Monday, 23 December 2013

Sumita Misra’s book, “Zara Si Dhoop” released

Noted literateur, Ashok Vajpeyi released the book of Hindustani poetry, ‘Zara See Dhoop’  penned by Sumita Misra, the chairperson of Chandigarh Literary Society, here today at the UT Guest
House. Her mother Dr P.K. Misra, to whom her book is dedicated along with sufi writer and bureaucrat Vijay Vardhan and Hindi writer Madhav Kaushik joined.

Commending on Sumita's poetic style, noted writer and poet Ashok Vajpeyi remarked that one could see a new spark and a new thought process in her poetry which has a touch of Urdu in her Hindustani typical of Lucknow nuances.
Ashok Vajpeyi kept the audience amused with his wit and humour and remarked that bureaucrats writing poetry has one clear advantage that they go through tremendous challenges and get to see the despair and tribulations of common man which might provide them with inspiration to indulge in creative pursuits but may also at least help them bring some humane touch to the process of governance.
The Advisor to the Administrator Mr K.K. Sharma, Finance Secretary Mr V.K. Singh along with city's gliterati attended the function.
Vijay Vardhan in his baritone voice recited some of Sumita Misra's poetry including 'Mujhe Chahiye', "Achha Hai', 'Mera Hissa', 'Chalo' etc, which according to him, depicted varied shades of life and in a way depicted tinge of despondency, but had portrayed moments of joy too.
Her mother, Dr. P.K. Misra, recalling her journey from childhood recalled her late father's word who always inspired her with the words, "sky is the limit for you", which she has proved time and again.
Sumita Misra is an acclaimed poet and has earlier published two books, one of poems in English titled ‘A Life of Light’ which has a foreword by Sh. Khushwant Singh, and another book of poems in Hindi titled ‘Kadmon ki Laya’.  
Sumita Misra who is currently posted as Secretary & Director General for Haryana Tourism & Hospitality and is the Managing Director of Haryana Tourism Corporation, but has deep interest in literature, and has been instrumental in organizing highly successful Chandigarh Lit Fest – Literati – in November 2013.
Born and brought up in Lucknow, she had an illustrious academic career having topped both
Born in Lucknow to doctor parents, Sumita Misra did her postgraduation in Economics from Lucknow University and had been a gold medalist and topper both in her BA and MA, as well as in Indian Administrative Service which she joined in 1990, as a topper and 10th position holder in her batch amongst women.
She has served the Haryana government on various positions for last 23 years as managing director/executive administrator/special secretary in the areas of education, rural industries, renewable energy, power, irrigation, women and child development.
She also did short-term courses in public policy from Harvard University, USA & Royal Institute of Public Administration, London, IIM Ahmedabad & IIM Bangalore.
She is receipient of Haryana State Gold Medal for outstanding work for Red Cross and Child Welfare activities.
She had been instrumental in getting Haryana three National Awards from the President of India Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil for outstanding work in Renewable Energy in 2007. Under her leadership Haryana was the National Award winner among all States for Energy Conservation for three years in a row, which is a record.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Literati 2013 may be behind us but every moment for those who attended, resides fresh in our minds. The cool breeze from Sukhna Lake, the balmy sun on Saturday morning, and bustle of city literati browsing through the books of the featured authors, and having private tete-tete over coffee. The two days packed a lot of joy for everyone.  We bring video snippets from those exciting moments over the next one week.  Enjoy.  Click on the video to watch. 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Literati : The Best Lit Fest Ever

24 November 2013
“The Best Lit Fest ever attended”
Chandigarh, November 24:
The Chandigarh Lit Fest, Literati 2013, ended with a high note at the Lake Club here today. With nearly 36 authors from across the countries participating, everyone was excited about the locale, the ambiance, the arrangements, and the bonhomie of the people of Chandigarh.
‘Thank you Chandigarh’ was the chorus from all the authors participating in Literati.  Ashwin Sanghi, one of the most celebrated authors at the concluding function went up to the podium, and remarked “I cannot believe that this had been the first ever attempt of Chandigarh Literary Society looking at the entire conduct of the programme, and I’m sure they would continue to grow with leaps and bounds.”
Ashwin Sanghi said that his first novel released last year “The Krishna Key” has about 40 pages devoted to a plot happening at Sukhna Lake and lo and behold the destiny has brought him here.
“I have attended so many literary festival but the kind of audience, their participation, has just floored us all,” Ashwani Sanghi said.
For Meghna Pant the level of Literati excelled had been world class and excelled in every respect.
Famous cartoonist and novelist Krishna Shastri Devulapalli, the peaceful, colorful and natural surroundings of Sukhna Lake has made our visit so memorable that I would love to come here again.
For Nandita C. Puri, Gul Panag, Kishwar Desai, the city had not been new, but the entire organization of Literati has made it a memorable place for the authors.
Ashok Vajpeyi described the experience in one world, ‘Laazwaab’, while New Indian Express’s executive editor felt that it could not have been better for a first timer like him.
The youngest author, Jaideep Bhoosreddy was all joy for having met so many noted authors and having his book released by none other than the celebrated author like Bhaskar Ghose.

24 November 2013
Don't perpetuate patriarchy for women's liberation: Gul Panag
As the curtain went down to Literati 2013, the Chandigarh Lit Fest by Chandigarh Literary Society at the Lake Club, the city literati had animated discussions on diverse topics with the second session on 'Women and the Paradox of Modernity' garnering maximum attention.
The panelists comprising of actor Gul Panag, journalist turned novelist Kishwar Desai, young author Tishaa Khosla, and executive editor of New Indian Express V. Sudarshan and festival director Sumita Misra while festival coordinator Vivek Atray moderated the session.
All the panelists were in unison on the continued patriarchy being overpowering in our society that leading to all the malice in the society including gang rape.
Don't perpetuate patriarchy, remarked Gul Panag and said that the women assert their rights to property and must fight for it as well as have economic independence in order to overcome the discrimination against women.
V. Sudarshan however pointed out that despite the modernisation, education and so called women liberation, the society still gets carried away by caste or religion based discrimination.
Kishwar Desai reiterated that patriarchy is at the centre of the entire problem and the women themselves are responsible for remaining complacent and quite about the atrocities or harrassement meted out to them.  Though a middle aged working woman like her has all the freedom, but it is the woman as a person whose view of her own self and confidence with which she can ward off the negative behavior in work environments.
Endorsing Kishwar's observation Sumita Misra said that a working woman faces numerous challenges and she has to prove herself time and again, and cannot have the space to commit mistakes as much as the men have.
Young author Tishaa Khosla pointed out that the elementary school books continue to portray woman good only for cooking whereas men go to the office, which need to be taken care of because it is the children who grow up with those preconceived notions. She questioned why women observe 'karva chauth', whereas it should be observed both by men and women, because wives need long life for their husbands as much as the men do for their wives.
Responding to a question about men's behaviour with women, she said that a man represents the kind of upbringing he had from his parents, especially women, and therefore, the onus lies on every woman to teach their sons how to be gender neutral and be respectful to everyone.
Tishaa suggested that men should also be taught to get rid of their staring-mentality, while Kishwar Desai added that the paradox for a woman is whether she is a modern or liberated.  A liberated woman is the one who can stand up for her own and rights of others when need be.
The session overstepped its time limit because of continued floor participation.

24 November 2013
‘Literature for me comes from enthusiasm’: Ashok Vajpeyi

“I have often heard people saying that creativity in literature comes to a disturbed mind which is disappointed from life but for me it comes from enthusiasm for life”.
In an engaging session, illustrious poet Ashok Vajpeyi entertained the audience with his sense of humour, besides leaving them awestruck when he read out some couplets from his works of poetry.
He was in conversation with Dr Virender Mehndiratta, a Hindi short story writer formerly the head of Hindi department, Panjab University on the second day of the Literati 2013 at the Chandigarh Lake Club here today.
Dr Mehndiratta took off the session on a lighter note on how he had never before interviewed anyone as he was more accustomed to being interviewed. He described Vajpeyi ‘youthful’, which he said comes with creativity, which Vajpeyi had in abundance and was evident from his contribution in the field of literature since last 50 years. “He is an institution in himself”, said Dr Mehndiratta.
The rubaru (face to face) with the poet began with an interesting question on how Vajpeyi pursued his so many other interests like love for music, besides being a prolific writer. He explained that he was just 15 when he started taking interest in literature and even classical music and he continued to pursue his love for both music and writing.
“Why do you laugh so much”? When Dr Mehndiratta asked Vajpeyi, he left the audience laughing.
“I laugh so much on so many blunders I make everyday”, he replied quoting a line from ‘Professing Poetry’ by John Wayne in which he has stated, ‘Weep before God, Laugh before Men’.
Vajpeyi said literature is considered to be a very sad form of art and it’s because of such literature festivals that we feel encouraged, adding ‘a poet never loses hope and literature gives hope to the poet through the written word’.
He went on to say how a writer also gets many chances to learn from other writers and literature was a catalyst to your thought process  by helping to get a closer look at life.
When asked how there was a crisis when it comes to maintaining the essence of Hindi language, Vajpeyi said only society can save it and many Hindi organisations are also defunct now, even those started by him. He added its time for Hindi media to do something to save the language.

The session ended on an interesting note when Vajpeyi was asked why he chose to pursue Hindi literature. He replied, “I chose not to write in English because I had faith in my mother tongue and that’s what has helped me to celebrate life”.

24 November 2013
Humour is a Serious Business
The first session of Literati 2013 opened with cartoonist, humorist and writer Krishna Shastry, journalist Jai Arjun Singh, and author Vivek Atray with Khushwant Gill as the moderator discussed 'The Challenge of Humour'.
The Team Literati dedicated the session to great satirist and humorist of our times, late Jaspal Bhatti.
The panelists mulled over diverse theoretical aspects of humour as it is depicted in writing, theatre, cinema, or by the standup comedians. while they agreed on the fact that it is ultimately the recipient or the reader who decides whether the genre has tickled his or her funny bone.
Jai Arjun Singh however lamented that despite humour being much talked about subject, seldom comic performances have won an Oscar in last 85 years, and Krishna Shastri agreed that there are not many humour-writers in our country and unfortunately, those who write humour are also considered lesser beings.
Vivek Atray said that the greatest humour comes when you have the ability to laugh at yourself than at others though this culture is vanishing.
Jai Arjun Singh lamented that the humour is being stifled by the people in power and people arrested for even stating the facts on the social media, which is a sorry state of affair, and even innocuous comments are labelled offensive by politicians with vested interests.
Krishna kept the people laughing with his witty remarks and even very hillarious discriptive excerpts from his latest book, 'Jump Cut'.

24 November 2013
Two books launched at Litearti
Chandigarh, November 23:
The research thesis on 'Kashmir's Narratives of Conflict' by journalist Manisha Gangahar was released by author Rahul Pandita on the concluding day of the two-days LITERATI organised by Chandigarh Literary Society.
Mr. K.K. Sharma, Advisor to the Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, stayed beyond the inaugural yesterday and even attended the afternoon session and evinced keen interest in talking to various authors too.  He again arrived in the afternoon and attended several sessions.
Another book, 'Lal Chowk' by noted writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir was also released here in the afternoon session.
Various authors including Gyan Parkash, Manjula Rana, Bubbu Tir, Manmohan Singh and Madhav Kaushik discussed the challenges of contemporary literature while HS Rana, Chandra Shekhar Varma, Manish Shukla, Shashi Prabha Attri, Pam Handa, Angelee Deodhar with Madhav Kaushik,  recited the poems in the session 'Poetic Expressions'.
Ashwin Sanghi talked about his famous mythological book Chanakya in the penultimate session in discussion with Aradhika Sharma.
In the session on 'Narrative, Mind and Memory', conducted by Vandana Shukla, writers Manju Kapur, Rahul Pandita, Nirupma Dutt and Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry explored the various aspects of creativity and how memory plays a role in the creative process. Especially touching was the story of the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir in 1990 who settled elsewhere and even abroad, who are living through the pain refusing to return to their homeland with the fear of finding it devastated. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

LITERATI 2013 Opens

23 November 2013
Books help us organize our lives: K.K. Sharma 
Chandigarh Lit Fest, Literati, opens 

The two days Chandigarh Lit Fest, LITERATI 2013, opened here today with the city literati converging at the Lake Club lawns to interact with nearly 36 authors.
Mr K.K. Sharma, Advisor to the Administrator UT, Chandigarh, while inaugurating Literati, who himself is an avid reader, dwelt on varied aspects of books and the impact these have on our lives.
Welcoming the authors from across the country to Chandigarh, K.K. Sharma expressed special gratitude for their vocation and passion for writing books which are great resources to humanity, helping people organize their lives through the knowledge and perspective the books throw.
Just as non-fiction help us acquire new knowledge, fiction help us understand the nuances of human relationships and manage life’s issues picking lessons from the fictional characters and challenging situations.

Sumita Misra, Festival Director and Chairperson of Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS), speaking about the short history of CLS since early 2012 when a few writer friends dreamt of bringing in some excitement into the lives of the people living here in the city by initiating the move.  The best take away of CLS journey, she remarked, was that if one has to realize big projects like Literati, one need to dream big, and once you take on to the journey, it is not a lonely walk that matters but the togetherness and support of the friends that you are able to garner during this journey that matters and help you realize such dreams.

Theater actor, director, and author Bhaskar Ghose speaking about ‘In Search of the Authentic’ traced the evolution of various languages over the centuries and condemned the process of codification that kills any language, referring to Latin and Sanskrit in Asia which lost their sheen due to sheer parochial perspective of purists.

Over the centuries the major languages have been replaced by local dialects and even the common phrases of conversations have become a part of the new language which authentically conveys the expression of the hearts of the people, he said.

Referring to diverse versions that English has acquired over centuries becoming Canadian English, British English, American English, and now Indian English, which perfectly fits into its own genre of expression and authentically portrays the Indian perceptions, emotions and expressions.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

What's happening at LITERATI?

Check out the Chandigarh Lit Fest - LITERATI 2013's programme schedule.
Get ready for action. (It may take a few seconds to upload the pdf. Please wait... and then click to go through the contents)

LITERATI Scene is hotting up.

The pitch is ready for the first test.
The two-days Chandigarh Lit Fest - LITERATI 2013 - opens on Saturday, the 23rd November 2013.
The teams of CLS members and volunteers are busy giving the final touches to the arrangements.
There are queries from all quarters, authors, sponsors, partners, and of course, the people at large who are waiting for the curtain to rise on LITERATI.
The weather gods augur well for this weekend, as the cool breeze from the Sukhna Lake with the chirping of migratory birds fluttering around, would add to the perfect ambiance of to the literary discussions.

Have you registered yourself?
Please do it on, and become a part of the most-talked about literary event in this region.
And of course, our facebook is already showing hyper activity, and you can just Like it to become a part of the Literati...literally.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Jerry Pinto's COBALT BLUE short listed for DSC Prize

Jerry Pinto is one of the featured author at LITERATI 2013.  And it makes us feel proud that the book, COBALT BLUE which he translated has been short listed in the DSCPrize for South AsianLiterature.  

Jerry Pinto would be reading excerpts from COBALT BLUE, at LITERATI 2013. 

Jerry Pinto is a Mumbai-based author and journalist. He has written and edited several books. His Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb (Penguin India) won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema. His first novel Em and the Big Hoom (Aleph Book Company) won the Hindu Lit for Life award last year. He has translated Sachin Kundalkar's novel Cobalt Blue (Penguin) into English. His next book is the much-anticipated Maps of a Mortal Moon: Essays and Entertainments by Adil Jussawalla, a volume he has edited. He teaches journalism at the Sophia Institute of Social Communications Media and is on the board of MelJol, an NGO that works in the sphere of child rights.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Literati on the move

Just click this QR code and get CLS updates on your mobile.  At the moment this is an android app workable on most of the smart phones with web browsers.  Very soon we shall have the iphone version too.

Just shoot the QR code image here with your mobile phone's camera or simply go to the link to download the LITERATI app for regular updates.

Register for participation. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Quick Overview of What we do at CLS

Here's a quick overview of CLS activities since March 2012.
And more exciting times are ahead with the Literati-2013 around the corner.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Volunteer Yourself Now.

Become a part of the LITERATI's VOLUNTEER Team.

Chandigarh Literary Society invites students, housewives, professionals, or for that matter, anyone who would like to share the work load with us in organising this mega literary event in your city beautiful.

Please Register Yourself Now.   Click the Link here and enter your details.

We shall be getting in touch with all those who register as Volunteers for a meeting at the venue - the Lake Club - for orientation. 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Literati : An admixture of Serious and Popular Literature

Literati 2013 being organised by the Chandigarh Literary Society on 23-24 November 2013 has some of the most celebrated names of literateurs participating.

There is four generation of writers from the most established authors to the younger ones who would be sharing their writings and eliciting debate and discussion with the informed readers of the city in this two-days literary extravaganza.

Here are two videos of the Press Conference and of an interview with CLS Chairperson Ms Sumita Misra on one of the news channels, TNM

Get ready for the action. More details are available on our website Chandigarh Literati

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Chandigarh Literary Fest in November

Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) in association with Chandigarh Administration is hosting the region’s first mega literary festival, Literati 2013, on 23-24 November
With an amazing line-up of internationally renowned authors, exclusive performances by specially commissioned artists, interspersed with topical debates and discussions across varied literary genres, the city shall be the destination of choice for literature lovers, informed Ms. Sumita Misra, Chairperson of CLS addressing the media here today.

Some of the authors who have confirmed their participation in Literati 2013 include Bhaskar Ghose,  Prasoon Joshi,  Ashok Vajpeyi, Kishwar Desai,  Madhu Kishwar,  Gul Panag, Meghna Pant,  Rajeev Dubey,  Rahul Bose,  Jerry Pinto, Jaspreet Singh,  Mohyna Srinivasan, Nandita C Puri,  Paro Anand,  Krishna Shastri,  Jai Arjun Singh,  Manjula Rana,  Govind Mishra,  Bubbu Tir,  Gyan Prakash Vivek ,  Abhisar Sharma,  Irshad Kamil,  Upamanyu Chatterjee,  Gobind Mishra,  Rahul Pandita,  and Ashwin Sanghi.

The Literati would have sessions for English, Hindi and Panjabi literature with some interesting sessions like ‘Exotica is the New Erotica’, ‘The Four Letter Words: All Betweeen Love & Hate’, ‘Women and the Paradox of the Modernity’, ‘Dissent, Discourse & Diaspora’, ‘Religion and Politics: Oxygen or Position?’, to name just a few.

Several book launches are also planned during Literati, including ‘Helium’ by Jaspreet Singh, and Manisha Gangahar’s ‘Kashmir’s Narratives of Conflict’.

The Team Literati2013 also unveiled the website ( which would keep the literary-connoisseurs informed about the programme as they unfold during the event.
“We are also registering volunteers from the city who would take care of various logistics support for the event, though we have already received an encouraging response from the students,” informed Mr Vivek Atray.

The sprawling lakeside lawns of Lake Club will be transformed to a literary village with bookstalls, paintings, photographs and handicrafts display, live artists at work, coffee corners, and food stalls.

Noted Hindi author Mr. Madhav Kaushik, Secretary of CLS said that this literary festival is celebration of creativity to encourage and inspire young writers in this region and this annual event shall grow into bigger format in future.

Since its formation in 2012, CLS has activated the Chandigarh literary scene by hosting some of the celebrated authors including Anupam Kher, Navtej Sarna, Pavan Varma, Ketan Bhagat, Yousuf Saeed to name just a few, besides organizing various workshops for budding authors, and short-story and poetry writing competitions, added Ms Misra.

This shall be an annual signature event of CLS and the next one would be in much larger dimensions, she informed.

Friday, 6 September 2013

We Weren't Lovers Like That...and much more

Author of bestseller, "We Weren't Lovers Like That", Mr. Navtej Sarna would be here with us in Chandigarh on 7th September 2013at UT Guest House, Sector 6, Chandigarh, at 4pm.

NAVTEJ SARNA is the author of the novels The Exile and We Weren't Lovers Like That and the short story collection Winter Evenings.

He has also written several non-fiction works- The Book of Nanak; Folk Tales of Poland and a translation of Guru Gobind Singh’s Zafarnama.

His most recent work is Savage Harvest,  a translation of Punjabi short stories on the partition of India written originally by his father, the celebrated author Mohinder Singh Sarna.

He contributes regularly to the Times Literary Supplement, The Hindu and other journals. He has been writing a literary column "Second Thoughts" in the Hindu for the last seven years.

 A member of the Indian Foreign Service since 1980, he has served as a diplomat in several capitals (Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington) , as the Foreign Office Spokesperson in New Delhi and most recently, as India's ambassador to Israel. He is now posted as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Walk the Talk

The best tribute that one can pay to our martyrs who fought and laid down their lives for the freedom of our country is by being truthful to oneself, and honest in whatever we do, said Sumita Misra, Chairperson of Chandigarh Literary Society in her inaugural address of the "Beyond August 15" exhibition at Hotel Aquamarine on 22nd August.
The exhibition and installations curated by our member Ms Neenu Vij of Kadamb Art who had brought together artists from Chandigarh and Delhi to showcase their representation of the India's independence, and how one can continue to sustain it beyond August 15, in collaboration with the Chandigarh Literary Society.
Mrs. Sumita Misra, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Government of Haryana earlier cut the ribbon to formally inaugurate the exhibition.
Those present from CLS included beside the Chairperson herself, Mr Man Mohan Singh Kohli of Hotel Aroma, Vivek Atray, Saguna Jain, CJ Singh, Neenu Vij, Renee Singh, besides several other prominent citizens.
Explaining the concept, the curator Neenu Vij said that 15th August. It is not just a date for any Indian as it is associated with memories of historical importance and personal sacrifices.  It is an admixture of emotional pride, a struggle to behold, dream to yearn for achievements as well as acknowledge ideas to flourish. The independence day has also been moment of sheer pride and eternal bliss, and also gave us an identity as a nation.
Neenu Vij receited some of the poems that his father had penned for her during her childhood that carried deep learning and message.
Mr. Vivek Atray, IAS, Managing Director, Hartron, complimented Neenu Vij for bringing together the retrospect of such emotions and unique combination of art and literature.
The combination of poetic expression and visual presentation of the idea is to elaborate the fact that the aim of art in any way is to convey a thought, carry a mission and unite people for the same.
Another highlight of the evening was the recital of Rabindranath Tagore's "Ekla chalo re" by city's famous musician Subhash Ghosh followed by 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram'. 
The participating  artists included Amargeet, Natasha Jaini, Meena Baya,  Vishal Bhuwania from New Delhi, and  Madan Lal, Bheem Malhotra, Alka Kalra, Namita Kohli from Chandigarh.
The exhibition is on view from August 22 to 24 at Hotel Aquamarine.
Our special thanks to Mr. Man Mohan Singh Kohli for providing perfect ambiance and hosting the event with aplomb and personal care.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Be Creative to be Successful

Introducing himself, Ketan Bhagat, remarked, "I am the Other Brother."  But Ketan Bhagat, brother of famous Chetan Bhagat, emerged as very eloquent and witty speaker who carried the audience along through his supposedly mundane topic of "Creativity for Entrepreneurs".

It was a bright Saturday morning as members of Chandigarh Literary Society and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) tropped into the fabulously decked newly opened art gallery by TiE charter member, Atul Gupta and his wife Anuja, in Sector 34.
People interacted over hot cup of tea and coffee with cookies, brownies and cake, connecting with the old and making new introductions before the programme.
With a brief introduction about his recently published “Complete/Convenient”, which breaks the myths that surround the NRIs, Ketan Bhagat summarises the entire experience into his book title most aptly.
He said, that while living abroad for an NRI might be very convenient but it is not complete.
Having worked abroad for seven years, Ketan decided to return to India unable to contain the feeling of ‘completeness’ that India gives no matter how chaotic, crowded, and difficult Indian life is.  “Every Indian living abroad howsoever successful he/she may be, misses India tremendously.
While my brother writes about superheros and larger than life episodes, my story is about a common man from a common man, who is in 30s, married, working in an MNC, but "powerless, helpless and speechless," he remarked.
Punctuating his presentation on creativity for entrepreneurs with wit and humour, he said that creativity can win new customers, make employees happy, and reduce stress for the entrepreneur.
Every customer has the capacity to pay more for creative products and services, and a creative environment can continue to help your employees happy and satisfied which translates into better bottomline, and progressing business, he added.
Though he advised that everyone, not only entrepreneurs, must dedicate a time-slot every day to some creative pursuit, to which our own celebrated author Mr Vivek Atray added that instead of keeping creativity into any structured timeframe, it must be a part of one's being to be creative in everything that one does.
After the interaction Mr Vivek Atray introduced everyone to the Chandigarh Literary Society 

and its objective of reviving interest in books among youth and encouraging budding artists to write.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Ketan Bhagat, brother of Chetan Bhagat, would be addressing members of TiE and CLS at The Art Lounge, SCO 358-359, Sector 34A, Chandigarh. 
He would be speaking on 'Creativity for Entrepreneurs'. 
You are invited.

'Manoj and Babli: The Hate Story' Released

Penguin Books India brings the spine chilling story of Manoj and Babli

Chandigarh Literary Society and Penguin India released, Chandra Suta Dogra’s debut book  “Manoj and Babli: A Hate Story” at a function organized at UT Guest House here on 2nd August.

Chander Suta Dogra, who is a senior journalist having worked with ‘Ourlook’ magazine and is currently the Assistant Editor with ‘The Hindu’, invited her mother Mrs. Sudesh Chandel to release the book.

Others who spoke on the occasion included a prolific writer and reviewer Neeraj Bali, Maj Gen (Retd) Pushpinder Singh, and a well-known columnist Kishie Singh.
This is the true story of the honour killing of Manoj and Babli of Haryana and its aftermath. In this painstakingly researched book, Chander Suta Dogra recreates how the couple eloped, breaking the taboo of same-caste marriage, and was seized and brutalized by the girl’s people, with their bodies being eventually dumped into a canal. Tacitly approving the deed, the village people did not attend the funeral and the tardiness of the local police and other agencies bordered on acquiescence.

The book by Penguin India, powerfully describes how, with the support of the media and women activists, Manoj’s mother, Chandrapati, and Sister Seema stood up to intimidation, social ostracism and the fury of the khaps or Jat councils across north India.  Manoj and Babli is a brilliant expose of the face-off between those who abide by the law and the upholders of archaic traditions that clash with it.

Chander Suta Dogra, earlier with Outlook magazine and now senior assistant editor with The Hindu, has covered north India for two decades. She has travelled extensively in the heartlands of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir for investigative reporting, often at great risk to herself, on issues ranging from caste and women to the agricultural crisis.

Published by Penguin India: Rs 299

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Humorous Story can be submitted till 31st July

The last date for submitting a humorous short story has been extended till 31st July.
All those who were in the midst of giving the finishing touches to their fables may hurry and email it before the midnight of 31st July. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Discussing the next CLS competition I requested an author friend, "why don't you enter a humorous short story for this competition?"
He threw a nasty glance at me and spat, "I'm a writer. I don't tell jokes."
Writing humour perhaps does not come easy. Probably, it is no longer common or comes naturally, to most of us.  We can get angry at anything...or nothing at times.  We can throw tantrums. Or may get romantic.  But laughing? We take life so seriously that humour looks uncouth, unsophisticated, not-my-style kind....
To further convince my  author friend who lost his hair at an early age, that humour could cure his baldness. That is what I had read somewhere, I told him to calm him down.
I was sure that this bulging hulk of six feet would now throw me out of his home after this literal nail on his glistening head, but he got up and had a hearty laugh.

What are you waiting for?
Get down to work and get happy...that's one mood that you need to get into to write a funny piece in just 1500 words that can have instantaneous health benefits including lowering of blood pressure, and improving someone's immune system least yours for sure.  And there're prizes to be won at a public function.

Who can participate?
All those who can laugh at themselves.
Or have an uncanny eye to see the unseen...and can find humour in everyday jsituation.
No age Bar.
And of course, we take it for granted that you can write in English, Hindi or Panjabi.

30th June Midnight
We know that despite our telling you to submit your story in time online, you would do so only at 11:55pm on 30th June.

Secret Tips
Get cracking now. The forecast is that the electricity department would be celebrating Earth Hour on 30th night. The broadband would be playing truant with the band-width.  And your laptop may just decide to die in your lap with a corrupt disk or ram going mad.

( the meanwhile, our many friends are vying to be on the panel of jury to be the first to enjoy the concoctions that you would be sending...)

Happy Writing!!

Submit online on

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

CLS interview of Sonia Golani

Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) invited Sonia Golani last month to share her insights on her second book "My Life, My Rules". Day and Night News interviewed her at the PHD House just before the meeting. CLS presents here the video for your watching pleasure.


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Who won the Poetry Writing Competition 2013?

Simran Grewal
Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) announced the winners of its first poetry writing competition 2013 which was launched in January on 26th April.
Just after Sonia Golani's interaction with the city's literati, the much-awaited results of the Poetry Writing Competition 2013 were announced.  
There were 53 entries in English, 20 in Hindi and 3 in Panjabi, Ms. Sumita Mista, President CLS, informed.

Ms Sumita Misra and Ms Superna Puri, who were two of the three jury members shared the difficult process of sorting out the best poems out of numerous good ones, not without enjoying the insightful diverse treatment to the single theme of "Darkness Before Dawn". 
Though not many winners could join the function, their winning poems were receited  with aplomb by Superna.
Dr. Sandeep Chhatwal

The first prize for English poem went to Simran Grewal , while second and third prizes went to Mrinalini Singha and Dr. Sandeep Chatwal respectively.

From amongst contributions in Hindi, first and second prize went to Surbhi Kishore and Ajay Singh Rana respectively.

Ajay Singh Rana
Superna Puri
Sneh Ganju and Srishti Sood won the consolation prizes, while Randeep Wadhera and Dinesh Kapila received special mention by the jury.

Our special thanks to English Book Shop and Nando's family restaurant for sponsoring the prizes for the winners of the CLS PWC2013. 

Sonia Golani shares 'My Life, My Rules'

Sonia Golani, author of ‘My Life, My Rules’ addressed the members of Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS)  at PHD House auditorium on 26th April.
‘My Life, My Rules’ published by Westland comprises of her interviews with 18 new generation leaders of the country who made a mid-career change and followed their dream passions to make a success of their lives.
An alumna of Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi and Delhi University, she heads the Management Consultancy Group  specializing in recruitment of professionals for banking, financial services and insurance sectors. 
An interesting floor participation, the audience interacted with Sonia Golani, who was quick in responding with an engaging anecdotes from the lives of those who featured in her book.

Chandigarh Literary Society is grateful to Westland publishers for coordinating the visit of Sonia Golani to Chandigarh as also the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry which joined hands with us in making 'Meet the Author' programme a great success.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Are you the winner?

The much-awaited results of the Poetry Writing Competition, the PWC2013, are awaited from the jury, and ultimately the winners would be announced...hold your breath...on Friday, 26th April 2013.

This is the time we are having our 'Meet the Author' program featuring noted management consultant Sonia Golani from Mumbai, whose second book, 'My Life, My Rules' published by Westland is already inspiring many a youngsters and startups.

The program will be held in the auditorium of PHD Chamber, Sector 31, Chandigarh, and every participating poet in this competition shall receive a Certificate of Participation, and of course, the winners will receive their prizes and mementos. Don't forget to collect yours.

We thank the overwhelming response that we received for the competition, and some of the poets however, digressed from the theme of the competition "Darkness Before Dawn", and sent something on their own, which were not considered for the competition. However, we deeply appreciate all those who took the trouble to let their creative fluids flow on to the paper and sent their expressions digitally for the competition.

Remember, 26th April 2013 at 5pm sharp at PHD House, Sector 31, Chandigarh.

The participants are requested to bring along their families and friends. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

'My Life, My Rules' Author to visit Chandigarh on 26th April

On Friday, 26th April 2013, Chandigarh Literary Society has invited Sonia Golani,  a management professional from Mumbai and author of her second best-seller 'My Life, My Rule' published by Westland.

Keep your date free for interacting with this young professional who is passionate about life and its fascinating nuances. In this book, she has recorded stories of 18 successful entrepreneurs, who changed their life's rules, followed their dreams, and made a success of their lives.

It is interesting to read about Rahul Akerkar, a Masters in Biochemical Engineering from US who is today known as celebrity chef and owner of Mumbai's fine-dining restaurant, Indigo.  Or there is actor R.Madhavan, who moved from teaching to the fashion world and then to Bollywood.

And there is Rashmi Uday Singh, once a Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax who is today widely known as India's most-sought-after food critic.

Who has not seen the guitarist with his colorful headgear in the band Indian Ocean, Rahul Ram.  He is Doctorate in Environmental Toxicology but chose to make a career as a musician.

These 18 gripping stories are glittering examples that changing course in mid-stream may not be a bad idea.

Thanks to the publishers, Westland Ltd, and the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry that Sonia Golani would be here to share her insight to inspire the 'round pegs' to get out of 'square holes' by just following your passion.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Pavan Varma ignites introspection

 Celebrated author Pavan Varma addresses Chandigarh Literary Society

The author of 19 bestselling and highly regarded books, Mr Pavan Varma was in the city on the invitation of Chandigarh Literary Society who unveiled the agenda for every Indian to be the change agent for the betterment of the country.

Mr Varma who has been press secretary to the President of India, official spokesman of the Foreign Office, director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and India’s ambassador to Bhutan, took premature retirement on 1st January 2013, from the Indian Foreign Service, and got involved in active involved in public life.

Having written 19 best sellers, Pavan Varma is best known for The Great Indian Middle Class; Being Indian: The Truth about Why the 21st Century will be India’s and Becoming Indian: The Unfinished Revolution of Culture and Identity.

His latest book “Chanakya’s New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis Within India” published by Aleph Book Company formed the backdrop of his interaction with local literati to initiate the debate on how everyone can contribute to change India for the better, informed Mrs.Sumita Misra, President of Chandigarh Literary Society. .

Modelled on Chanakya’s seminal fourth century treatise—the Arthashashtra—Mr Varma has worked out a practical and detailed plan to bring about reform and change in five key areas that require urgent attention—governance, democracy, corruption, security, and the building of an inclusive society.

Whether it is laying the foundation for an independent and effective Lokpal, or decriminalizing politics and successfully weeding out the corrupt, the solutions he proposes are substantive, well within the constitutional framework, and can make all the difference between intent and action.

As Mr Varma puts it in the introduction to the book, ‘As a civilization, India has shown a remarkable talent in reinventing itself. That is the secret of our survival through an incredible 5,000-year-long journey. We have been known as a civilization in which moulik soch or the power of original thought was cultivated. This is a legacy that we can, and must, revive.

“We are fortunate that our founding fathers bequeathed to us a framework of a functioning democratic order through a farsighted constitution. We do not need to throw this aside, or to transplant, borrow or mimic what others have done. But what we do need to do is to make the system that was bequeathed to us work. For, it is obvious to anyone except to those who deliberately choose to be blind, that the current manner of functioning of our nation is unacceptable. Our future is at stake. The future of our youth, and upcoming generations, is at stake. There is no time to be lost,” he says.

Both a call to action as well as a deeply insightful account of the challenges facing the country today, Chanakya’s New Manifesto is a book that should be attentively read by everybody with a stake in India’s future, added Mrs Sumita Misra.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

What the reviewers are saying about Chanakya's New Manifesto

Mr. Pavan Varma's new book, Chanakya's New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis Within India, is a journey through the ideological terrain of modern India striving to streamline governance, hone the democratic apparatus to make it more inclusive, purge corruption and install foolproof security—key areas that continue to throw up fresh challenges 66 years after Independence.'—Hindustan Times

'Simple, lucid and easy for the young to relate to, [Pavan] Varma presents his prescription for change in the form of a political manifesto—a point-wise analysis of the problems and their solutions.'—Zee News

'A thoughtful analysis of India in its current state for the inquisitive youth who believe in redressal and redemption.'—The Times of India

'Chanakya famously strategized to overthrow the corrupt Dhana Nanda, ruler of Pataliputra, and replace him with Chandragupta who eliminated misgovernance and ruled what was the first pan-Indian empire. Unlike Chanakya, [Pavan] Varma does not suggest an overthrow of the system. Varma's New Manifesto (even if he modestly calls it Chanakya's) is full of ideas within the constitutional framework of India.'—India Today

Mr. Pavan Varma would be in Chandigarh on 29th March at UT Guest House, Sector 6, Chandigarh at 5pm. Will you be there? 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Chanakaya's New Manifesto

The celebrated author of 'Chanakya's New Manifesto' and former Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Mr. Pavan Varma, will be the guest speaker at Chandigarh Literary Society on Friday, 29th March 2013, at the CII Convention Centre, Sector 31 from 5pm - 7pm.

Chanakya’s New Manifesto published by Aleph, is both a call to action as well as a deeply insightful account of the challenges facing the country today. It is a book that should be attentively read by everybody with a stake in India’s future, and how anyone can effect positive change in the country.

Mr. Pavan Varma, had been the former press secretary to President of India, official spokesman of the Foreign Office, director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and India’s ambassador to Bhutan. Having taken premature retirement from the Indian Foreign Service, he now seeks to be actively involved in public life.

Pavan K. Varma has authored several acclaimed and bestselling books, among them, Ghalib: The Man, The Times; Krishna: The Playful Divine; The Great Indian Middle Class; Being Indian: The Truth About Why the 21st Century Will be India’s; Becoming Indian: The Unfinished Revolution of Culture and Identity and When Loss is Gain.

He has also translated into English the poetry of Gulzar, Kaifi Azmi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

This will be an interesting session and we look forward to everyone's participation.  

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Write to Express...Not Impress.

Getting down to writing is the most challenging part.  To look for the right idea, the right inspiration, the right supportive system, and lot more that pushes one to pick up pen and paper and write the first sentence. And we are sure that today's boot camp for the aspiring authors was full of quaint energy one could feel around in the room as 50 odd young and not-so-young sat glued to their seats for two hours to interact with a publisher, and an author.
RJ turned publisher, Hardeep Chandpuri, did an apt reality check on the business of writing and then getting it published.  It is tough to write, he said, and the tougher to find the publisher and get your work published. But the toughest is to distribute your book and reach out to the diverse reader, he added. 
Sharing his disturbing brush with some of the publishers and even a literary agent, made him wonder at his writing but more than anything else, helped him start a new publishing venture, 'Ferntree' and 'Writeway Literary Facilitators' to help and mentor the budding authors. 
Though ebook is already challenging the brick and mortar publishers, India would continue to be haven for the traditional publishing as large number of readers with no access to digital domain would love to hold, feel and rejoice at the smell printer's ink emanating from the 'real' book, explained Hardeep.
Books continue to however excite and there is no match to the experience of finding  copies of one's book adorning the book the author of debut best-seller, 'Move on Bunny', Vivek Atray, shared the elation he experienced in  finding 'Bunny' staring at him on a book stall on Haridwar railway station, or in the book store of a remote city. 

Preeti Singh, whose crime thriller 'Flirting with Fate' has caught readers' attention and has won her two awards too, shared the journey of five years she undertook in writing it and getting it published, involving writing and rewriting, numerous revisions, and of course, the pleasure of adding a few real-life characters that infact, generated quite a curiosity amongst them to get hold of the book once it is published.

"My aim as a debut writer had been just to reach out to the maximum number of people", and having sold a sizable number of the book with her own marketing pitches to the book sellers, she said, she feels contented in having done so.

Her advice to the budding authors had been not to use verbose language and instead make it simple and straightforward which a common man can understand.

"Do not write to impress...but to express," she said.

There had been interesting interaction with the participating wanting to know about the real travails of getting published, dealing with the publishers, and reaching out to the readers. 

CLS President Sumita Misra affirmed that one should get published on the book's merit and not by finding any short-cuts. Numerous publishers would use different ploys to undervalue the author and their work, but one should be firm and continue to look around for more options.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Aspiring Authors' Boot Camp

Chandigarh Literary Society invites you to an exclusive boot camp for the budding authors who aspire to get published.  Learn the techniques and tips from the Experts on 23rd February from 3:30pm till 5:00pm.

Click here to confirm your seat.  Please be seated by 3:15pm. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Get Published

There is a good news for all those who are submitting their entries for the Poetry Writing Competition (PWC2013).  Chandigarh Literary Society has decided to publish some of the best submissions in the form of an anthology after the competition.

The jury shall be selecting the best poems that we receive for the competition and convert them into an eBook. It is quite a possibility that we shall have the printed version also, which of course, would be priced one.  Those of you whose poem finds an entry into the anthology would of course get one free copy of the printed version (if it happens), and opportunity to order more copies at a special author price.  However, the details would be shared once we finalise it with the publisher.

So hurry. Don't miss the opportunity.

Last Date for PWC2013 is 28th

Wake up the poet in you and send in your entry for our poetry writing competition (PWC2013) before 28th February. Yes, the date stands extended.

We have already received an amazingly overwhelming response, and are grateful to all the coordinators.

And don't forget to go through the Terms & Conditions of participation. You can click here to read or download the same.

Those who have already submitted their entries may also send in their brief profile with a photograph.  The entries received so far would be acknowledged individually by email after the last date.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Darkness Before Dawn

Hello poets, authors, and readers.
After the successful stint with short story writing competition that Chandigarh Literary Society had last year, we begin this new year with another exciting contest on poetry writing, knowing fully well that there are lots and lots of unknown poets amongst you who have one time or the other, penned a few beautiful couplets.

Let this contest once again ignite that dormant spirit of romance or philosophy in you to pen down a sonnet, a ballad, a doggerel, or a ghazal.

This Poetry Writing Competition is on the theme of "Darkness Before Dawn". ("Bhor se pehle andhera")

Everybody and anybody can participate in this contest.  You can write in English, Hindi, Hindustani or Panjabi, and email the poem before the midnight of 15th February 2013.

There would be a panel of three judges who will decide the prize winners.  Their judgment of course would be final, and all poems submitted for the contest shall be the property of Chandigarh Literary Society for its use in whatever manner it considers it appropriate.

The prizes will be given at a public function in Chandigarh with lots of sur-prizes for the winners.
Pick up your pen and send your masterpiece to