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.
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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.

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Please do it on, and become a part of the most-talked about literary event in this region.
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