Tuesday, 18 November 2014

"Thanks for the warmth..."

Thanks to Team Literati, the beautiful notes of thanks continue to pour in.
Just a note of warm thanks to you and the entire team of Chandigarh Literary Society for the hospitality and warmth you extended and for giving me the opportunity to share and listen to thoughts with the Chandigarh audience.-  Shefalee Vasudev

Participating in Literati-2014 was good-   Jaswant Zafar

Thank you very much for having me- Thomas Timberg

A lovely experience at the lit fest. I enjoyed it all and so did my wife and son. It was quite lovely- Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri

Thanks for inviting me. I enjoyed it- Gurcharan Das

Thanks, we enjoyed coming to the conference. You organised it
so well-
Mamta Kalia

It was a great festival. Lots of good sessions. I enjoyed the ones on Defence Literature and Susmit Sen & others especially- Chitra Viraraghavan

Thank you so much for inviting us to Literati 2014. We had a wonderful time and do hope we can visit again :)- Devapriya Roy & Saurav Jha

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Bouquets from Authors for Team Literati 2014

Literati 2014 is over, and we are overwhelmed by the response from the people of tricity, the support of our partners, advertisers and sponsors, and of course, our valued authors who left with lots of good wishes to Team Literati.  We reproduce here some of them. 

The photographs of Literati can be viewed on our facebook page. 

Thank you very much..it was a wonderful day ..Shekhar Gupta (attending Day 1)

Thank you for the imaginative memento Literati 2014 presented its participants with. I really liked the elegant plate!Prof. Rukmini Bhaya Nair

It is the best memento I have ever received. What a thoughtful gift! -Susmit Sen

I had a really nice time at Literati 2014. Thanks a lot for your gracious hospitality and for creating a forum where meaningful discussions can take place. Ratika sends her thanks for sending her memento.- Amitabha Bagchi

Thank you all for inviting me. It was wonderful to be in the panel- Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of a very elegantly conducted Fest, where the session were all, repeat ALL, meaningful, well attended, and participatory. It is not easy, but you all managed it! Congrats, and hope to be a more involved participant next year... As moderator and with my book on Jagjit Singh-  Sathya Saran

I really wish to thank you and your wonderful team for inviting and hosting me in the most wonderful way for Literati 2014. The Lake Club is indeed the perfect venue for talking books and literature.  I genuinely had a very good time and was fortunate to meet some very interesting fellow authors. I am now a confirmed Literati evangelist and will remain one forever :)- Akshay Manwani

Compliments for the way you organized it all. Quiet efficiency is how I would put it.Indian Express Chandigarh covered my talk well and I am seeing some very good reviews of the fest all over. It was good to be panelist and I would always come back if invited.- Lt. Gen.Syed Ata Hasnain

Thanks for nice session- Prof. Chaman Lal

I had such a good time! I hope I can be there again. What a lovely venue!- Aruni Kashyup

I really enjoyed the sessions-you had organised an interesting and varied range of subjects--and the play Amrita... The logistics were well co-ordinated and I felt very well looked after. Many thanks for having included me.-  Sudha Shah

Thank you for a fantastic Literati 2014. It was great to meet and connect with some wonderful people at the venue. Also, thanks for lovely memento!  Gautam Chinatamani 

Congratulations! On a well organized festival- Atamjit Singh

Thank you for having us and looking after us so well; I really felt very nice being at Literati 2014- Nony Singh

It was lovely to speak at the Festival. Thanks for everything- Benoy K Behl

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Our special thanks to Literati 2014 Sponsors

We are grateful to all our partners and sponsors who have come forward to support Literati 2014.
Our special thanks to the Chandigarh Administration, and Haryana Cultural Affairs Department for their support.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Over 70 authors to converge for Literati 2014 in Chandigarh

The city beautiful, Chandigarh, is getting ready to host the second edition of Chandigarh literary festival, Literati 

The city is already abuzz with Literati activities, kicking it off with an essay competition in the schools for the middle and senior sections which received tremendous response.

The Team Literati of Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) unveiled the poster and the theme of Literati, Celebrating Literary Aesthetics, at a curtain raiser press conference at the UT Guest House in the city.

Talking about the theme, Festival Director and CLS chairperson, Sumita Misra, said that a good piece of literature is crafted with emotional flavours that are relished by sensitive readers, and this year, the Literati would touch upon the English, Hindustan and Punjabi literature from the perspective of ‘navrasas’, the nine rasas

Vivek Atray of CLS, said that this is the festival for the city and everyone is invited to be a part of this exciting celebration of literary aesthetics.

India’s celebrated journalist, columnist and author, Shekhar Gupta shall deliver the keynote address at the inaugural, followed by discussions, talks, book readings, and interactions with more than 70 authors who are participating in this mega literary event.

Author coordinator Suparna-Saraswati Puri informed that the long list of celebrated authors includes Vandita Mishra, Vinita Dawra Nangia, Anubha Yadav, Nandita C. Puri, Ranjit Lal, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Charu Singh, Surjit Patar, Jaswant Zafar, Jagmeet Brar, Bubbu Tir, Gurcharan Das, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Abha Narain Lamba, Chaman Lal, Navtej Jauhar, Shefalee Vasudeva, Benoy Behl, Dayanita Singh, Nony Singh, etc.

Punjabi literature has not been talked about much in any of the literary festivals in the country, and Literati 2014 is focussing specially on Punjabi literature with  reputed authors like Surjit Patar, Jaswant Zafar, Swaranjit Savi, Bubbu Tir, Balwinder Grewal, Pali Bhupinder Singh, and Atamjit to showcase the sensitivity of the language and social ethos that it represents.

The first day evening cultural at Punjab Kala Bhavan auditorium is a play on Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi’s life directed by M S Sathyu and produced by K K Kohli.

On the second day evening, famous authors Krishna Shastri Devulapalli & Anita Nair would present a comic skit at the main venue of Literati at the Lake Club.

The festivities begin at 10:30am on Friday, 7th November, the sunny morning besides the placid waters of Sukhna Lake, under the canopy of eucalyptus trees.  Let's be there. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Four More Days of Diwali Bonus

Looking at the holiday session, which kept many of the youngsters busy with their Diwali celebrations, the last date for submitting the entry for the Essay Competition stands extended till 31st October midnight. Please hurry and send in your entry.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

How to create waves with Your Essay

Chandigarh Literary Society invites entries to its Literati 2014-Essay Competition

Essay Contest for School Children 

The Chandigarh Literature festival,  under the aegis of Chandigarh Literary Society announces its first ever Essay Contest for school students that shall be an annual feature henceforth. It aims at furthering the goal of CLS to promote literature and creative writing in the region. The dates for this year’s festival are  7th, 8th and 9th November.

CLS serves as a network of creative minds, nurturing talent and bringing together writers, publishers, intellectuals, students and scholars. These Essay contests aims at bringing the students of the tri-city to the centerfold of the event and thus encourage the budding writers of the region.

The contest shall be open to all the Middle School and High School students of the tricity – Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. There shall be two separate categories for Middle School and High School and there is no fee associated with participation in this contest.

TOPICS: Students would need to write an argumentative essay on any one topic from each category. Only one entry per child will be selected.

For Middle School (class 5-8)
1. All students should be required to learn about poetry.
2. It should be mandatory for all schools to have a Book Reading Club

Senior School (class 9-12)
1. English language skills should not be tested in exams like UPSC
2. It is sometimes right for the government to restrict freedom of speech

Submission deadline is OCTOBER 26TH, 2014 and all submissions should be made before 12 MN. See “Essay Contest Rules & Guidelines” section below for full eligibility requirements and guidelines. Essays must be typed or legibly handwritten and may be submitted by e mail to chandigarhliterary@gmail.com, on or before October 26, 2014.

There is no fee involved. We encourage all students in these two categories to participate.

Winners will be announced by November 5th, 2014  on our website and facebook page, and the prizes will be given at the concluding function of Literati 2014 on 9th November at Chandigarh Lake Club.

1. All students must be enrolled in a private or public school of the tricity. There is no cost to enter the contest.
2. Each contestant may submit only one essay.
3. Essay word count up to:
- 600-750 words for Middle school students (CLASS 5-8) 
 - 1200-1500 words for High school students (CLASS 9-12)
4. Students must submit essays on or before the contest due date, October 26, 2014. 
5. Students who have family members who are a part of the organizing committee or serving as contest judges shall not be eligible to participate in this contest.
6. Essays must be written in English, typed, using MS-Word, Double-spaced and page numbered.
7. Include a cover page with:
- Essay title, category in which applied
- Students’ name, email address and phone number
- Parent’s email address, mailing address, phone number
- Name of the school in which enrolled and class, section
- Date of birth
8. Entrant must ensure that his essay reflects his/her own writing and original thinking.  It must not infringe on the intellectual-property rights of any third party, should not have been published in any medium and should not have won an award. If an essay is found to be plagiarized, it shall not be judged.
9. Essays will not be returned to students; they become property of CLS. The Society has the right to edit, publish or otherwise duplicate any essay entered into the contest without payment to the author. Appropriate acknowledgment will be given to the writer(s).

A panel of qualified judges will evaluate the essays . Scoring criteria will be identical for both, the Middle, and the High School category.

CLS will choose 3 judges from the educational and volunteer community at large to score the essays using the following scoring criteria score per category:
(20 is the highest per category with a total possible score of 100)

- Writing: use of correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, concise language and good vocabulary (score 20)
- Originality of thought and of content (score 20)
- Organization of the essay into well-connected paragraphs (score 20)
- Appropriateness to the theme (score 20)
- Creativity in presentation and coherence of ideas (score 20)

The top three entries in each division will be announced on our website and facebook page.
The prizes shall be distributed on the closing ceremony of the festival, that is 9th of November and awardees shall be intimated in advance.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Mobile App for Literati 2014

Now, latest updates on forthcoming Literati 2014 are in your hand.
The mobile website for ease of keep yourself updated on Literati 2014 can be accessed through this link.  Open it in your mobile and browse.

You can also scan this QR code and reach the site.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

City’s mega LitFest, Literati 2014, in November

Chandigarh Literary Society to organize 2nd edition of mega literary festival of northern region 

Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) is all set to organize the second edition of mega LitFest, Literati 2014 on 7th to 9th November 2014 at the iconic venue of Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh.

CLS Chairperson Ms. Sumita Misra & Festival Director Literati informed that last year, Literati had been a resounding success with over 30 participating  authors from across the country including Bhaskar Ghose,  Jerry Pinto, Paro Anand, Kishwar Desai, Meghna Pant,  Madhu Kishwar, Prasoon Joshi,  Rahul Pandita & Ashwin  Sanghi.

For Literati-2014 over 35 noted authors including Shobhaa De, Amitabha Bagchi, Vinita Dawra Nangia, Sudha Shah, Dr. Anuradha Kapur, Benoy Behl, Narendra Mohan, Prof. Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Anita Nair, Meghna Gulzar, Shantanu Ray Chaudhary, Paro Anand, Navtej Johar, Sathya Saran, Tisca Chopra, Abha Narain Lamba, Nandita C.Puri, Ratika Kapur, Mamta Kalia and Ravinder Kalia to name a few have confirmed their participation, informed Ms Misra.

This year’s Literati shall be a three-day affair with several book launches, panel discussions, book readings, evening entertainment programmes, book stalls, and lots of literary and cultural vignettes at the Lake Club, Chandigarh, added Mr Vivek Atray. There would be series of fun activities like on-the-spot short story writing competition, writing workshop for children, photography competition, and host of other interesting engagements for the residents, he said.

Since its formation in 2012, CLS has energized the Chandigarh literary scene by hosting Meet the Author events with celebrated novelists besides organizing various workshops for budding authors, and short-story and poetry writing competitions.

Some of the celebrated authors featured in CLS programmes included actor Anupam Kher, illustrious bureaucrat Mr Pavan K. Varma (Chanakya's New Manifesto), noted diplomat Navtej Sarna (Savage Harvest), corporate honcho Chetan Mahajan (Bad Boys of Bokharo), US based Indian author Kamla Kapur (The Singing Guru), maverick actor Rahul Bose, amongst others.
Besides organizing short-story and poetry writing competitions, CLS organised Hasya Kavi Sammelan with Surender Sharma and other leading poets, Sham-E-Khusrau with the noted independent film maker Yousuf Saeed, and boot camp for the aspiring authors of the city.

Ms. Saguna Jain, Mr CJ Singh, Mr Hardeep Chandpuri were other coordinators of the Literati-2014 who briefed the media. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Singing Guru

Kamla K. Kapur was born and raised in India and studied in the US. For 40 years  her writing has included plays, novels, poetry, and reimaging India spiritual writings.

Her critically acclaimed books include, Ganesha Goes to Lunch: Classics from Mystic India (2007, Mandala, USA; also retitled Classic Tales from Mystic India, Jaico Publishing, 2013), and Rumi’s Tales from the Silk Road, Pilgrimage to Paradise
(Mandala USA and Penguin India, 2009).

Her new book, The Singing Guru, on the legends of Guru Nanak, is forthcoming from Mandala in 2015.

Her highly praised books of poetry are As a Fountain in a Garden (Tarang Press, 2005) and Radha Sings (Dark  Child Press, 1987).

In 1977 Ms. Kapur won The Sultan Padamsee Award for two of her plays: the second prize in the full-length category for Kamia, and the first prize in the one act category for Zanana.

On 4th May, the Hindi rendition of 'Kamia', translated and directed by Padmashri Ram Gopal Bajaj, was staged at National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) at Mumbai, which she attended.

Her bi-lingual play, The Curlew’s Cry, was produced by Yatrik, New Delhi; Clytemnestra was produced in a Panjabi translation by The Company, Chandigarh.  

Kapur’s full length plays, Kepler Dreams, Hamlet’s Father, and Clytemnestra were showcased at the Marin Shakespeare Festival in San Francisco, Gas Lamp Quarter Theatre in San Diego, and Dramatic Risks Theatre Group in New York.

The New Mexico Arts Division selected her as the Playwright in Residence for two years in 1985.

Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Yellow Silk (Berkeley, California), Journal of Literature and Aesthetics (Kerala), and the anthology, Our Feet Walk The Sky (Aunt Lute Press, Berkeley, California, USA).

Kapur was a semi-finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize competition in 2006, and three of her poems were published in Nimrod, International Journal of Poetry and Prose (2007).

Five of Ms. Kapur’s short stories were published in Parabola, journal of Myth, Tradition, and the Search for Meaning (New York), two in The Inner Journey, (Parabola Anthology Series 2007), and one in The Sun (USA, December 2012)

Ms. Kapur divides her time living in the remote Himalayas and in San Diego, California, with her husband, the artist and author Payson R. Stevens.

Kamla K. Kapur would be addressing Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) at Meet the Author programme on Friday, 9th May 2014 at 5:30pm at UT Guest House, Sector 6, Chandigarh. You're invited. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Lessons from the Prison

When Chetan Mahajan is wrongfully sent to Bokaro Jail, he encounters a world completely different from his corporate life in Delhi. From picking the best prison ward, befriending the people who can get him mobile phone access and upgraded food, and training for his upcoming marathon in the tiny prison yard, Chetan soon learns to work the prison system.  In the process he makes unlikely friends, and discovers what India’s underbelly really looks like.

Chetan Mahajan, an alumnus of UBS where he did his first MBA, and second from the Kellogg School of Management, Chicago, USA, was in the city to share his debut book, “The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail” published recently by Penguin India.

Chetan Mahajan wrote his first book purely because of a strange set of circumstances and with no formal training as a writer.  He is currently the CEO of HCL Learning Ltd., a company that adds value to the Indian education system through technology.

He has over 20 years of experience both in India and the US with organizations such as the Tata Group, Ogilvy & Mather and exciting Everonn. He has also had an entrepreneurial stint with Edutopia, and has also been a teacher online at the University of Phoenix.

The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail, is thought provoking, amusing and touching and details his time at the under-trial jail in small-town Jharkhand after he was wrongly accused of chaar sau beesi, or fraud.

The last place you would expect to pick up good HR practices is in an Indian prison. But Chetan Mahajan says the one key change in his outlook towards life after jail time will perhaps be best reflected in his recruitment policy: “I will definitely have a more flexible approach while hiring people now. Everyone deserves a second chance,” he says.

Back in 2012, Chetan was employed by Chennai-based Everonn that ran an IIT coaching chain with a branch in Bokaro city. The branch had been short of funds and some of its teachers had left to join competition without any notice. Naturally, students and parents became uneasy and demanded an instant refund.

Within three months of joining the company, Chetan was sent to handle the issue that had blown out of proportion from his office in Delhi. He was put behind bars within two days of arriving at Bokaro, after indignant parents filed a police complaint. The courts remained shut for the next eight days and Chetan ended up spending more than a month in jail. But captivity proved to be something of a blessing in disguise, so much so that he thanks the students and Jharkhand police in the acknowledgement section of his book. This is in addition to his fellow inmates who gave him a mine of stories and experiences to pen down.

While in prison, Mahajan struck a close friendship with three inmates and the book partly revolves around their stories. All three were accused of murder — two for killing their wives for dowry. While one would normally shudder at the thought of talking to men accused of homicide, Mahajan says you wouldn’t be able to have a conversation in jail if you get judgmental about people. “Murdering a relative is not exactly the worst crime you’d come across in a jail. Plus this was an under-trial jail so one could never be certain about their guilt,” he says. In fact, an important lesson Mahajan learnt was to not judge. It’s easy for us to view anyone who goes to jail as cold-blooded criminals, but only about 5 per cent of the prison really consists of hardened law breakers, or as Mahajan calls them in his book, ‘career’ criminals. “Those are the dangerous guys that you wouldn’t want to run into.”

Mahajan refused staying in the “luxury” ward in the prison precisely because it was full of career criminals. As it turns out, you can choose where you stay in a jail depending on the money you have. A luxury ward is where you get a TV, heater, tea throughout the day, mobile phones to make a call and even an iPod.

Typically, you’d pay about 50,000 to stay there. Mahajan could afford it but he chose the ‘hospital’ ward for better company. “People don’t get the hospital ward easily but I had the jailer and superintendent on my side because my father, an ex army man, visited immediately after my arrest, so it was easy for me,” he says. The hospital ward is the only place you have beds, presumably because it is reserved for unwell inmates.

“You can buy almost anything from cigarettes to ganja in prison,” he says, adding that his Man Friday in jail was a guy called Dhani. “He was a peculiar character who smoked a lot of ganja and kept getting caught to stay in prison. The joke was that the ward was his office and legend had it that he would call the police before breaking a lock to get caught red-handed,” he says. Dhani was still in prison when Chetan went a year later to write the epilogue of his book.
When Chetan was released he found himself in a limbo professionally. “No one would want to hire me. The case did get quashed eventually when my employers refunded the parents. With my education and background, I was able to bounce back. But I wonder about the young boys who perish in jails waiting for justice only to find social exclusion and stigma outside prison,” he says.

About the author : 
Chetan Mahajan is a management professional with 20 years of experience, and now runs HCL Learning Ltd as the president. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, and has lived in the US for seven years. He currently lives in Gurgaon with his wife and two children.  He is also a marathon runner, hiker and a motorcycling enthusiast.

Book: The Bad Boys Of Bokaro Jail
Author: Chetan Mahajan
Publisher: Penguin, Blue Salt
Pages: 224
Price: Rs 250

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Your Date with Chetan on 21st March

Chetan Mahajan wrote his first book purely because of a strange set of circumstances. Otherwise he is a regular corporate type. He is currently the CEO of HCL Learning Ltd., a company that adds value to the Indian education system through technology.
He has over 20 years of experience both in India and the US with organizations such as the Tata Group, Ogilvy & Mather and exciting Everonn. He has also had an entrepreneurial stint with Edutopia, and has also been a teacher online at the University of Phoenix.
Chetan holds two MBA degrees – the first from our own Panjab University, and the second one from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

He has no formal training as a writer, unless you count emails. He writes as a hobby, and is the author of the non-fiction book “The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail” which was released recently. He is also a marathon runner, hiker and a motorcycling enthusiast.
Meet him at Whistling Duck, SCO 10 (back lane), Sector 26, Chandigarh, on 21st March at 5pm sharp. 
Eventbrite - Meet the Author: Chetan Mahajan

Saturday, 22 February 2014

After the success of Literati 2014, we resume our this year's activities with an interaction with a multifaceted personality, Rahul Bose, an accomplished actor, screenwriter, director, rugby player, and a social activist. 

He is a part of various literary circuits and he was to be a part of Literati 2013.  However because of some unavoidable last minute exigencies he had to change his plans.  But like a gentleman, he kept his promise to be with us at CLS and interact with our members. 
He would be sharing the learnings from his life's journey in an interactive session "A CANDID RAHUL BOSE" on 26th February 2014 at 5pm at UT Guest House.
Please confirm your participation at chandigarhliterary@gmail.com.