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I’m baaaack! I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since my last post. I’ve been so busy for some time that I haven’t had enough time to blog. But hey, I’m here again 🙂

Today’s post is about my meeting the internationally renowned Colombian writer, Gabriel García Márquez (or Gabo, as he is affectionately known) at the lunch banquet for the special invitees (including yours truly!) attending the inaugural function of the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) de Guadalajara, or the International Book Fair of Guadalajara in 2007.

Swarupa with Gabo

I hope you enjoyed my earlier post on cheek kissing the Mexican President Felipe Calderón at the same inaugural function. For all those who missed it — check it out by clicking here

For those who aren’t aware of the FIL de Guadalajara (or FIL for short), it is the second largest book fair in the world after the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, drawing more than half a million visitors, nearly two thousand publishers, and hundreds of authors. Started in 1987, it is held every year from the last Saturday in November and goes on for nine days. Being the largest and most diverse international offering of publications in Spanish language, this book fair is the most important annual event of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world. Since 1993, it has invited either a country or a region as the guest of honor, giving each an opportunity to display the best of its cultural and literary heritage.

Continuing with my story, the guest country of the FIL when I attended it in 2007 was Colombia.

fil-guest-country-colombia

After the inauguration of the fair at the hands of the Mexican President Felipe Calderón, a banquet lunch had been organized for the special invitees at the Hilton Hotel which was just opposite the venue of the book fair.

A sumptuous eight-course Colombian lunch had been specially prepared by some of Colombia’s finest chefs who were going to present Colombian specialties during the festival.

At this lunch, I also met two lovely people who became my wonderful friends – Consuelo ‘Cony’ and Roxana ‘Rox’.

banquetconynrox-e1347302719716

I was glad to meet Gabo at the banquet.

gabo-at-the-banquet

Just a year and a half ago, I’d been assigned to prepare a presentation on Gabo when I was pursuing my advanced Spanish language studies in Mumbai. So I was quite well-versed with his life history and literary work.

Rox had come all the way from Pachuca in the state of Hidalgo, to attend the book fair. We visited various stalls in the fair to see the collection available and to get an overall view of the books displayed in the fair. And of course, we purchased a few books too.

fil-tour

Later, we attended the press conferences given by Mexico’s top literary figures including the internationally renowned and recently departed Mexican author Carlos Fuentes.

fil-press-conference

I felt really lucky that day — the 24th of November 2007! Cheek kissing the Mexican president, meeting international writers, literary stalwarts…and all that at a prestigious international book fair! At that time, I never would have imagined myself writing books in the following years. But then, life is so full of surprises!

For new visitors, let me tell you that I have written four ebooks – a three ebook series on Mexico titled “Discovering Mexico,” “MEXICO: The Country, Its History and the Maya World,” and  “A Guide To Mexican Cuisine”; and a romance fiction novel “The Blue-Eyed Prince of Natlife.”

To end this post, as usual, I’ll leave you with a lovely song. This time it is : Call Me Maybe  Enjoy 🙂

See you soon…take care 🙂

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