My quick Dubai trip

To attend Marathi Literary Meets are hilarious to say the least. Read on more for the quick trip to Dubai, 2nd Marathi sahitya sammelan…

Literature, poetry and ego clashes in Dubai
Marathi Sahitya Sammelans in Maharashtra have always been spicy meets, with ego clashes galore. And, the event in Dubai this March was no different.
For starters, the chief sponsor, Dhananjay Datar, director, Al Adil Trading Group of companies, and the Maharashtra Mandal were at loggerheads. This bitterness meant their tour agents were different. The stay, naturally, was contrasting. While the main organisers put up their guests in swanky hotels, journalists were put in a hotel that beggared belief.
While the hotel’s disco music gave us vibrating massages we didn’t ask for, its lights flickered till the wee hours outside our windows leaving us bleary eyed the next morning. Of course, our entry to Dubai was another story. Within an hour of landing, we were whisked away for a quickie tour, probably to save expenses later. Our pleas of reaching the venue in time fell on deaf ears.
With all this going on, we wanted to know just why Datar was sponsoring the event. Local Maharashtrians were more than happy to fill us in on the gossip. Apparently, Datar, who comes from a wealthy family, had been denied access to the family resources during his father’s lifetime. The father thought his ostentatious son would dry up the family coffers with his spending — Datar had celebrated his son’s thread ceremony on a plane.
After his father’s death, Datar started hobnobbing with the who’s who of Maharashtra politics, and loved organising various international events. The literary meet was one of them. Incidentally, his Rolls Royce became a vehicle for peace at the Dubai event. A huge fight had ensued between Kautikrao Thale-Patil, chairman of Sahitya Mandal, Sanjivani Patil chairperson Maharashtra Mandal and Datar. After the fight, Datar chauffeured Thale-Patil in his Rolls Royce. He said, “I fulfilled Thale-Patil’s wish to sit in a Rolls Royce.”

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