- February 18, 2017: Book Talk session with Mangala Gowri, author of Unfading Echoes
Unfading Echoes is Mangala’s maiden novel. Set in the erstwhile Travencore state (modern day Kerala) the book is a surreal thriller of dual time frame that looks into unseen connections existing in this world. The fates of the two women characters intertwine underlying the idea of a history that gets repeated and runs parallel too. Shri R. Parasuram, State Election Commissioner praised the book for its technique and novelty. An alumna of JNU, New Delhi, Mangala is presently working with Atal Bihari Institute of Good Governance and Policy Analysis, Bhopal.
- March 08, 2017: Talk with Kiki Skagen, American author-diplomat
Club Literati presented “India through the eyes of an American author-diplomat” a lecture by Kiki Skagen who was in conversation with IGP Manish S Sharma.
Having served as a US Foreign Service official in Nigeria, Romania, Greece, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and India, she retired as a Senior Foreign Service Officer in 2002. Her novel, Whisper in Bucharest, was published in Bucharest in 2014.
- March 30, 2017: Dastangoi by international dastangos Sunil Mehra & Askari Naqvi
Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy, Department of Culture and Club Literati organized Dastangoi (The Art of Story Telling in Urdu) by noted Dastangos- Sunil Mehra & Askari Naqvi. With their current repertoire of short stories by the famous Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai, Sunil Mehra & Askari Naqvi, enthralled the audiences with their gripping & humorous narration.
- Shakespeare Fest 2017
- April 21, 2017 –‘Shakespeare is Everywhere’
Club Literati showcased the multifaceted genius of the Bard on 21st April at the performance titled ‘Shakespeare is Everywhere’ at Bharat Bhavan as part of five day Shakespeare Samaroh organized by the Department of Culture from 19-23, 2017. The performance celebrated the Bard’s timeless works and his relevance through his characters and themes that the audience and readers identify with. Hamlet’s anguish, Lear’s anger, Iago’s and Richard III’s villainy, love of Romeo-Juliet and Antony-Cleopatra and varied facets of women in Lady Macbeth, Desdemona, Rosalind, Portia and Viola were presented impressively.
Fifty seven students from various schools and colleges participated in this event. Seven abridged scenes and twenty five speeches were selected from eleven plays of Shakespeare. Two sonnets were composed and sung beautifully by one of the participants.
- April 22, 2017- Cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare’s Plays
Prof Seema Raizada was invited for a Talk on Shakespeare Films on 22 April 2017 at Bharat Bhawan. She talked about various adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays in general and Macbeth in particular. This was followed by the screening of Orsen Welles’ Macbeth.
- May 2, 2017- Dr Veena Sinha ‘ A Glow in the Mirror’
A chat was organized with Veena Sinha, a poet of rare sensibility and philosophical reflection on life. A gynaecologist-surgeon and a champion of women empowerment, she is the recipient of many awards for her literary achievements. Her first novel in English Unless a Perfect Rhythm Sets In received accolades from critics and readers. A Glow in the Mirror is her maiden offering to the Muse in English from which she read out selected poems in the course of an informal chat with the audience. This collection of her poems stands out for its fresh metaphors and new perspectives on relationships and memories.
- June 11, – Hutashan Vajpeyi ‘Shapes of longing’
Shapes of Longing is a collection of poems on love and longing, in which love gets realized only in the longing for it – what in the Sanskrit tradition is known as ‘vipralambh shringar’. Though very contemporary in their imagery and syntax, these poems still resonate with the bygone history of love poems by the likes of the legendary Soordas of the erstwhile Braj region of India, and also the iconic Rumi of Persia.
Hutashan Vajpeyi has an MS degree in Computational Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. He has had formal training in the most ancient form of Indian classical music, Dhrupad, from the renowned filmmaker and Dhrupad exponent, Mani Kaul. His poetry has been published in such prestigious publications as ‘The Caravan’ magazine, ‘Indian Literature,’ which is a journal published by Sahitya Akademi, and Kavya Bharati etc.
- July 20, – Panel discussion on “Social Media, Technology and Terrorism”
An expert panel discussion on the intertwined relationship between social media, technology and terrorism was jointly organized by Hindi Bhawan, Nehru Youth Centre, Club Literati and Shikharvarta Samuh with the aim to create awareness about the threats to knowledge society and dangers of terrorism in the wake of modernism. The attempt was to highlight the complex nature of social media and technology and how they knowingly and unknowingly contribute to the world of terrorism. The discussion mainly centered round the article written by Manish Shanker Sharma, Addl. DGP, which is published in one of the most acclaimed books on the subject Global terrorism: Challenges and Policy Options which carries articles by Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and diplomats and experts on the subject.
The discussion focused on the security threats that loom large about modern technology in a variety of ways and the need to tackle them in the most efficient manner.
The panel included experts from services and eminent writers including Antony De Sa, Chairperson, MP Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Rishi Shukla DGP MP, Kailash Chandra Pant, Director Hindi Bhawan and Kalpesh Yagnik, Group Editor, Dainik Bhaskar. The session was moderated by Manish Rajoria of Shikhar Varta.
- July 22, 2017- Chandrashekhar Varma
The multi-talented Chandra ShekharVarma from Lucknow is a motivational speaker by profession and a poet by passion. He comes from an illustrious family of writers. His grandfather PadmaBhushan Shri Bhagwati Charan Varma, and father Shri Dhirendra Varma, are well-known Hindi authors.
Chandra ShekharVarma talked about his English novel Corners of a Straight Line. The novel is a story of a man in relationship with four women who come in his life on different occasions and each one of them leaves a lasting impression on him. In his quest for true love, he learns lessons about myriad shades of life – love and lust… glamour and greed…money and manipulations…devotion and debauchery. He also talk about his poetic journey. His collection of poems includes Navras, EkMutthi Aasmaan and Kadmon Ki Lay. He has also authored two motivational books- You only Live Once and Parenting the Parents.
The event was organized at Swami Vivekanand Library.
- August 22, 2017- Neelima Dalima Adhar’s The Secret Diary of Kasturba
Neelima Dalima Adhar’s latest book The Secret Diary of Kasturba was released along with its translated Hindi edition at the event organized at Arera Club, Bhopal. The author spoke about her experiences and journey as a writer and interacted with audience, touching upon details about the characters and nuances in her new book.
Kasturba’s life is an open book, and so is her lost individuality, which was always completely overshadowed by her husband, Mahatma Gandhi’s, looming, larger than lifepersona. She spent nearly six decades playing the good wife, the nationalist, and the suffering mother to their children, especiallyto Harilal. The casualty of Gandhi’s greatness were the people he loved most, and this is the paradox that Neelima has portrayed— “the sad epitome of the god who failed” — in this, her third book.
Covering the period from Kasturba’s birth, her early marriage to Gandhi, their years in South Africa and her spartan family life,in the overpowering background of India’s freedom struggle, Adhar’s book, although fiction, is based on the remarkable personal story of a very private, yet very public woman. In her eloquent prose, the author attempts to humanise Gandhi, and introduces the real Kasturba to a generation who know nothing of her.
- October 4, 2017- “Space in Painting”
Renowned poet Udayan Vajpeyi and artist of international fame Akhilesh were in conversation discussing the many aspects of “Space in painting” at SVL. They shared their perception about ways to look at space and thus invents space. There is a long history of such inventions by paintings of different eras and traditions. No one before the European Renaissance saw the space as some thing receding infinitely. It was only after painters like Leonardo de Vinci invented space in linear perspectives that the space became so. There are many such inventions which altered the way space and time are experienced. The discussion of Udayan and Akhilesh will attempt to underline some of those inventions by some painting traditions.
Akhilesh comes from the family of artists. He has held more than 40 one man shows in India and abroad. Recipient of several national and International awards, Akhilesh belongs to the breed of artists who come from the provincial towns of India – rooted in traditions and sporting a fresh outlook. He has been influenced by tribal and folk traditions of Madhya Pradesh; at the same time being aware of the trends in the Art World.
Udayan Vajpeyi is a writer and also a doctor. He has written several books, poems, short-stories, essay and translations. Translations of his works have appeared in many literary journals. Has recently wrote the text for a film of Nanadan Kudhiyadi on the great Indian Mathemetician, S. Ramanujan, named Genius of Ramanujan. A recipient of Krishna Baldev Vaid award in 2001 and Raza Foundation Fellowship in 2003, Udayan is a well known writer, thinker, and a connoisseur of arts.
- Nov 25, 2017-Book Club Inaugural Event
The Club’s first Book Club event was held at SVL with Homen Borgahain’s The Collected Works of Homen Borgohain (translated by Pradipta Borgahain). Borgohain is an illustrious Assamese novelist, writer, poet, critic, journalist, columnist and editor. An important name in Assamese literature, at eighty-five, he is a living legend, with a solid and important body of work. His novel Pita Putra received the Sahitya Akademi Award. His writings have had an indelible impact on the literature and journalism of Assam.
Like all timeless masterpieces, these classic novellas and short stories by the renowned Assamese writer Homen Borgohain highlight at once the uniqueness and universality of human life. Carefully and sensitively translated by Homem’s son, Pradipta Borgohain, the works included in this collection are gems from Homen’s repertoire of fine writing. Whether it be the very famous novella Matsyagandha/ The Fisherman’s Daughter (now also a motion picture) or short stories such as ‘The Curtain and the Strom’, these stories show Homen’s keen understanding of the human psyche, relationship and society in general.
With ‘The Homecoming’, Homen gives us a very realistic glimpse into the mind of a married man and his stifling existence, and how he slowly learns to cherish what he had always had, giving readers an insightful look into sustaining relationships. In ‘A Servant of the People’, Ratna Goswami, an aspiring politician, in his attempts to cheat people is forced to have a taste of his own medicine. ‘Despair’ is a heart-wrenching account of the lonely existence of an old woman, and her attempts to keep going and find some meaning in the life through trivial pursuits.
Rooted in realism, steeped in irony and underlined with humour and pathos, these are stories that are sure to leave an unforgettable imprint on the mind.
- Dec 9, 2017 – “Begamon ka Bhopal”
Begamon Ka Bhopal, a creative documentary film directed by Rachita Gorowala for the Films Division, was premiered at the Taj Mahal of Bhopal on 09 December 2017.
Begamon Ka Bhopal is a film that explores the feeling of nostalgia and celebrates the history of Bhopal through the writings of Manzoor Ahtesham, songs and stories Firoza Khan of and films from nearly hundred years ago preserved Khazi Salahuddin originally shot by his grandfather. It’s an ode to the times that once existed in Bhopal, through an everyday nostalgia that is lived by a writer, a film keeper and royal descendants. Each in their own way hold onto time and thus become it. Through a lyrical, musical and an introspective journey the film tries to create an emotion, Huzun, a word in Persian that means, a nostalgia that is hard to describe.
The 26 minute film was viewed by nearly three hundred people with the beautifully lit backdrop of Taj Mahal adding to the mood of the film. The screening was held in the courtyard of the Mahal and the pathway to the courtyard was enriched by series of installations. While one of the installation was displaying the writing of Manzoor on the travel, transition and translation of time another installation showcased the textile art…. . The viewers were thrilled by the installation of Begum… projected on the wall through a water reflection.