Shakespeareana 2023

Shakespear is a beloved classic author and there is always someone studying his sonnets, plays or an aspect of them. Club Literati, being a literary society, proudly presents its love for Bard every year through different means. The event was thus planned, scheduled and made happen by Dr. Seema Raizada, president of the club, and her team. 

Dating from 20th April, 2023, when Dr. Seema Raizada delivered a seminar at Oriental Group of Institutes on Shakespeare and his poetry, the festival lasted for 4 days. 

The second day was dedicated to the wonderful young minds of DPS, Neelbad where Dr. Seema Raizada delivered an expert talk on Language and Sense in Shakespearean sonnets. After this, the children of DPS, Neelbad poured in to submit their entries for the sonnet competition: From Me to Thee. 

The competitions were another fun way to show Bard love. The list included four competitions, which were From Me to Thee: Sonnet competition where participants were to write about their feelings addressing someone, anyone they want; Words, Words, words: weave the story using 15 to 20 Shakespearean quotes of 2000 words; One Minute Shakespeare: where participants would talk how what Shakespeare meant to them for one minute; and Design a Book Viver, where participant would bring out their creativity and create a cover for one of the Shakespearean books. 

Apart from the competitions, Club Literati conducted its signature quiz, Will Power Quiz on Shakespeare, his life and his works. The entries poured in for all the competitions and quiz and by the time of the deadline on 21st April, 9 PM, 13 different institutions had participated in the competitions which ranged from famous schools of Bhopal as well as St. Xavier of Mumbai, making the competition go on national level. 

The Quiz was conducted on 23rd April, 7 PM, where the link to the quiz was shared with the participants with the pre-prepared WhatsApp group, Will Power participants only. The participants were given the window of 12 minutes to submit their answers and the winner was selected from the one who did it all correctly in the least amount of time. 

Club Literati started something new this year by going live on Instagram with Orange Owl Perception and Deepti Yadav. The talk show, Bard on Insta, was a hit where Adeena Syed from Club Literati and Prakriti Rais from Orange Owl Perception talked about Shakespeare about his work, his maturity in writing and his understanding of society with Deepti Yadav. The session turned into a fun show when Deepti Yadav was asked to be part of rapid fire round and was asked the funniest question which left the moderator laughing and answering wittily. 

The city event, Shakespeare Jamboree, was a hit among the winners and audience alike. The winners of all the competitions were contacted and invited via email to recite and showcase their work and get the well deserved prizes. 

The event was opened by Dr. Seema Raizada who welcomed the audience and introduced the anchor of the evening Rashmi Bhargav. The first to perform for the evening was Diksha, an active member of Club Literati, environmentalist, artist and songwriter sang a Shakespearean sonnet and bewitched everyone with her voice. The event flew after that, from Mrs. Bhargav’s introduction of Shakespeare to the winners reciting their work, it was a roller coaster of feelings. The winners recited their works, impressing  the audience with their creativity at such a young age. The list of winners is long but the performances were held by Athrva Upadhyay of DPS for his submission in From Me to Thee, Anvi Dixit from Billabong High International School recited her story entry for Words, words, words and made people wonder at her writings at the young age of 14. Kanishka Paltani and Prakhar Bhandari from Billabong International School performed for a minute and revealed their entry for One minute Shakespeare. Saanvi of DPS and Stuti of Army School, winners of Design a Book Cover held their art as the audience had a look at the beautiful curve of the brushes and sprinkle of colours on the sheet to the designs Bard would surely want for his own books. 

Vinita Bhatnagar, dressed in black velvet suit and purple headdress, as Claudio, brought the audience in near tears with the love story of Hero and Claudio, his confessions and loss of love. The act was then followed by the rowdy group of Sanskar Valley School students who debated on the topic, “Desdemona was the only victim” in Shakespeare’s play, Othello. The debate was hot and both the parties put forth the points which made the audience constantly change their sides with one team to another. The team in favour of the topic with Pranav Hari Prakash, Anvi Sharma and Samaira Ismail held their ground and bombarded the opposition team with facts and questions. The rowdy and loud and full of motivation to win and indeed the winning team of the Debate competition came with Anushka Sharma, Shubh Jain and Aadya Singh who made audience applause and agreed with their argument. The debate, moderated by Anadya Verma and judged by Deepti Yadav and Bhasha Shukla, was a super hit among young and adults alike. 

As said before, the study on Shakespeare is always happening and Club Literati was honoured to have Dr. Suchi Shukla, who studied Shakespearean heroine for her doctorate, was felicitated at the event. It was then followed by the much awaited by the winners, the prize distribution ceremony where all the winners including the opposition team of debate were given their prizes for winning their respective categories. The event was concluded by Anushka Sharma, a Sanskar Valley School student, who dressed as Juliet, came to perform a monologue in the alternated balcony scene. What would have happened if Romeo had not appeared that night under Juliet’s balcony, how she would have continued, what she would have said: this wasn’t left to imagination as Ms. Sharma performed her lines and captivated the viewers with the longing in her voice.

By the end of the event, the guests were truly full of entertainment eyt asking for more for the next year and there will be more in Shakespeareana 2024. 

The festival was celebrated by not just Club Literati but by many Bard lovers of Bhopal. There will be many such fests to come and more fun to follow. 

Cultures and Rituals

Reading fantasy is fine is escape the reality but one need to read about reality too, to be able to live it in a proper way.

There are not one but many books telling us about the how to live a life. Another hundred books telling us the history of different time. Another thousands of books on how to be a success in life but as Dr. Kiran Cadha put it in her discussion on 15th January, 2023 at Bhojpur Club, there are not many books on rituals on Hindu weddings. Each ritual holds something important for the future of the couple’s life ahead so of course it important they follow each of it but do we all know about these rituals?

Club Literati brought forth the author of Dalhousie…through My Eyes, Echoes of the Heart…Dil Se, Ehsas: Dil Se and Magic of Indian Weddings which was the hot topic for our discussion.

Club Literati’s moderators, Manjusha Khanna and Parminder Kaur. The sessions was full of laughter and lessons and Dr. Chadha answered all the questions from moderators as well as from audience with all her heart and gave the insights on her own life.

She talked about numerous things and frowned upon few new generation practices where there is too much selfishness yet so little of self love. The author promoted self love saying, “You can’t spread happiness unless you are happy yourself and you cannot be happy unless you love yourself.”

The author sang a Punjabi wedding song at the end of the discussion for the audience and was joined by others too. The multi talented Dr. Kiran Chadha is not only an amazing writer but also full of life and lessons for not only youngsters but women all around and of all ages!

A Poetic start of the year

Club Literati organised”Bazm e Sukhan” on 7/01/2023 at Arera Club to celebrate the new year. The evening was lit up with urdu and hindi poetry with a number of well known poets showcasing their poetry to the audience.

Founder of Club Literati, Dr. Seema Raizada started the event by saying, “We are starting the year in a poetic way so that we are filled with a positive energy all through the year.” Asma Rizwan, a member of the club, introduced the poets to the audience and handed the stage to the poets.
The event was full of verses and beautiful lines and here are few for the readers.

(Please put the shayari in devnagri script, not in english)
Main kahan apni kisi soch k iz-har me thi
Main to har dour me sonpe hue kirdar me thi
Log samjhe hi nahi mere hunar ko, warna
Mujh me fankaar tha poshida, me fankaar me thi
Dr. Nusrat Mehdi

Mushkilo se hume jujhna aa gaya
Harte harte, jeetna aa gaya
Andhiyo se lade to hua yeh asar
Hume tufan ka rukh modna aa gaya
Dr. Anu Sapn

Mujhe yeh yaad rakhna tha ta’alluq khatam h sare
Tumhe kyu bhul jane me zamane lag gaye phir bhi
Mujhe kehna tha tumse, tum nahi phir bhi to baqi hu
Mujhe tumko batane me zamane lag gaye phir bhi
Shifali Pandey

Jab harart nahi h, rishto me
Dik ho phir ya k dilbari kuch ho
Sare mosam firaq k mosam
Ab December k janvary kuch ho
Gosiya Khan Sabeen

Aag bheetar ki deti h pani ko bhi
Aankh ka aansoo bhi dhal jata h
Abhay Shukla

Ha yeh sawal to h kyu hu me mere jesa
Magar yeh shukr bhi h aap aap jese h
Aamir Azhar

Celebrating Mr. Ajit Raizada

When I imagine a writer writing, I imagine him at dawn, most likely with a drink of choice, wondering of the words to write down. But writing is not done that easily. As Ajit Raizada himself said, “Morning thoughts made my poems” and experience, of course. For his poems are not of one sitting or of one year, they come from different time periods, from different years, from different situations and feelings. 

Finally compliling his poems, not all of them, but many, into a book. Club Literati had the honour of launching his book beautifully titled “Sooraj k Aansoo” at Arera Club on 23rd December, 2022. It was a special day not because Mr. Raizada launched this book but also because it was his father’s birthday.

The evening was a talk about the ‘sight of a poet’, understanding and appreciating the writings and much more. Mr. Raizada also shared his latest poem, written on the women in Afghanistan, which was hot from the oven, as Mrs. Neelkamal, our moderator, put it. She started the event with the introduction to the author, reciting dew of his poems and making the event run smoothly with her comments and handing the stage to out special guest one after another. 

Manoj Shrivastava, a retired IAS officer and a renowned poet was the special guest at the event. Commenting on the title of the book he said that many of Mr. Raizada’s poems are ‘heliocentric’. He also made audience think about the line where the poet confess, ‘mujhe sooraj nahi chahiye’, transaltion: ‘I don’t want sun’. He alps categorised the poems in the book as poems about sun, Mahabharata, reality, modernisation, and nature. 

A young poet and a beta reader, Nishant Upadhyay, gave a young generation insight on the poems. 

Dhruv Shukal, renowned Hindi poet said,” Kavita ho jati h, Kavi bhi uske hone k liye tayyar rahe.” He gave a very different insight into the poems.

The book was launched and the poems were celebrated and many came forth, eager to get the book and signed from the poet. It was an evening full of inspiration, confessions, love for poetry and warmth from the people for the poet himself. 

Meet the Budding Writers

3 out of every 5 readers want to write a book. But it takes more than imagination and command on words to write a book. Some write away and spend their lives editing their work, some wait for retirement to sit down and write. The Bharadwaj twins did none. They had an idea, they wrote a book, and topped it with their beautiful paintings to go for the illustrations in the books and published it. 

At Club Literati, we motivate, boast and encourage such writers and invite them for a little chit chat to inspire others. 

December 6th, 2022, at Swami Vivekanand Library, was such an evening  with Devyani and Shivaranjani Bharadwaj. Authors of two books at the age of ten, the twins are achievers and have many titles and trophies under their names. They have won top positions in the District level Spell Bee competition, certificates, trophies and cash prizes. They twins wrote and illustrated their first book, “Sun Salutations” at age of 8 which was appreciated by Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi in a letter to the twins. They are painters and have seen their paintings getting show cased at the Indore Airport. 

Our moderator for the evening was Mrs. Archana Zulfiqar, who is a passionate about theater, literature and storytelling. 

The evening started with  the  twins talking about their first book Sun Salutations. It is a book based on yoga and the illustrations done by the twins are funny and inspiring at the same time. Writing about different asana, illustrations of the cover and the interior of the book was a wonder to all the adult minds. 

Shivaranjani told the story of how their mother used to give them a picture and ask the twins to create stories from it. It soon became a habit the girls enjoyed and soon they were writing shirt stories and offering them to their friends and elders to do the reading. It started with fun and soon turned into the idea of books. 

The cover of the book is chorus of colours, bordered with sun and flowers. They also talked about their second book which talks about a 16 year old spy. 

Their mother, Mrs. Bharadwaj, shared the seat for a brief time to talk about the achievements of the twins.

At the end of the session, the twins donated their books to the library, for any reader who is interested in reading their books.