Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kavi Sammelan 23 August 2014

Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi today held a tri-lingual Kavi Sammelan at Hotel Parkview. Ten poets, four from outside the city, the others local, regaled a well-packed hall with poems recited in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
The session began with city poets, all of them senior citizens. Gurbax Singh Saini, Punjabi poet, read a satirical poem on the corruption prevalent in the administration. The poem was was highly appreciated.  Chaman Lal Chaman writes in Hindi. He is alawyer by profession and, not surprisingly, his poetry attempted an attack on the legal system, trying to figure out what ails the courts. His poem on daughters, “phoolon ki tarah ghar ko sajati hain betiyan,” won a lot of applause. Ashk Amritsari, another veteran poet who has been writing since the struggle for independence, expresses his ideas in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. He sang some of his poems which were on the nationalistic theme: “mera Hind phir se jawan ho raha hai.” Kidar Nath Kidar, also a trilingual poet, was realistic in his poetic declarations:  “Kaun kissi de pichhey dasso ab tak koi marya hai?” he asked. Surinder Gill, sang his Punjabi poems in a sonorous voice.
The highlight of the day was the recitation by Nafas Ambalvi, a young urdu poet with a gentle voice, the author of Sarabon ka Safar,  his latest award-winning book. His rendition of Urdu poetry was full of quotable lines:
“Hamari rah se paththar uttha ke phaink mat dena /Lagi hai thokrain tab ja kar seekh paye.”
“Zindagi ki hoop jab dhalney lagegi ek din Tera saya bhi tujh se bada ho jayega.”
“Mera humsaya bhi agar roye apney ghar main / ek nami si meri divaar main aa jati hai.”
The next poet, Paul Kaur, lone woman poet of the evening, is the author of a dozen poetry anthologies. She has recently been in the limelight for translating the poems of Octavio Paz into Punjabi. This evening she read three of her poems. There was nostalgia and longing in “Iti”, political satire in “Raj Tilak, and personal grief and loss in  “Bebe jalebi mangdi hai”.
Dinesh Chamola, Hindi poet, has recently been awarded by the Sahitya Akademi for his poetry for young readers. He sang all his poems in a voice that touched the heartstrings. Sudershan Vashishth, Hindi poet, hails from Shimla. He has been writing poetry rooted in the hills of Himachal. He was the last poet to read his poems and gave the evening a fitting conclusion.
The grand finale, however, came with Madhav Kaushik reciting some of his gazals impromptu much to the delight of the audience. Prof Mehndiratta, who was in the audience, gave away souvenirs to the poets. 

Altogether, everyone agreed that it was a splendid evening. The Chairperson of Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi,Manju Jaidka, announced that on the 13th and 14th of September CSA is hosting Waseem Barelvi and Sir Mark tully. Details will be given on te CSA Facebook page and Blog.
On 28th of August, CSA is holding an hour of interaction at the Panjab University Book Fair with Charu Singh who writes in English and Parsoon Parsad, Hindi poet.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


This evening -- CSA with Mahesh Dattani

He can write, he can act, he can dance. He is an artist in the true sense, an amalgam of different sensibilities, combining a passion for theatre with the love for music, dance and literature. That is Mahesh Dattani for you, a multi-faceted artist of many talents, who was in the city today on an invitation from the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi.

The last time Mahesh Dattani was here was in 2009 when the CSA had organized a national seminar on the art of story-telling through different media. Whereas then, five years ago, he was just one of about twenty-odd invited speakers, on this occasion he was the sole invitee and he held the audience mesmerized for a good hour and a half, talking about his work, reading from his latest publication, and interacting with the audience.

Dattani's latest book is Me and My Plays, was launched at the Jaipur Literary Festival in January this year. It contains two plays written in 2012 – Where Did I Leave My Purdah?, a play about an ageing actress, and The Big Fat City, a play about Mumbai. The first play, as he tells us, is inspired by the phenomenon Zora Sehgal. 

The collection also contains an important essay in which the author talks about the highs and lows of his career, and the evolution of contemporary Indian theatre, particularly in the English language. Reading excerpts from this piece, Dattani dwelt on his struggle with language, the reasons why he chose to write in English, and how he painstakingly put together a theatre group.

Holding the audience spell-bound through his reading, Dattani then invited questions from the audience and there were plenty. Questions, comments and appreciation came his way and he responded to all graciously. The enthusiasm of the audience seemed indefatigable and the Chairperson of CSA had to finally intervene so that the programme could move further.

Also on the agenda this evening was a felicitation ceremony for the award-winners of books printed in 2013. The following city writers were given cash awards for books that have been adjudged the best:

Vijay Saudai (Hindi novel)
Amarjit Amar (Hindi Short Fiction)
Narendra Shukla (Hindi Satire)
Bhupinder Brar (Hindi Poetry)
Ashwini Kumar Sawan (Punjabi Short fiction)
Charandeep Singh (Punjabi novel)
Paramjit Param (Punjabi Poetry)

These writers, some very young debut writers and some seasoned veterans, who were given their awards by Mahesh Dattani, spoke briefly about their work.  

There followed a book-signing session. Mahesh ji was surrounded by readers and fans for a long time, inscribing fly leafs, exchanging pleasantries with an appreciative crowd.

All  in all, there was no doubt that this was another very successful event. The Chairperson, Manju Jaidka, announced that in the coming month a tri-lingual mushaira will be held and there is also a likelihood of bringing in another high-profile writer to the city. Details will be announced on the CSA Facebook and Blog.

Today's photos will also be uploaded on the FB

Stay tuned! Stay with us!

Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An Evening with Mahesh Dattani

Dear Friends
After a gap of five years we have managed to persuade Shri Mahesh Dattani to visit us again in Chandigarh.
You may be aware that Dattani is one of the leading contemporary playwrights of India today.Recently he has brought out a new book, "Me and my Plays".
In Chandigarh, on the 19th of July, he will be talking about his work and reading excerpts from this book.
Join us please. Details given below.
Manju Jaidka
Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi cordially invites you meetthe celebrated playwright

who will interact with the audience 
& also read from his latest work: 
Shri Dattani will also preside over the felicitation ceremony for award-winning books in print
on 19 July 2014
at UT Guest House, Sector 6, Chandigarh
Time: 5.00 PM

Chairperson, CSA

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Goshthi 28 June 2014

This evening's Goshthi:

Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi held another Meet Our Writers programme this evening at the UT Guest House, showcasing the talent and achievements of five of the city's writers.

Reading from their works today were Paramjit Param, Taruna, Yojna Rawat, Ashwani Shandilya and Angelee Deodhar. The compositions were in Hindi, Punjabi and in English.

Paramjit Kaur Param writes poetry in Punjabi. She reached out to the audience with her pleasant demeanor, reading emotion-charged poems like "kade kade dil karda mera". Ashwani Shandilya, who writes in Hindi, read a humorous passage on so-called spiritual gurus and how they dupe trusting devotees. Taruna, who teaches English but writes bilingually, read a longish poem called "Virasat" which touched the innermost sensibilities of the listeners.

Yojna, well-known writer in Hindi, read short passages from her collection of stories that evoked a variety of themes touching upon various aspects of human relationships. Angelee Deodhar, an ophthalmologist who turned to literature because of ill-health, recited short, 3-lined poems inspired by the Japanese haiku which were an aural and visual delight.

Madhav Kaushik, Seccretary CSA, compered the programme and Manju Jaidka, Chairperson, rounded off the evening with a warm thank-you to the day's speakers and audience, encouraging them to stay connected with the akademi's events.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Goshthi on 28 June 2014

Meet our Writers: Goshthi on 28 June 2014. 5.30 to 7.00 pm at UTGH
We will hold our next Goshthi on 28 June at the UT Guest House from 5.30 to 7.00 pm.
On this occasion we have invited the following of our local writers to interact with the audience and read some of their work: Yojna Rawat, Taruna, Paramjit Param, Ashwani Shandilya and Dr Chawla.
Kindly join us and pass on the message to your friends and other literature enthusiasts.
Show our writers you care!
Chairperson, CSA

Friday, May 30, 2014

Creative Writing Workshop

The week-long Creative Writing Workshop for Children organized by the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi concluded today with the participating children proudly presenting their compositions written under the guidance of resource persons.

The Workshop in English, Hindi & Punjabi was held at D.A.V. Sr. Secondary School (Lahore), Sector 8C, Chandigarh, in association with Aurobindo School of Integral Learning, Sector 27, Chandigarh. It commenced on 26.05.14 and wound up today, ie, on 30.05.14.

A total of 90 Students from renowned educational institutions of Chandigarh like Vivek High School, DPS, Sacred Heart Sr. Sec. School  and  St. John’s High School, etc., participated in the  workshop which was a judicious blend of theory and practice, lectures and practical composition work.

During the Workshop Days, renowned resource persons like Prof. Manju Jaidka, Chairperson of Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, writer and poet Madhav Kaushik, Profs. Yojna Rawat and Surinder Sharma from Panjab University shared their experiences and explained different ways of creative writing techniques. The students were taught how to write plays, stories and poetry. A dedicated team of young volunteers from CSA supervised the writing sessions and encouraged students to compose stories, poems and skits in Hindi, English and Punjabi.

On the concluding day the students were given a platform to present the compositions they had penned over the last four days. They recited poetry, enacted skits and shared their impressions about the Workshop. The function ended with distribution of Certificates by Sahitya Akademi to the students who participated.

Overall, judging from the children's response, the workshop was a great success. CSA acknowledges with gratitude the support of the management of Sri Aurobindo School, and in particular the contribution of DAV School Principal Vibha Ray who was the steering force behind the event, supported by her able faculty including Pooja Handa, Anju Mehta, and others.

Photographs of the event have been uploaded on the CSA Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014



The following have been adjudged the best entries and will receive awards for their books printed in 2013:

Vijay Saudai (Hindi Novel)
Amarjit Amar (Hindi Short Fiction)
Narendra Shukla (Hindi Satire)
Bhupinder Brar (Hindi Poetry)
Ashwini Kumar Sawan (Punjabi Short  fiction)
Charandeep Singh (Punjabi Novel)
Paramjeet Param (Punjabi Poetry)

Congratulations to all the prize winners.
 Awards will be given at the next CSA event.