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The city bonds over literature with four literary societies launched in the last two months

Written by Parul |
May 23, 2012 1:35:58 am

The city bonds over literature with four literary societies launched in the last two months

There is a book and literature boom all over the country. And as publishing houses get busier,the calendar of literary events has become chock-a-block too. “The Cafia Utsav Literature & Art Trust (CULT) is born out of this scenario,” reflected Nirupama Dutt at the launch of CULT on May 16. Writer,translator and critic,Dutt,who is the President of CULT,along with the Aleph Book Company,organised an interaction with writer Jerry Pinto,who read from his debut novel EM and the big HOOM. For the last 30 years,Dutt needed an excuse for literary events and CULT,she says,“is a formal coming together of people with similar interests,”. Despite the initial hiccups,the idea is to organise niche events,enjoy art and literature,without any agenda. “We don’t claim to promote literature. The only person who promotes literature is the writer,not societies,” she says. Literature is the theme song of the season in the city,with The Chandigarh Literary Society,The Adab Foundation,The Manto Foundation and now CULT,becoming a part of the city in the last couple of months.

Like CULT,the Manto Foundation that was launched this month,is an individual effort of Shayda — a journalist and writer. She has been instrumental in finding passionate readers and lovers of Saadat Hasan Manto to form this foundation on the writer’s birth centenary. The foundation staged two plays last week and organised a seminar on various facets of Manto. “We are a single body,passionate about literature and seek no support for our work,” says Shayda. “Manto’s daughter too sent us a congratulatory note and we are getting invitations to take our programme to different places,’’ she explains. Besides Manto,the foundation hopes to talk of other writers and poets as well.

Last month,The Adab Foundation organised the city’s first literary festival — Chandigarh Literature Festival (CFL). A meeting ground of authors across genres and genders according to Mitul Dikshit,who conceptualised the festival,the effort is to put Chandigarh on the literary map of the country by making this an annual feature. The audience entered the world of young writers and poets like Annie Zaidi,Kiran Manral and Geet Chaturvedi; viewed the world of scriptwriter Sanjay Chauhan who wrote Paan Singh Tomar; developed perspective on the balancing act between theatre and films undertaken by Piyush Mishra; and understood the trials and tribulations of Neelam Man Singh,Imroz and Avinash Das of Mohalla Live. A bigger and more organised festival,with regular interactions with authors,poets,singers is on the agenda of Adab.

These days,the Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS) is poring over short stories written by those in the tricity as part of a competition open to all age groups. “We have given the first few lines of the story and it’s in 1,000 words that they have to express their literary leanings,with everything to be submitted on the Internet,’’ explains author and member Vivek Atray. The CLS,says author and bureaucrat Sumita Misra,will bring together budding and established writers in the region and facilitate presentation and publication of papers,books,articles and other works. Misra feels there was a need for a society like CLS to promote the region’s languages. “We want to involve the common man in literary activities and not restrict literature to a niche audience,” says Misra.

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