The 5th Annual Festival of Letters organized by the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi concluded today at the Panjab University. It was a grande finale with a large number of youngsters participating in a Literary Quiz followed by the prize distribution.
Today the audience comprised mainly youngsters from the campus who took a keen interest in two morning sessions, the first a ru-ba-ru with the Punjabi writer Manmohan Singh, followed by a reading and Q and A with Geetanjali Shree who writes in Hindi.
Punjabi poet and critic Manmohan's debut Punjabi novel Nirvaan has won this year's Sahitya Akademi Award. An Indian Police Services (IPS) of Bihar cadre, he is now the inspector general, police, with Intelligence Bureau at Chandigarh. In a highly charged personal interaction with the audience he shared his life experiences that have shaped his writings.
Geetanjali Shree, the author of the award winning novel Mai writes fiction in Hindi and non-fiction in both Hindi and English. She engaged the audience with varied themes related to her work, such as Hindu-Muslim relations, terrorist violence, women's friendships and loves and lives.
The post-lunch session witnessed a Literary Quiz conducted by Anil Raina. There were 17 teams that participated. The winning team was Nishtha Saxena and Rohit Sharma from the English dept. Second in position came Shantanu from Psychology and Aditya from the Dept of Chinese. The third prize went to Gursheen from PEC and Ruchi from the Dept of English.
Shri KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, gave away the prizes to the winners. Addressing the young students he encouraged them to take part in literary activities that are regularly organized in the city.
Prizes were also given to students who successfully participated in competitions at the school level and college level. University students who won prizes in competitions held last month were also awarded prizes.
This marked the conclusion of the 3-day Festival of Letters. Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi has, within these three days given the city a brief glimpse of the totality of its activities, catering to the needs of the young and the old.
Photographs of todays events are accessible from the Facebook page of Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi.