books that have literally changed the trajectory of human civilization and our understanding of the universe!!

Galileo Galilei’s book on heliocentricism and Charles Darwin’s book on the Origin of Species.

This library also houses the original Italian manuscript of Dante’s Divine Comedy, 16th century Sanskrit Aranyaka Parvan of the Mahabharat and the Sopara relics which are believed to include fragments of the Buddha’s begging bowl.

We were all so fortunate to be able to spend the evening under such august auspices and inside this magnificent heritage building.

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Detective fiction in the English-speaking world is considered to have begun in 1841 with the publication of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” featuring “the first fictional detective, the eccentric and brilliant C. Auguste Dupin.” When the character first appeared, the word ‘detective’ did not even exist.  Poe referred to his stories as “tales of ratiocination’. 

Soon many more followed and the early 1900s were considered the Golden Age of the detective novel in English.

Of course, no one can match the popularity of Agatha Christie whose books have sold millions of copies worldwide and who continues to be the third highest selling author after the Bible and Shakespeare.

We had a super fun quiz round and the winning team won a detective novel each!

After that it was time for tea and who better than the Butler to annouce the murder and ‘invite’ us all to the interrogation room?!

After much interrogation and one more murer, the Detective finally arrested the murderer, only to have someone else confess to the crime.

Finally we all made it our safely and promised to do this again sometime soon!

So, what are we looking forward to next?

We hope to have a series of such events called ‘Night at the Library’ which is going to be full of readings by torchlight and poetry in the rain and all kinds of wonderful things. 

Other regular events lined up will include Science fiction, Alice in Wonderland, Georgette Heyer, PG Wodehouse and hopefully many more!

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