Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oldies Goldies 2014

Dear Friends
Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi wishes you all a very bright and prosperous Divali.
Please ensure that you keep the day clean, green and environment friendly!
OUR NEXT PROGRAMME will be a special one for our OLDIES-GOLDIES, the senior citizens.
The session will be held on 2nd November 2014 at 4.oo pm. The Venue will be the UT Guest House.
Invited writers are: Mrs Pannu, Gurdeep Gul, Indira Rani Rao, Bhagat Ram Rangra, Chaman Ahuja, and Taaran Gujral.
Shri Kamal Arora and Mrs Jasbir Kaur will compere the programme.
Do join us and make the evening a success.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Goshthi 28 September 2014

Flavours of the City: Chandi
Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi’s Local Guftagoo:

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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Call for unpublished manuscripts

The CSA invites city-based writers (working or residing in Chandigarh) to submit unpublished book-length manuscripts in Hindi, English, Punjabi or Urdu. Some funding is available for Grants-in-aid and the best entries would be given financial assistance for publication.

The following categories will be considered:
Short Fiction
Children's Literature

Entries may be submitted at the Chd Sahitya Akademi office on the 1st floor of the State Library, Sector 34. Deadline for submission is November 20, 2014. Length of manuscripts: Novels / short stories: 30,000 words to 60,000 words Poetry: 70 - 90 pages Plays: 30 - 50 pages (printed / typed)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sir Mark Tully

SIR MARK TULLY: India’s Unending Journey

Under the auspices of the Chandigarh Heritage Festival, this evening the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi organized a talk by Sir Mark Tully, KBE.
Mark Tully's contribution and achievements have been recognized in both India and the UK. In 1985, he was made the officer of the Order of the British Empire, and the British Queen knighted him in 2002. In India, he was conferred the Padma Shree in 1992, and the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2005. But more importantly, in addition to the Awards, Tully Sahib has earned the love, trust, and respect of all Indians.

The title of the talk this evening was India: The Road Ahead” and he referred to his book India's Unending Journey published by Random House. 
Tully’s subject was the development of India: Why should India not follow the path of  today's developed countries or aim for their lifestyles? Their way has been environmentally, socially, and spiritually damaging and India with its vast population and environment already under strain would suffer particularly grievously if it followed their example.  There is an alternative way to develop and India has the human, traditional, and spiritual resources to follow that way. 

Sir Mark Tully talked at length about the urgent need for an environmentally friendly world. Toying with the various ideas that can lead to such a goal, he suggested vegetarianism which could greatly help conserve our resources. The perils of deforestation and pollution need to be taken care of if we wish to avoid nature's backlash as has been witnessed in recent times. 

Referring to the increasing consumerism of today's world, he suggested that man's greed for more and more should be curbed, desires should be reined in, and the effort should be to adopt a middle path where we can focus on the essential and not on the superfluous.  Quoting liberally from the Gita, from well-known names like UR Anantamurthy and KBS Iyengar, Tully invoked the traditional Indian spirit which has suffered at the altar of insatiable human greed.

Tully's love for the railways of India emerged several times in his talk. if train services are improved, rather than roadways, it would help ease traffic congestion and improve the quality of life. under the garb of development we have lost a lot of our old ways of living that kept us connected to the spiritual side of life. Talking about the bureaucracy, he  put forward the idea that they need to realize that their job is to serve and not rule. Doing so, they will realize that greater happiness and satisfaction may be derived from the service of others.

Mark Tully came across as a man who loves India and cares enough to point out her flaws in the hope that something is done about them. His talk went down extremely well with the audience who did not wish to leave him alone even after the talk was over. He was engaged for almost an hour, fielding questions about his views on India, his experiences at the BBC, and his ideas on what would be a help to the nation.

In a nutshell, it was a very thought-provoking, scintillating evening and CSA may justifiably be proud of its achievement in hosting yet another event of a very high standard.

Manju Jaidka

Chairperson, CSA

Saturday, September 13, 2014

An evening with Waseem Barelvi

An evening with Waseem Barelvi

Under the auspices of the Chandigarh Heritage Festival this evening the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi hosted an evening with the noted Urdu poet, Waseem Barelvi at the UT Guest House.
The event witnessed an unprecedented crowd that listened enthralled to the shayari for an hour and then thronged around the veteran poet, unwilling to bring the evening to a close.
Dr Waseem Barelvi has an academic background with a doctoral degree in literature. This was evident in his opening remarks on the common roots of language and his views on the manner in which poetry crosses boundaries of time and space. Not only is he a moving poet, he is also an excellent orator and singer, truly an inspired bard, the likes of whom we do not see very often. Chandigarh was indeed lucky to play the audience to such talent.
"Woh jhoot bol raha tha bade saleekey sey / Main vishwas na karta toh kya karta?"
"Phool toh phool hain, aankhon se ghirey rehtey hain / Kaantey bekaar hi hifazat may lagey rehtey hain...."
Each couplet that Barelvi sa'ab uttered was greeted with loud applause and cries of "mukarar," "irshad," and "Wah wah."
Presiding over the event was Shri Sarvesh Kaushal, Chief Secretary Punjab, accompanied by Bhavna Garg and Amandeep, Secretary and Director (respectively) of the Dept of Culture, UT.
The organizers as well as the speaker of the day had warm words of appreciation for the audience. It is evident that Chandigarh is a city peopled with literature lovers who are eager to reach out beyond the limits of the city and welcome the opportunity to listen to voices from other parts of the country.

The programme was ably compered by Madhav Kaushik, himself a poet and the Secretary of CSA. In her vote of thanks the Chairperson of CSA, Manju Jaidka, announced that tomorrow (14th Sept) CSA would host Sir Mark Tully at 4pm in the UT Guest House.
Chairperson, CSA

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