Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chandigarh Revisited!




On Friday I went off to Chandigarh for a quickie visit. I was a guest of the Ch'garh Sahitya Akademi with the lightest of light duties to perform: all I had to do was introduce three other writers at the afternoon STORY-TELLING SESSION. The writers were Prof Tej Nath Dhar, Prof Carolyn Kraus and Dr Jaideep Chadha and they each read from their work -- Prof Dhar read an extract from his book UNDER THE SHADOW OF MILITANCY, Prof Kraus read her short story GARGOYLE and Dr Chadha read his short story THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DOOMED.

The one day Lit-Fest was organized by Dr Manju Jaidka, Chair of the Akademi and a person with unlimited resources of energy. The LitFest marked the culmination of a three day "International Conference on Literature and Culture Post-1980" and there was a party atmosphere over at the Panjab* University campus, where the events were taking place. There's more information here. (*this is how it's spelt on their sign boards. I was surprised, the first time I saw it, but was assured that it wasn't a proofing error).

I had a very happy visit with my good friends JACQUIE and RANJIT SINGH and got back to Delhi after a bare two nights, on Sunday morning. As usual, I have no time to breathe or think, so I'll stop for the moment after uploading these two pix, taken at the Ch'garh Railway Station.

8 comments:

Paul said...

Yup. Some people get their thrills out of deliberately misspelling words. ("Some people get a cheap laugh breakin' up the speed limit" Dire Straights - Mark Knopfler - one of the best rock numbers I've listened to.)And atrocious coinages which they 'feel' will make people remember their brands - in Cochin we have a construction company that calls itself 'Apple a day' (of all things on earth!) I've tried to imagine how it would be to bite into a concrete apple!

In this context I also remember a very meaningful statement which went something like "The university is nothing but a conglomerate of reinforced concrete". "Doomed" reminds me of an interesting survey for teachers in the Kerala University where one of the questions to be answered was, "Do you think its time for the university to be declared a deemed university?" A friend of mine answered. "Its about time it was declared a doomed university".

Another one of my favurite quotes is "When god created calcutta, he shat. When he created New York, he shat concrete." (Could happen to you if you eat a concrete apple every day!)

marginalien said...

Wow ... and when the Divine Entity created New Delhi, he definitely had diarrhoea (yes, I confess, I googled the spelling after two attempts without the "o").

avdi said...

It has been spelled as Panjab for as long as I can remember. Anyhow, can there be a 'proper' way to spell a proper noun.

marginalien said...

Interesting point, advi ...

Paul said...

I thought we were discussing 'academy'. And 'academy' is no propen noun, is it?

avdi said...

@Paul, I thought the issue was Panjab vs Punjab. But for some reason, academy has been always spelt as Akademy too. Maybe a kind of Koffee with Karan syndrome.

Paul said...

@avdi
Oh, o.k. (Never did I have an eye for the minutus!)

Paul said...

And I've heard 'Punjab' being mispronounced in such a way that the initial syllable rhymes with the initial syllable in 'Mumbai' in many English serials including B.B.C's'Mind Your Language'.

(Not a valid enough reason to think of a change in spelling!)