Posts made in September, 2015

Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s “My Glass of Wine” – About Ashmi Ahluwalia, the Moderator

Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s My Glass of Wine was very different from a traditional book launch. Unlike a book launch, it had several sections that opened the stage up for writers who had won the My Glass of Wine creative writing contest and to poets who had been specially invited to read their poetry at the event. When Kiriti-da shared his plans of the book launch with Vibha, she felt that the event will need mindful moderation and the first name that came to her mind was Ashmi Ahluwalia, the poetry editor or Literature Studio. And she was convinced that Ashmi could do justice to the job. And Ashmi did all that and much more. Ashmi Ahluwalia, our moderator for the launch, not only managed to weave the event and all its sections together seamlessly, she, being a poet herself, also lifted it to another level. Her apt observations and spontaneous literary interjections were received rather well and we have heard nothing but praises for her. Here is a bit about Ashmi: Ashmi Ahluwalia is the Poetry Editor at Literature Studio’s Readers’ Corner. She is a poet and enjoys indulging in the world of rhyme when not doing business development in her day job. After completing her graduate education in English Literature at St. Stephen’s College, she did her Masters’ degree in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Passionate about her cocker spaniel, dessert, writing and soft rock; she has edited a compilation of Indian-English poetry called Writing Love (Published by Rupa, August 2010). Here are some Ashmi moments from the event: Thank you Ashmi for your expert moderation. It made a whole lot of difference to the event....

Read More

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s “Time’s Barter” || Review by Ananya S Guha

The haikus in Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s collection Time’s Barter are elegant, delectable, witty, and humorous. They are imbued with colour, imagery of the natural world, the world of change, and a frenetic  rush for what is ‘new’. The verse is splashed with nature, rains, the wind, and burgeoning fruits. The technical virtuosity and the craft is apparent, but the overriding consideration is content. They are contemporary in tone and intent, marked also with wry and sardonic humour. Talking about the region’s backwardness the poet quotes a road sign which reads: “Slow men at work” Such irony is present, but what is also noted in these haikus is the metamorphosis of change. What is change? What impact does technology have on present times? What happens to the innate beauty of nature, the cascading waterfalls of Sohra, for example? The pivotal points are the poet’s home towns Sohra and Shillong. The poems turn around these two places to ask searing questions about life, its mechanization and whether the city of Shillong is actually a town, desperadoes may call it a city, all because of this frenetic search for new found expressions, and changing with the times! Technically, these haikus adhere to the traditional mould — 5-7-5 syllabic utterances — but their poetry lies in their suggestibility as the last section amply demonstrates. They have an apparent directness, simplicity but the last section is a take off into a new spinning world. It is as if after the flotsam and jetsam of life, characters take a new shape and meaning. They become more shadowy and less flesh and blood: “man telling a tale- a loud tune, friend turns away, left hand holding his ear.” The ambiguity and paradox of these haikus are poignantly underlined: “juicy-looking plums, watery taste- shouldn’t have plucked on a rainy day”. Or, “wind- whipping the rain- on the soggy earth, blood-red, the plums.” Though technically perfect, the haikus are concerned more with content than form. The themes have a wide range: love, relationship, a changing consciousness, and nostalgia. The poet remembers suddenly  his home town in the midst of a busy life in the metropolis. Nostalgia has to do with the hills, pines, and the rivulets. The dialectics of change and modernity imbue these haikus with a mood of sad resignation. In fact, moods dominate them, the poet is variously sad, angry, and happy. In his beautiful  introduction, the late Nigel Jenkins, Welsh poet and scholar puts the haiku in the main tradition of Japanese Haiku verse and examines Nongkynrih’s verse in this literary context.  He avers that haiku in India is still incipient, and Nongkynrih’s verse is a new found voice and seminal in this respect. One cannot but agree with him, with the rider that Nongynrih has once again penned delightful verse with all universal concerns of a life that is, with implications of dynamism and  change. This is a must read book and a watershed in Indian poetry in English. Title: Time’s Barter Publisher: Harper Collins, India Price: Rs 325/- Pages:140 Ananya S Guha has been born and brought up in Shillong, North East India. He has seven collections of poetry and his poems have been published worldwide. They have also been featured in several anthologies. He is also a columnist, critic and editor. He now is a Regional Director at the Indira Gandhi National Open University. He holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding....

Read More

Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s “My Glass of Wine” – Some words about our Sponsors

Organizing an event is a difficult task. From managing the expenses to getting the right kind of exposure and interest, the organizer’s performance is gauged on everything. And finding a sponsor is a part of organizing an event, and those who organize events will probably agree that it isn’t the easiest aspect of the entire task. Sponsorship isn’t always about money. It is about support and the right exposure. You need to identify sponsors who will be interested in the event, whose line of business doesn’t stand in direct contrast with what you are planning to do. And then it is the question of getting them interested. We were very fortunate to have the support of two fantastic sponsors for the Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s My Glass of Wine. Our photography partner Travelling Camera ensured that we didn’t have to worry at all about photography. We will let the quality of the coverage speak for the talent of VJ Sharma, founder of Travelling Camera. Travelling Camera, also known as Photo Journey in the blogging community, is one of the most popular photography blogs in India. Founded in 2008, the blog has so far got 3,155,721 visits and has been associated with brands like Conde Nast Traveller, Hindustan Times, The Times of India, Daily Post, Delhi Tourism, Rail Bandhu, and Terrascape. Travelling Camera specializes in landscape, product, and event photography. VJ Sharma is also an Adobe Certified Expert of Adobe Lightroom. Tathya, run by highly enthusiastic and creative Isha Nagar, is a young brand that designs and creates innovative t-shirts, notebooks, mugs, and wall art. They were kind enough to sponsor gifts (a mug, a notebook, a t-shirt, and a wall art) for two of our contestants. You have to take one look at their exclusive collection to see why we decided to approach them. Their designs are quirky, youthful, and fun, and also irresistible, so open their website at your own risk. Besides everything that is on display on their website, they can also be commissioned to create an exclusive design for you. Isha Nagar is a graduate of NIFT and loves doodling in her spare time. Without Travelling Camera and Tathya, our event wouldn’t have been the same.  We would like to thank VJ Sharma and Isha Nagar for their support....

Read More

Kosi, me, and the Kairos || Story by Ninad Parikh

The stage was set, characters were defined and audience awaited. I was the audience. Show was to commence. The curtains of twilight were raised to give way to the uncanny fraternization of subtle darkness and silken moonlight. Homecoming of the birds was suggestive of the fact that it was time to return to the place where I belonged. The place, the state of life where ecstasy thrives. The place where one loses oneself and in the process reclaims the divinity of the moment… Everything in the vicinity appeared interwoven. The water conversing with the stones underneath, the wind whispering in the ears of the sky-scraping trees, the mountains shaking hands with the horizon, the misting of moonlight on the earth and the aura of that moment. I was contemplating the phenomenal swiftness with which the birds were dramatizing their acrobatics in the animated sky. The freedom they luxuriate bequeaths them with the ardor to speed up, the ebullience to live on and to fly away to the resplendent glory. A bird parked itself on a hulking stone. He gaped candidly into my eyes. I was surprised not at the fearlessness but at the calmness he flaunted. He seemed to be sure of enduring till I uttered something. But I felt as if I had been talking to him for eternity. There was no obligation to be prim and ask him about his identity on this earth and sky… I eventually asked him, “How does it feel to harmonize with this timeless aura of creativity?” He looked at me with unaltered tranquility as if he had expected such a question from me. He panned his sight towards the horizon and after a few prolonged moments, replied, “Mate, One always belongs to his own creation.” I was astonished not because of the unfathomable answer but at the ease with which he addressed me as “Mate”. “One always belongs to his own creation,” I said to myself and kept saying it for a while. “What do you mean? Is it you who has fashioned this aura?” I asked. “Partially.” “So you are suggesting that you have been instrumental in creating a quantum of this aura….” “Absolutely. Even you are a part of the same.” That didn’t exactly give me the sense of belonging I was craving for, but it did raise a flutter of hope within my mind that I am still there. I asked him, “Can you elaborate on your and specifically my role in this unimaginable creation?” “Well, there is no single entity that has scripted this aura and painted this panoramic picture. We all make it happen. We all are doing what we are best at and incidentally everything converges in a distinguished moment. A moment that lives for a life time. A moment that paints you in happiness and fills you with a perpetual sense of belonging. I am an avian. I live because I fly. And when I fly I fly with such pride and zest that this world falls in love with my flight. That’s the partial aura I am referring to.” “But how do I become a part of this…what have I accomplished?” I asked. “Some minutes back you would have felt that the mountains are shaking hands with the horizon…the winds are whispering something in the ears of those tall trees….That was a surreal feeling you created. Mate, the mountains don’t shake hands with horizon. It’s the perception you sculpture in your heart that transposes it into a prodigious entourage. You were the creator of that moment when you heard the whispers of wind. Now you will write about the...

Read More

The Connector – By Bibhas Roy Chowdhury

It does not make any sense that you hurt your throat and bleed your mouth to say — love you… You can express your love without even uttering a word. You can We have been tortured, yet we can’t even say love you… I continue to look at you without blinking my eyes! When I said ‘we’ I meant the roadside flowers, the village river, the unknown birds as well. We never shout to portray our love. We have remained quiet the whole life, side by side. We never hated, but this morning we told the metropolis to return from one end of this connector (Translated by Kiriti Sengupta from its original Bengali poem by Bibhas Roy Chowdhury) Bibhas Roy Chowdhury was born in the year 1968, in the terminal town Bongaon of West Bengal. His poems bear the characteristic features of the language of love, turmoil of the life of a poet, Partition of Bengal, and resplendent light of the lost lives. Although he has received many awards, he prefers to keep private. Kiriti Sengupta is a bilingual poet and translator in both Bengali and English. He is the author of three bestselling titles, My Glass Of Wine, a novelette based on autobiographic poetry, The Reverse Tree, a nonfictional memoir, and Healing Waters Floating Lamps [Poetry]. Kiriti’s other works include: My Dazzling Bards [literary critique], The Reciting Pens [interviews of three published Bengali poets along with translations of a few of their poems], The Unheard I [literary nonfiction], Desirous Water [poems by Sumita Nandy, contributed as the translator], and Poem Continuous – Reincarnated Expressions [poems by Bibhas Roy Chowdhury, contributed as the translator]. Reviews of his works can be read on The Fox Chase Review and Reading Series, Muse India, Red Fez Magazine, Word Riot, and in The Hindu Literary Review, among other places. Sengupta has also co-edited three anthologies: Scaling Heights, Jora Sanko – The Joined Bridge, and Epitaphs....

Read More
badge