The literary work of two retired bankers of Indian origin will be showcased at the Jaipur Literature Festival which opens on Sunday.

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Chennai:

Davendra Bisaria will speak about this recently published work You and Others, during the festival which will be held from March 5 to 14 in a hybrid format.

The work of the two retired bankers is published by Kitaab, a publishing house owned by 47-year-old Zafar Anjum, who also came to Singapore from Delhi in 2004 as a journalist and now an editor and producer of short films.

The trio are thrilled to have their work showcased at the festival, which will feature over 300 stellar speakers from India and around the world.

Daswani, 59, said on Friday, “I am absolutely overwhelmed by this recognition for my poetry from the prestigious Jaipur Literature Festival for the second consecutive year.” A recently retired and naturalized Singaporean banker, he said of his writing: “There was a long hiatus as my banking career took off. In the past two years, I have become a banker by day and a poet by night,”

“The pandemic has become a catalyst for introspection. Over the past 22 months I have written and published six separate volumes of poetry such as Why Now? which debuts at the Jaipur Literature Festival in February 2021.

Daswani’s other poems include Seen & Felt which was featured at the Seoul Modern Art Exhibition in June 2021 and was recognized and funded by the Korea Arts Council (September 2021).

He wrote eclectic poetry transcending multiple cultures – Indian, Western, Chinese, Korean, among others.

“I rediscovered the love of writing at 56…the 22-year-old never strayed from it and kept tapping me on the shoulder as if to say…I I’m still here”, says the banker.

Bisaria, who moved to Singapore in 2016 after working in Delhi, Mumbai and the UK, says his work You and Others is a compilation of poems he wrote aged 15 when he started writing. and 38 years old when he stopped.

“Last year, when I was unemployed and between two periods of job search, I started going through my old papers. Everything fell into place at once and I ended up with the compiled manuscript,” said Bisaria, 59, now a financial consultant, having worked with international banks over the years.

Zafar Anjum, as the publisher of over 100 books over the past 10 years, has played a crucial role in transforming the two bankers into authors and poets.

“Kitaab is proud to have published the work of Daswani and Bisaria. It is great recognition for them as well as Kitaab to showcase the work of overseas Indians at such a significant event in Jaipur,” he said.

Kitaab started as an online platform connecting Asian writers in 2005, built a diaspora network with writers in India, Singapore and the United States. It is growing with more publishing work from Indians based in Canada and Europe.

Kitaab’s non-Indian works include Monkey Business, by Singaporean author Mark Tan. It is the story of various misadventures of the local gray langurs which later created a thriving market in the forest of Madhya Pradesh.

Zafar Anjum says Kitaab is working to bring the Monkey Business to India soon.


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