A panel on travel writing
‘I long gave up trying to compete with Shashi (Tharoor)’ joked William Dalrymple, modestly referencing the jam-packed session underway at the auditorium next door. An ironic statement, given that his session, On the Road: Travel Writing with William Dalrymple, held at the Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar room was crammed to the gills with fans and enthusiasts who had braved the rain and traffic to attend the third and final day of Dhaka Lit Fest 2019.
As a change of pace from his other panels from this year’s edition of the festival, this one featured a sampling of Dalrymple’s travel writing. Moderated by Tanya Tania author Antara Ganguli, the session was a delightful conversation about the complicated intervalle of cultures and communities, the whims of history, and the author’s own love affair with the Sub Continent. Tracing back his lineage to ten generations past, which included what he called ‘two trickles’ of Indian blood, he stated ‘I am one of you’.
Dalrymple read from a number of his works, including In Xanadu: A Quest , City of Djinns, and Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India.