Our hosts at the HM Patel Institute have asked us to participate in the conference which they are organising on Monday and Tuesday, and we agree. The topic of this conference fits very well our background and agenda: "Creativity and Literature". Beccy and Jenny hold a workshop on creative writing, where a "river of paper" is created. Brian sits with the panel in the front and gives an opening address. There are about 150 participating students.
The conference opens with a group of students coming in and singing a traditional prayer. Then a few welcome words by the panel. In the afternoon is Beccy's and Jenny's workshop. The students are very keen on learning, and it is amazing how they follow the speakers' words.
In the late afternoon there is a book fair, where books are being exhibited and offered at a discounted price. In the evening is "The Poets' Meet": Gujarati poems are being read by the authors, and also Brian gives a reading of one of his poems. The local painter Kanu Patel here from Vallabh Vidyanagar paints live a painting, accompanying the read poems. Afterwards there is an exhibition of his paintings in the court yard of the institute.
Food is being served at the university: lunch and dinner includes the usual vegetarian dishes, all served on a big metal plate, with a few cups containing the more liquid things. The accompanying drink is buttermilk. Some in our group have concerns, as they have read that anything with cream should be avoided, because of the danger of bacterial infection. But I rely on buttermilk having some acidity, and also on the antibiotic effect of the omnipresent chilli in all the food items. I eat lots of raw onions and hope that this will scare off any bacterium that should dare an attack...