The Asian Literary Society organized its 4th ALS LIT FEST on 14th July 2022 at Civil services Officers’ Institute Auditorium, New Delhi. The celebration started with a welcome address by Mr. Manoj Krishnan (Founder, Asian Literary Society) followed by a lamp lighting ceremony and chanting. Chief Guest- Dr. Sreenivas Rao (Secretary, Sahitya Akademi), and Distinguished Guests- Dr. Lakshmi Shankar Bajpai (Eminent Poet and Former Deputy Director General, AIR Akashvani), Dr. Amarendra Khatua (Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs), Ms. Merry Barua (Founder, Action for Autism), Dr. Lakshmisree Banerjee (Eminent Poet and Former Vice Chancellor) along with noted writers from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, UAE, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Assam, Bengal, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Punjab graced the occasion with their august presence.
The highlight of the 4th ALS LIT Fest was the felicitation of the Winners of the Book and Women Awards 2022. The award category and recipients were: Best Debut Fiction Book: Winner-As I Prepare for Landing (Ms. Gulnar Raheem Khan), Best Fiction Book: Winner- From the Womb of Darkness: Holding the Prophecy (Mr. Ashwin Karthik S N), Best Fiction Book: Winner-The Legend of Lachit Borphukan (Mr. Nilutpal Gohain), Best Non-fiction Book: Winner-The Priceless Petals (Dr. Ritu Kamra Kumar), Best Poetry Book: Winner-Cocktail of Life (Ms. Akshaya Pawaskar), Best Poetry Book-Winner: Songs of Silence (Dr. Molly Joseph), Best Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence- Yes! You Are Audible! (Ms. Jyothy Sreedhar), Best Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Subtle Whispers (Dr. Usha Sridhar), Best Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Tranquil Ripples (Dr. Vedha Surendra), Best Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Myriad of Dreams (Ms. Nisha Tandon), Best Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Milestone (Ms. Sunita Singh), Best Debut Poetry Book: Winner-Our Togetherness-the Amaranthine Music of Love (Ms. Ankurita Khajanchi), Best Debut Poetry Book: Winner-Island in the Streams (Ms. Sonal Singh), Best Debut Poetry Book: Winner-Ek Anjuri Khshboo (Dr. Aparna Pradhan), Best Debut Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Raining Drops of Rainbow Verses (Ms. Indrani Chowdhury), Best Debut Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Euphony of My Heart (Ms. Manisha Amol), Best Debut Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Geetanjali- Anjali BharaaGeet (Ms. Anjali Srivastava), Best Debut Poetry Book: Certificate of Excellence-Humsafar Ehsaas-e-Maasoom (Mr. Ajay Kumar Verma), Indian Women Achievers Award: Winner-Dr. Usha Sridhar (Literature), Indian Women Achievers Award: Winner-Dr. RituKamra Kumar (Literature), Indian Women Achievers Award: Winner-Ms. Nisha Tandon (Literature), Indian Women Achievers Award: Winner-Prof. Dr. (Rtn.) Laksmisree Banerjee (Literature), Indian Women Achievers Award: Winner-Dr. Aparna Pradhan (Literature), Indian Women Achievers Award: Certificate of Excellence-Ms. Ishrat Umar (Literature), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Winner-Ms. Sunita Singh (Literature), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Winner- Ms. Vandana Bhasin (Literature), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Winner- Ms. Mahua Sen (Literature), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Certificate of Excellence- Ms. Lakshmi Ajoy (Social Service), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Certificate of Excellence- Ms. Indrani Chowdhury (Literature), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Certificate of Excellence- Ms. Staffy Bhateja (Arts), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Certificate of Excellence- Ms. Indrani Chatterjee (Literature), Indian Women Rising Star Award: Certificate of Excellence-Ms. Preethi Warrier (Literature), and Indian Women Rising Star Award: Certificate of Excellence-Ms. Ramya V (Literature).
In ALS LITFEST 2022, ALS group anthologies, as well as books by the writers of the ALS community, were also released. These included Ebbing Echoes, Trails of Hope, The Peerless Pearls, Echoes of Silence, Tea-Time Sonnets, As I Prepare for Landing, Unbreakable Emotions, Unmukt, Naaritva ka Astitva, Matching Footsteps, Myriad of Dreams, Songs of Silence, and Euphony of My Heart.
“Ebbing Echoes: An Anthology of Articles on Lesser-Known Languages & Art Forms of Indigenous Communities of Asia” (compiled and edited by Mr. Manoj Krishnan) is a collection of thirteen articles written by thirteen erudite writers of the Asian Literary Society (ALS) community. This anthology is a sincere attempt to spread awareness about the art and literature of indigenous communities from all regions of Asia and help these communities in preserving their culture and traditions.
“Trails of Hope: An Anthology of Articles on Effective Teaching Strategies for People with Special Needs” (compiled and edited by Mr. Manoj Krishnan) is a sincere attempt to bring medical professionals, NGOs, volunteers, parents, educationists, and subject matter experts together, and come up with strategies that can help the special needs people in their training, education, and development.
“The Peerless Pearls” by Dr. Ritu Kamra Kumar contains poems that are embodiments of multiple facets of life. Pearls are of different shapes, sizes, and shades. Moreover, they symbolize purity and piety, her poems are pearl-like, photography of her mind, pure and spontaneous with soothing and sagacious effects They evoke a world that is interesting, illuminating, beautiful, and belligerent. Words like Pearls shine and speak, infuse criss-cross patterns, and sparkle in elation.
“Echoes of Silence” by Ms. Ishrat Umar’s contains poems full of mystery about nature, love, and relationships. Some poems remind life’s frail wonders, pandemics, grief, kindness, and despair. Her poems touch on human emotions and the sensitivity of various aspects of life.
“Tea-Time Sonnets” by Ms. Ishrat Umar is her second book of poetry. In this book, she tried her best to express various aspects of life, nature, present situations, and the ever-changing world. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world. Every poetry in her book has a pictorial depiction of the subject matter with captions. The poems touch on human emotions and sensitivity on various aspects of life.
Ms. Gulnar Raheem Khan’s maiden book, “As I Prepare for Landing” ‘a Basket of Stories and a Casket of Poems’, published by the BlueRose Publishers, is a choice collection of twenty poems and ten short stories, each piece being the essence and efflorescence of the variegated experiences, good and bad, in the six decades of her life, spiced up with infinite imagination! The book is dedicated to the author’s husband, Dr.Fazlulla Khan, who was the motivator behind the book, but who sadly succumbed to Corona in 2021.
The literal meaning of “Unmukt” is – ‘Free’. Ms. Anita Chand’s third poetry collection, ‘Unmukt’ is a poetry book that brings forth humane aspects as well as social values. As a poetess, what Anita felt during the difficult times of Corona and Lockdown, has been woven into the fabric of her poetry. Her emotions find themselves flowing freely from her pen. Corona pandemic, which took over the entire humanity by surprise like an unexpected tsunami, had spread havoc all around.
Dr. Molly Joseph’s anthology of poems “Songs of Silence” is an ode to the silences we carry within us, the silences that are pregnant with multiple possibilities, and are like gentle ripples in water that cannot be heard but can lead to tsunamis one day which can tear apart the trappings of ‘vile life’ we lead. If she uses her words, her poems are gentle lullabies that, contrary to being soporific, are there “to outlive/ the vile life we leave behind.” These lullabies exist on the fringes of hope and despair, do a tight rope walk between balancing, surviving and existing, even then they weave a tapestry of beauty, beauty that is both Immanent and Transcendent.
“Unbreakable Emotions” by Ms. Rafika Rangwala is a bilingual book of poetry in English and Hindi. The topics dealt with are based on various sentiments like love, hate, fear, happiness, beauty, and emotions related to the color of human skin, figure, desire, silence, motherhood, honesty, shame, and ecstasy. Language is simple. Poems are based on reality, imagination which can be turned into reality.
“The Castaway” is a collection of eighty-one poems of Ms. Mousumee Baruah encapsulated in the variable facets of the poet’s life. Like a shipwrecked survivor, the poet looks back at her life. She saw more storms than sunshine but has no regrets. Like a castaway, the poet watched the ebbs and flows of life. It is reflected in the poem “Ebb and flow of life”. Like a castaway, away from mainstream life, she celebrated her life in silence.
The “Naritiva Ka Astitva” by Dr. Aparna Pradhan is her second poetry book. She has written poems on various women-related themes and tried to touch the heart of readers through these soulful verses. “Naritiva ka Astitva” has successfully showcased how important the role of women is in the development and growth of the country and society.
“Matching Footsteps” is a rendezvous journey of two poets Ms. Kiren Babal and Ms. Aparna Menon pouring their hearts out with poetic expression. Though belonging from different generations, the ink of the heart that pours out remains the same …walking the path of one’s soul! Matching Footsteps is laced with various moods, desires, longings, and belongings that are close to the poet’s heart.
“Euphony of my Heart’ by Ms. Manisha Amol is a collection of poems covering varied emotions of human life. The poems traverse across a wide horizon that holds the attention of every reader. One can easily relate to the different themes that have been wisely chosen so as to create interest across all genres. The thoughts simply expressed will flow through you. Whether it is about life, the ups and downs therein, or sad or joyful emotions, all beautifully crafted in verses.
“Myriad of Dreams” is a personal interpretation of Ms. Nisha Tandon’s memories over the course of her life. Unless we dare to dream, we cannot accomplish what our heart yearns for. Dreams, as they say, are windows to our souls, and through “Myriad of Dreams” she has borne her soul to express her emotions and sentiments. Her collection of poems in “Myriad of Dreams” reflects heart-touching refreshment of reality and the book is based on a harmonious interplay of words and rhythm. Her work knits a myriad of human emotions in those little moments of life that we all experience.
The program was moderated by Manoj Krishnan and Dr. Bishakha Sarma. The event ended with the felicitation of writers and a vote of thanks.
The 4th ALS LITFEST was a literary extravaganza where many shining stars in the world of literature congregated to share their ideas and creative talents, in enthusiastic support of ALS and its initiatives.