General Reading

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....

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Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s book “My Glass of Wine”

This was an event we were really looking forward to. Poet Kiriti Sengupta was travelling to Delhi for the launch of the expanded second edition of his book My Glass of Wine. The first edition of My Glass of Wine was declared a bestseller within a month from its release in February, 2014. The book has been widely reviewed and appreciated in literary journals both in India and in the United States. It has been inducted into the Ryerss Museum & Library (Philadelphia, USA). Hawakaal Publishers, Kolkata, have published an expanded second edition that has been a bestselling title in the United States ever since its release on Amazon on August 18. 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 SumitaNandy, contributed as the translator], and Poem Continuous – Reincarnated Expressions [poems by Bibhas Roy Chowdhury, contributed as the translator]. Sengupta has also co-edited three anthologies: Scaling Heights, Jora Sanko – The Joined Bridge, and Epitaphs. Hawakaal (pronounced as Hawa Kol) Publisher has been founded by Bitan Chakraborty more than seven years back. They made their foray into the English language publications through Rhapsodies and Musings, a book of literary criticism, authored by Ketaki Datta and Tania Chakravertty. Other books by the publisher include the expanded second edition of My Glass of Wine by Kiriti Sengupta and Poem Continuous by Bibhas Roy Chowdhury (to be launched on September 28). https://www.facebook.com/Hawakaal hawakaal.pb@gmail.com We had organized the launch of his book at Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi. Along with launching the book, we had also decided to open the stage up for aspiring writers and young poets who are already making a mark on the world of Indian poetry. It was a two-hour-long event and here is a brief round up of it. The book was launched by eminent poet, scholar, and writer Dr Sukrita Paul Kumar, Prof. Chandra Shekhar Dubey, Kiriti Sengupta, and Vibha Malhotra. In her talk about My Glass of Wine, Sukrita ji spoke about hybridization in culture and language. She also applauded Kiriti Sengupta for his use of alaap in his book. Professor Dubey spoke about the inherent spirituality in My Glass of Wine and also about the title of the book. Sukrita Paul Kumar was born and brought up in Kenya and at present she lives in Delhi, writing poetry, researching and teaching literature. An Honorary Fellow of International Writing Programme, University of Iowa (USA) and a former Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, she was also an invited poet in residence at Hong Kong Baptist University. She has published five collections of poems in English including Rowing Together, Without Margins and Folds of Silence. Sukrita’s major critical works include Narrating Partition, Conversations on Modernism, The New Story and Man, Woman and Androgyny. Some of her co-edited books are Ismat, Her Life, Her Times,Interpreting Homes in South Asian Literature and Women’s Studies in India: Contours of Change. As Director of a UNESCO project on “The Culture of Peace”, she edited Mapping Memories, a volume of Urdu short stories from India and Pakistan. She has two books of translations, Stories of Joginder Paul and the novel Sleepwalkers. She is the chief editor of the book on Cultural Diversity in India published by Macmillan India and prescribed by the University of Delhi. A recipient of many prestigious fellowships and residencies, Sukrita has lectured at many universities in India and abroad. A solo exhibition of her paintings was held at AIFACS,...

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Results of My Glass of Wine Creative Writing Contest

First of all, we (Kiriti Sengupta, Literature Studio, Hawakaal Publishers, and Tathya) would like to thank you all for your overwhelming response to the “My Glass of Wine” Creative Writing Contest. Entries kept pouring in till the very last minute and by the end of the day on September 10, 2015, we had 23 valid entries to choose from. And we are talking about Hybrid literature here, so we know how tough it was for everyone to come up with something that would showcase their mastery over two or more forms of creative expressions. However, at the end of the day we had to choose 5. Trust us we tried hard, but we couldn’t arrive at the final 5, so we decided to do a final 6. Here are the winners (and a bit about their entries) in alphabetical order: Aashutosh Mukherjee studies in eighth grade in Delhi, and he loves to write and paint. His short memoir Dida’s Schooling, takes a peek into a world he had only heard of, one that does not seem probable today, especially in a city like Delhi. Arvind Passey began his professional life marching up and down the drill square of the Indian Military Academy as a gentleman cadet and ended his job-era playing hide-&-seek with media teams as the Head of Corporate Communications. He is an eminent blogger and a columnist. His essay I’m Part Human explores seamless hybridization palpable all around us. Esha Chakraborty is an avid reader and a writer. She has two full time jobs. One of course is her 9-5 job and the other and more exciting is being a mom to her 2-year old. Her story The Stone Hearted Husband explores assumptions, preconceived notions, and individual expressions of love. Radhika Maira Tabrez is a hustling mother by day and a writer by night. When she isn’t dancing to the tunes of her three-year-old son, or experimenting in the kitchen for her husband, she loves to read, watch movies, and engage in DIY home décor projects. Her story Tiny Drops of Grace explores lives of invisible men and women who go about their businesses, alienated by poverty, neglect, and disdain. Raghav Arora is a wanderer and believes that he’ll find the truth in his own written words gradually. He’s a big fan of astronomy, physics, metaphysics, and mythology. In his story That Precise Moment! he dives into the complexities of human relationships and mind. Tanmoy Bhattacharjee is a postgraduate scholar in English Literature. His story Chase: In Search of Reality explores the struggles of a side-lined poet and the choices he makes that decide his fate. All winning entries will be published by Hawakaal Publishers in a path-breaking anthology of hybrid literature titled Sankarak – The Literary Fusion. The anthology will be edited by Kiriti Sengupta and Vibha Malhotra, founder of Literature Studio. These writers are invited to read/present their works during the launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s My Glass of Wine on September 18, 2015 at Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi. The winning writers stand a chance to grab one of the following prizes; Book deal with Hawakaal Publishers Creative writing course worth Rs. 10,000/- with Literature Studio Gift hamper from Tathya Surprise prize from Kiriti Sengupta...

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Literature Studio’s Advisor Geet Chaturvedi gets Krishna Pratap Katha Samman

We are proud to share that Hindi author and member of our advisory board Geet Chaturvedi has been awarded the prestigious ‘Krishna Pratap Katha Samman’ for 2014 for his collection of stories Pink Slip Daddy, published in 2010. This was announced by the convener of the awards committee, Shri Narendra Pundarik. He said, the jury found the stories associated with the corporate world, enthralling; and many people can find glimpses of their story in these stories. These stories are ample evidence of Geet Chaturvedi’s mastery as a storyteller. His taut poetic language has a certain exotic shine and sharp freshness, and an abundance of dreams and thoughts, he added. Often regarded as an avant-garde, the 37-year old poet-writer has been nominated several times as one of nation’s best writers by various periodicals and newspapers. He was awarded the Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Award for poetry in 2007. Geet Chaturvedi has authored five books till now and his writings have been translated into nine languages, including English, Russian, Spanish and German. He lives in Bhopal. Geet Chaturvedi was one of the guest authors at the Te Aroha – Literature Studio Writers’ Retreat and has been a member of our Advisory Board since November 2014. In person, Geet comes across as someone who is humble and grounded. A powerhouse of talent, this young writer has the ability to leave his audience stunned with his mesmerizing readings. He will receive this award in November this year in a ceremony....

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“My Glass of Wine” – an overview by Gary Robinson

My Glass of Wine: the expanded edition by Indian poet Kiriti Sengupta is a small book written in a hybrid style of prose and poetry consisting of eight chapters or autobiographical tales (though the poet decries categorization for causing a clash between writers and readers), plus two additional chapters of reviews and an interview with Dr. Sengupta. My Glass of Wine follows a similar style found in The Reverse Tree, a book I had the pleasure of reviewing. Dr. Sengupta’s eight chapters are complemented by short poems that function more than in a mere ancillary role. The poems are sparkling illuminations of the prose. They enhance each other. But this book is above all a series of tales. I would compare My Glass of Wine to a salon that one wanders in where a friendly voice greets you and before you know it a delightful vignette springs up before your eyes. I enjoy learning something about a poet and Dr. Sengupta is a most accomplished raconteur. The eight prose pieces do have the feel of a memoir without ever excluding the reader who has not shared the same experiences as Dr. Sengupta and may even be from a completely different culture. I would say the most remarkable and salient feature of My Glass of Wine is how one is so very well entertained by accounts as disparate as dentistry, Christianity, southern Indian cities, and shoes. There is a universal need that we have, as fellow inhabitants on this blue planet, to learn about one another and Kiriti Sengupta takes center stage in My Glass of Wine, though he introduces in a generous and completely unselfish spirit other characters such as his wife, his son, his guru. Could another Indian poet, or scholar for that matter, speak so informally on a variety of topics, always maintaining the keen interest of the reader who may have only a superficial knowledge of India? I think the key to it is that Dr. Sengupta paints himself as an everyman, a guide without pretences or affectations, someone with a genuine desire to reveal himself as no different from anybody else. Of course each person is different, otherwise we would suffer mass ennui, and Dr. Sengupta kindly asks us to listen to his particular stories. But there is not an ounce of conceit to him. At all times I felt a great warmth emanating from his words. Here is a poet who merely wants to tell us something about himself. What makes one person’s confessions different from another’s? I can think of nothing other than sincerity. It is rare to meet a sincere human being. Life beats us down, after all, and we are often rendered cynical and embittered. Yet there isn’t the slightest taint of falsehood to My Glass of Wine. I sense only an honest man, a poet, discoursing on aspects of his life, family, and friends. The Great Russian masters, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, believed a man had to explain himself. One sees the same influence in modern day writers like Roberto Bolaño and Gabriel García Márquez. Maybe all literature is an attempt by a writer, through the characters created in books and short stories, to offer an explanation to the reader. “I am writing this to explain to you something of myself,” the writer is saying. I see the same motive in Dr. Sengupta’s writings. The anecdotes are non-fiction but isn’t the poet still trying to explain something of himself to us? Gary Robinson is a poet and short story writer from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been published in Canada, the United States,...

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This Raksha Bandhan, Gift Your Sibling an Opportunity

Happy Raksha Bandhan to All, Hope you have all bought your rakhis and the sweets. Many of you would still be searching for that perfect gift for your sibling. Clothes, accessories, chocolates – you have exhausted all these possibilities. None of these make your sibling’s eyes sparkle. You need something unique. So here is your chance. You can now Gift an Opportunity to the person with whom you have shared some of the best days of your life. On the occasion of Rakhi, Literature Studio is pleased to offer a 20% discount on some of our most popular courses. The discount can be availed by anyone who wants to gift a Creative Writing Course to their sibling. Discount is available on the following courses: Fiction Fundamentals  – Literature Studio’s “Fiction Fundamentals” is a course custom tailored for busy homemakers and retired personnel. If you want to enhance your skills as a writer, but children and family keep you busy, you can take this course that has been scheduled keeping your convenience in mind. The 10-hour-long course will be spread over 5 days and would cover the following concepts of fiction writing: 1) Plot 2) Characters 3) Settings 4) Dialogues 5) Types of Points of View and Narrators Through inspiring readings, engaging exercises, and constructive discussions, you will take your first steps towards imbibing these techniques in your writing. The course will be useful whether you want to write flash fiction, short stories, novellas, or novels.  Short Story Writing –  Unlike a novel, a short story doesn’t offer an author the luxury of space to carve a plot, develop characters, and build up a climax. A short story is, never the less, a very powerful tool that says what it has to say in limited words. A writer has to make each dialogue, description, and action count. This programme takes you through the process of writing your own short story and will help you master each aspect of short story writing, one at a time. Through a reflection on several published works, you will start your own journey towards becoming a short story writer. The programme is designed to be effective and interactive. The focus is not only on teaching but also on getting you started as a short story writer. The course is delivered face-to-face or online over 12 classes, one class per week. Short Non-Fiction Writing – This short course aims to equip you with all the skills required to write quality non-fiction. Through intensive reading and writing exercises, assignments, and in-depth critical discussions, this course will be with you as you discover your own style, your core strengths as a creative non-fiction writer. The course is delivered face-to-face or online over 7 classes, one class per week. Travel Writing – Travellers are explorers. They dare to go where others don’t and they tend to see what others overlook. Each travel story deserves to be immortalized not only for your ready reckoner but also for the generations to come. The world as we know it today is changing rapidly. It is up to us travellers to preserve and leave a legacy for generations to come. What can you do to make your travel story special? How can you become a sensitive traveller and an informed travel writer? This short course will take you through this unique journey in which you will discover the explorer in you and get equipped with the skills to pen down your travel story effectively. The course is delivered face-to-face or online over 6 classes, one class per week. If you want to Gift an Opportunity to your sibling on Raksha Bandhan, write to info@literaturestudio.in for more details or call...

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