Flavours of the City: Chandi
One of the major aims of the Chandigarh Sahitya akademi is to provide a platform for its local writers and to facilitate literary exchange and interaction among those inclined towards creativity. With this view, from time to time the Akademi organizes special writers’ meets for those residing in the vicinity. This evening it organized a Goshthi at the UT Guest House. The featured speakers were writers from the city, some senior and some emerging.
Kewal Manikpuri is a poet who writes in Punjabi. He has been actively engaged in the pursuit and promotion of literature for the last two decades and more. Apart from creative writing he has done a lot of editorial work, compiling anthologies of verse and encouraging younger, newer voices. At the goshthi this evening he sang his verses in a sonorous voice that was full of emotion and transported the listeners to a different world altogether. Vijay Saudai is a contractor by profession. He believes that his creativity has been encouraged by the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi which awarded him for “Dalit” his first novel in Hindi. Vijay read a passage from his forthcoming book titled “Ishwar versus Allah” that described a politically charged scene in the wake of the nationalist struggle in India.
Ajay Singh Rana, too has been awarded by the CSA for an earlier book, “Umeed ke Kinarey”. He writes in Hindi and is a teacher in the Education Dept of UT. His favorite theme is based on human relationships, loss of innocence and loneliness. His poems on “Ma” was predictably appreciated by the audience. Charandeep Singh is a young banker who has strong literary leanings. He has written novels in English and in Punjabi. The last publication, “Shubh Karman” was awarded by the CSA. Very soon his next book is likely to come out in print, this time in Hindi. Sukhwinder Mann, who writes in Punjabi, is an educationist. He teaches social studies. He, too, has earlier received an award for his poetry anthology, “Bolda Butt” from which he read some verses this evening. Several of his poems were women-centred, crying out against social ills against women. The last presentation of the day was made by Nishi Mohan who is an emerging city poet writing in Hindi. She is a home-maker who has a PhD in Hindi. Although she has published in local dailies and weeklies, this was her first presentation at a CSA gathering. The poems she recited were strongly feminist and environmentalist in theme.
Participating in the event were several writers and literature enthusiasts from the city. Mrs Usha Singla, a senior citizen, was so moved by the woman-centred poems that were read today that she was inspired to pen a few lines that she recited at the conclusion of the meet, much to the appreciation of the gathering. Madhav Kaushik, Secretary CSA, commented on the presentations and Manju Jaidka, Chairperson, announced that the next CSA event would probably be a special one for senior citizens. She reminded the gathering that CSA has issued a call for unpublished manuscripts. Those desirous of competing for the Grants-in-aid may submit unpublished book-length manuscripts to the CSA office by 20th November. Details are given on CSA's Facebook and blog.
Photos of this evening’s event are on the FB page.