The 50th session of An Author’s Afternoon presented by Shree Cement with Sujata Prasad and special invitee Sonal Mansingh was a big affair. The venue was shifted to the Taj Terrace to accommodate 120 plus special invitees to mark the Golden Jubilee session held on 29th November 2017. Eminent Kolkatans turned up in strength for the session which began a tad late at 6 pm as planned.
Immensely talented danseuse Sonal Mansingh held the audience spell bound with her infectious charm, panache and wonderful style of storytelling. All credit to author Sujata for prodding Sonal Mansingh to share some very interesting anecdotes from her eventful life and illustrious career. Attired in a flaming orange silk saree, Sonal Mansingh’s quips kept the session’s interest quotient very high. “You cannot talk about dance with me without me,” she said, all smiles.
Versatile Sujata, civil servant, author, poet, classical singer, dancer, theatre personality, revealed the interiors of her aapa’s thoughts in her latest book Sonal Mansingh: A Life Like No Other. Sonal, on the other hand, spent a blessed childhood in the Raj Bhavans of different states, having the likes of Nehru, Sardar Patel, Morarji Desai, Sarojini Naidu as family friends. Yet the twist in the tale was when she became homeless for years in Delhi.
This book vividly explores how one sentence by guru Krishna Rao transformed her life. Her roller-coaster marital life, brush with death and getting a second life seems like a script from a thriller. Sujata aptly described her life as a “feminist manifesto”.
“My life has been a dance and dance has been my life,” was Sonal’s parting repartee.