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INDIAN ENGLISH POETRY BOOK LAUNCHED IN NEPAL:
SITA(A POEM) BY Dr.NANDINI SAHU
Dr. Nandini Sahu's fifth collection poetry, SITA(A POEM) was launched in Kathmandu on 29th September 2014. During the launch Prof. Abhi Subedi, most popular Nepali author and critic, spoke at length about Dr.Sahu’s remarkable contribution to Gender Studies in general and Indian English poetry in particular. Dr. Sanjeev kumar Uprety, popular Nepali novelist, art-critic and theatre artist, said, “Nandini Sahu presents the story of the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective to show how Sita questions the norms and values of a pre-historic Hindu society from a woman’s position. The long poem deconstructs the traditional understanding of Sita as a suffering, self-sacrificing woman, while reinterpreting her character from a modern, eco-feministic perspective.” The book launch was extensively attended by enthusiasts from all walks of life, including academicians, folklorists, journalists, writers, researchers, professors and students from Nepal. Dr. Sahu talked on Gender Studies in Indian English Poetry during the occasion. The program was organized by Archana Thapa from Akshar Creations with bOOkahOlics at Martin Chautari, Nepal.
During the book launch, Dr.Sahu said, “Through my long narrative Sita, which can be read as a poem of social mobility, I salute the spirit of women who succeed in leading a meaningful life against all odds. Western critics compare Sita with the heroines from other classical tales like Eurydice, Persephone and Ceres. To me, Sita is beyond any comparison, she is the quintessential spirit of every woman – ageless, timeless and omnipotent. Some folk versions of The Ramayana project her as the most powerful woman, like Goddess Kali. At the same time, it is an equally interesting fact that even the modern day, progressive and empowered woman is wont to see a bit of herself in the self-willed, stubborn, confident, mortal woman, Sita. Thus, there is a bit of ‘Sitaness’ in every Indian woman, which is what engages me in this narrative penned in twenty-five long poems of three lined stanzas.”
Dr. Nandini Sahu’s preoccupation with poetry began very early in life, and today she is a major voice in contemporary Indian English poetry. A double gold medalist in English literature, she was award winner at the All India Poetry Contest, has been honoured with the Shiksha Ratna Puraskar and has to her credit the coveted Bouddha Creative Writers’ Award. A doctorate in English literature, she worked under the tutelage of eminent poet and academic, Late Prof. Niranjan Mohanty from Visva Bharati. Nandini’s creative output has been widely published in India, U.S.A, U.K., Africa and Pakistan. Her published volumes of poetry include The Other Voice; The Silence; Silver Poems on My Lips,Sukamaa and Other Poems, and most recently an edited anthology of women poets titled Suvarnarekha.
Presently, she is Associate Professor of English at the School of Humanities, Indira Gandhi National Open University [IGNOU], New Delhi, where she has designed academic programmes on Folklore and Culture Studies, Children’s Literature and American Literature. Broadly, her research interests pan across Indian Literature, New Literatures, Folklore and Culture Studies, American Literature, Children’s Literature and Critical Theory. As a serious academic, Dr. Sahu has presented papers on various subjects in India and abroad. She has authored/edited volumes/books like Recollection as Redemption; Post-Modernist Delegation to English Language Teaching; The Post Colonial Space: Writing the Self and the Nation; Folklore and the Alternative Modernities (in 2 Vols), all titles that cumulatively bring out the range of her oeuvre! She is Chief Editor/Founder Editor of Interdisciplinary Journal of Literature and Language (IJLL) and Panorama Literaria(PL), both being bi-annual peer-reviewed journals in English.
Sita (A Poem)is Nandini’s maiden foray into the long narrative genre; her subject takes off from our epic traditions and takes the discourse much further. The poet-thinker-ecofeminist in her feels that this magnum opus has always been shaping itself in her subconscious, the writing act of what promises to be a whole new take on the Indian epic has come about when she is convinced that her thoughts have readily found utterance.Sita is, in no way, a retelling of The Ramayana. It is penned rather as a poetic memoir of the heroine of the epic, Sita, told in the first person narrative. It carries the convictions of Nandini the person and is the result of an organic fusion of her truly roving mind, snippets of which can be glimpsed at www.kavinandini.blogspot.com !
SAHITYA ADDA: A LITERARY CONCEPT
Dr Bhaskar Roy Barman
A Sahitya Adda (literary rendezvous) was inaugurated in Agartala, West Tripura, India on 12 November 2013 at 5pm at the Ujjayanta Market Complex on the first floor under the aegis of Shreeram Prakashani, a publishing house, and at the co-operation of the Bai Bazar (Book Market) committee. Mr. Tapas Roy, proprietor of Shreeram Prakashani cordially welcomed the poets, writers and cultural-minded persons and introduced them one by one and told them the history of how his idea of gathering poets, writers and cultural-minded people round his shop concretized in the form of this literary rendezvous under the patronage of Dr. Bhaskar Roy Barman, Indian English poet, short-story writer, novelist, editor, critic and folklorist. Mr. Prantosh Karmakar, an eminent singer inaugurated the literary rendezvous by presenting a song first sung by Manna De, an eminent singer of International fame who died recently. Dr. Bhaskar Roy Barman, patron of the literary rendezvous, in his key-note address, spoke in detail on the aim and purpose that have governed the formation of the Sahitya Adda. Among the distinguished poets, writers and cultural-minded persons present who participated in the discussion were Mr. Subimal Roy, Dr. Prabhas Chandra Dhar, Mrs. Bela Dhar, Prof. (Dr.) Meenakshi Sen Babdyopadhyay, Mr. Jahar Acharya, Prof. Biswajit Gupta, Dr. Ashis Kumar Baidya, Mr Nani Ghosh, Prof. Partha Majumdar and Mr Jagadish Acharya.
The Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous) has, since its inauguration, embarked on different programmes as follows..
On 4 February 2014 at 5 pm the Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous) collaborated with the Ujjayanta Book Market Committee at the Ujjayant Matket Complex on the first floor in organizing a Saraswati Puja and Cultural Nite under the guidance of Poet Arbind Kumar Chaudhary, Head of English, RC College, Majuli, Assam.
On 22 February 2014 at 4pm the Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous) and Nikhil Tripura Kavi Haricharan Smriti Samsad, Agartala, joinly celebrated the 153rd Birth Anniversary of Kavi (Rhymester) Haricharan Acharyadev at the Ujjaynnta Market complex on the first floor with pomp and grandeur.
This literary forum celebrated on 15 March 2014 at 5pm the international women’s day through hobnobbing in a congenial atmosphere at Ujjayanta Book market on the first floor. Well-known singer Prantosh Karmakar inaugurated the hobnobbing by singing a song relevant to the topic. Dr Prabhas Chandra Dhar, distinguished writer and educationist, spoke in detail of the significance and importance of the day, alluding to instances of how women have still now been subjugated to the needs of man. Among others who spoke were Nanigopal Ghosh, Ranajit Kumar Debnath, Sikha Majumdar and Mohan Lal Saha. Helen Debbarma and Siuli Roy read their own poems. Sudipta Sekhar Mishra, Siuli Roy and Pranab Kumar Karmakar presented songs highlighting the day.
Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous), Agartala, Tripura, India paid a musical homage to the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore on 12 May 2014 at Ujjayanta Book Market on the first floor as a sequel to the 153rd birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Mr. Shyamal Dey, Chairperson, Development Committee, Agartala Municipal Corporation, lighted the inaugural candle. Siuli Roy and Prantosh Karmakar presented the inaugural song, synchronizing with the lighting of the inaugural candle. Mr. Shyamal Dey in his speech as a guest from the Agartala Municipal Corporation, spoke highly of Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous). Mohanlal Saha, an eminent writer, recited a Tagore poem. Among the eminent singers who sang Tagore poems at the musical homage to Rabindranath Tagore were Siuli Roy, Prantosh Karmakar, Sudiptasekhar Mishra, Pranab Karmakar Subrata Chaudhury, Banashree Chakraborty, Sanghamitra Nandi, Madhurima Bhattacharya and child-singer Sayani Mishra.
Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous) organized a mini-conference on the oral literature of North-East India on 12 August at 6pm at the Ujjayanta Book Market Complex (First Floor) in collaboration with North-East Centre for Oral Literature, Agartala, Northeastern branch of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Mrs. Krairi Mag Chaudhury, well-known Mog poet, singer and writer, presented the inaugural song by singing a poem composed by herself in Mog, Bengali and Hindi. Dr .Bhaskar Roy Barman delivered the address of welcome.
The address of welcome over, Dr. (Mrs.) Meenakshi Sen Bandyopadhyay, Director, Norfh-East Centre for Oral Literature (NECOL), in her keynote said that NECOL has been working since its establishment in Agartala to collect as many as possible the tribal folktales on the verge of extinction into different books in English translation.
Professor Saroj Chudhury, an eminent poet, academician and scholar, in his well-balanced and eloquent speech, enlightened the listeners on the intrinsic problems faced by translators in rendering into different languages, particularly English, the tribal folktales particularly when it comes to rendering the expressions peculiar to the tribal people, and suggested some ways of remeding them.
Mr. Chandrakanta Murasing, an Akademi-award winning Kokborok poet, dealt in detail in his speech that followed Prof. Saroj Chaudhury’s with the Kokborok oral literature from the perspective of the Mahabharata. Mr. Jayanta Das Jugal, a famous singer from Silchar presented three songs at a time to conclude the mini-conference.Among other guests at the mini-conference were Rajkumar Jitendrajit Singh, Raju Barman from Silchar and two research scholars on oral literature.
Mr Tapas Roy, co-ordinator, Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous) gave the vote of thanks. Mr Amit Dey, a staff of Mr Tapas Roy’s, rendered all co-operation in organizing the mini-conference The mini-conference ended in a congenial and homely atmosphere
Sahitya Adda (Literary Rendezvous) in the course of organizing so many events of national and international import has turned into a literary concept, a concept of literary devotion.
Dr Bhaskar Roy Barman
PO Box 52
Agartala 799 001, West Tripura
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