Thursday, June 30, 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Shoptodina Foundation, the brain child of Dr. Tamal Dasgupta, has been doing pioneering work related to Bengal and Bengalis especially through their academic mouthpiece The Journal of Bengali Studies. Under the aegis of this foundation on 15th April, 2016, a seminar was held in Mahabodhi Society Auditorium, Kolkata, titled “Towards Classical Status for Bengali Language”. In the sweltering heat of an April day the heritage structure saw intellectuals from different fields engage in a discussion that at some point in time will prove decisive in gaining the classical status for a language that is a heritage of Bengal. It is not only a matter of pride for the Bengalis that this initiative is being taken; it also opens up logistical and infrastructural facilities for the upliftment and spread of the language which is being compromised in usage due to the constraints of not being the language of currency on a global platform in more sense than one.
The seminar, divided into two sessions on both sides of lunch, saw speakers express their thoughts on the issue in hand from their angles of vocation and research interests. The seminar began with a very interesting paper presentation with audio-visual aids by Dr. Swarup Bhattacharya on the topic depicting the transition through the ages of the boat of Bengal. Bengal being a major coastal area from where river and sea navigations have taken place since time immemorial has seen boats as central to the livelihood of its people and at a metaphoric level it symbolizes the spirit of Bengal and its classical anteriority. Language is as intrinsically linked with livelihood as nothing else can be. After this presentation Tapoban Bhattacharyya spoke on Bengal’s so-called first monarch Sasanka. He pointed out that at school and college level history books the space dedicated to the rule of Sasanka is being shrunk and given just a cursory mention and thereby a sort of elision is happening that is detrimental to the glory of Bengal.
Raibatak Sengupta followed it up with a speech on the status of Bopdev, who is seen variously as Bengali and Marathi due to lack of any well-researched evidence. The speaker iterated that time demands an appropriation of this legendary figure of history so that the grayness disappears. It was then that Dr. Arjundeb Sensharma made his crucial presentation detailing how proto-Bengali language developed since Sasanka’s time and has directly descended into the modern form that is prevalent now. He gave arguments on why Bengali language should be accorded the status of classical language. Later Dr. Piya Biswas discussed Charyapadas and how they are part of the development of Bengali language from its proto origins (and not exclusively precursors of Oriya language). Anirban Das too argued for the classical status for the Bengali language and presented evidence of the antiquity of this language. Rituparno Chattopadhyay’s speech with the help of a Powerpoint Presentation was on the trade of Bengal and how the seals of Bengal prove the prevalence of a proto language that is the antecedent of present-day Bengali.
The penultimate speaker of the seminar was the Chief Guest himself, the noted poet and academic Subodh Sarkar. He regretted the facts that we live in a country where a language like Sanskrit gets the classical status after Tamil, where there are no speakers to argue for the classical status of an ancient language like Pali, and where Oriya gets classical status but not Bengali yet. He zeroed on the cause that the lack of unity amongst Bengali-speaking people has led to this state of affairs. He blamed the upper-middle class Bengalis who give little importance to their mother tongue and favour English instead. He promised all help if the demand is made to grant the classical status to Bengali language. Dr. Tamal Dasgupta summarized the proceedings and presented his own view point at the end of the seminar. He argued for the need of classical status for Bengali language, and elaborated the stakes that the Bengalis have in this battle, and what they stand to lose if they do not engage into this struggle for classical status. Extensively referencing Suniti Kumar Chattopadhyay's magnum opus ODBL (Origin and Development of Bengali Language) Dr Dasgupta offered a cogent case for the language of Charyapadas being identical with old Bengali. He cautioned against the continuous poaching of Bengal's heritage at the hands of various vested interests, mentioning Jayadeva as a case in point. He further said that everything that stands for the pride and glory of Bengal is gradually getting eroded and it is time that Bengalis realize the precariousness of the situation and take proactive measures to address the issues that are at stake. His speech made it apparent that if the alarm is not sounded today then it might be too late.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Rhythm Divine Poets group celebrates it first birthday on 12th March at Cocoa Bakery (New Alipore) organized by Kushal Poddar, Sana Mohammed and Swasti Jaiswal.
Rhythm Divine Poets organizes the Kolkata chapter of 6th Woman Scream International Poetry and Arts Festival at Mandeville Gardens on 26th March, 2016 coordinated by Women Poets International -
Prof. Sanjukta Dasgupta in conversation with me in Incredible Women of India e-zine
Lopa Banerjee interviews me and Kushal Poddar in Learning and Creativity e-zine
Friday, February 19, 2016
My story "Love and Hate" is the featured story in Wordweavers Contest 2015. Read it here:
My poem "Silverfish" published in the New Year 2016 Literature Special issue of Learning and Creativity e-zine. Read it here:
My poem "Love in the Time of the Atom Bomb"published in the anthology The Red Balloons: A Journey of Love released on Valentine's Day.
My poem "Create to Inspire" published in The Dawn Beyond Waste Anthology released at ICCR on 9 February, 2016.
Poetry Meet at the residence of Prof. Jharna Sanyal on 14 February, 2016.
Poetry Reading at the Launch of Chandana Khan's book The Shadow Women at Kolkata Book Fair Media Centre on 7 February, 2016:
Saturday, January 30, 2016
My short story "Harappa" was awarded the fifth prize in the 2nd Bharat Award 2015 short story competition.
Read my poems "Silence" and "Corner" published in the December 2015 issue of Hall of Poets e-zine here:
Read my poem "A Killing", which is the featured poem at the Wordweavers Poetry Competition 2015 here:
Read my poem "A Killing", which is the featured poem at the Wordweavers Poetry Competition 2015 here:
Read my review of Ananya Chatterjee's third collection of poems The Blind Man's Rainbow here:
My performance at Mudra Arts Workshop
My performance at the cover launch of Sutapa Basu's novel Dangle
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Rhythm Divine Poets’ Poetry Meet on Colours at Art Fair
Rhythm Divine Poets group organised a gala poetry meet at the fifth season of Sufia’s Art Fair (Chemould Art Gallery) on Sunday 6th December, 2015. This was second such association, the first being at last season’s Art Fair. Art Fair 5 was inaugurated on 4th December by noted photographer Kaunteya Sinha, fashion designer Lopamudra Mandal Saha, artist and professor of RBU Sohini Dhar, and social activist Urmi Basu of New Light. The fair is on till 8th December. The first day also saw the performance of the noted singer Tapasi and her band. On Saturday the Art Fair hosted the book cover launch of Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas edited by Rhiti Bose and Lopa Banerjee. The event was followed by songs by the talented singer Tiasa Ray.
Art Fair has long been the place where poetic jamming has taken place before any poetry groups came into vogue, other than a few niche ones, and poets have always looked forward to it. This time it was no exception. There was increased participation from poets who love the warmth of the event and the quality of the poems recited. The theme of the day was “Colours” and amidst an atmosphere of art, paintings, photography, craft, lifestyle products and music poets sat and recited in front of an august gathering. Among the guests were Prof. Jharna Sanyal, former Head of the Department of English, Calcutta University, and Shri Dinesh Vadera of Mudra Arts. Both Prof. Sanyal and Dineshji are themselves poets. Prof. Sanyal has also been the judge of the Rhythm Divine online poet of the month contest. It was a privilege to have such eminent personalities at the meet.
The evening started with the felicitation of the guests and the awarding of certificates to the online poetry competition winners Niladri Mahajan and Ipsita Ganguly. Among the poets who read their poems mainly on the theme “Colours” and wore the colour they recited on were Kushal Poddar, Niladri Mahajan, Ipsita Ganguly, Aiman Abdulla, Ranjani Chowdhury, Bob D’Costa, Sana Mohammed, Rahul Mall, Samrat Dey and others including the hosts Sufia Khatoon and Amit Shankar Saha. Prof. Jharna Sanyal as well as Shri Dinesh Vadera too read their compositions. Dineshji’s poem was in Gujarati and so for the first time there were poems in English, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati recited at a single event of Rhythm Divine Poets group. Prof. Sanyal was impressed by the compositions of the poets. Some of her old students like Lopa Banerjee and Anindita Bose too joined later. The evening saw a fitting culmination in an enthralling musical performance by Samrat Dey. Rhythm Divine poets group is thankful to all those who turned up to make this event a grand success.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Read my story "Love and Hate" currently longlisted for Wordweavers Contest 2015 - http://wordweavers.in/2015_short_story_longlist_amit_shankar_saha.html
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
My poem "A Killing" has been shortlisted for Wordweavers Poetry Contest 2015. Visit http://wordweavers.in/2015_poetry_longlist_amit_shankar_saha.html
Monday, September 28, 2015
Rhythm Divine Poets group hosted 100 Thousand Poets for Change (www.100TPC.org), a global initiative where more than 570 cities around the world hosted poetry meets on a single day. Rhythm Divine Poets hosted the meet in Kolkata at 8th Day Cafe and Bakery. The event comprises of music by the band Kolkata Music Diaries, felicitation of the poets of the month online contest, performance poetry and open mic poetry. Glimpses from the event...
For more visit 100 Thousand Poets Kolkata event blog link: http://www.100tpcmedia.org/100TPC2012/2015/08/amir-shankar-saha-kolkata-india-2015/
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Read my review of Saikat Majumdar's new novel The Firebird in Being Bookworms - http://beingbookworms.blogspot.in/2015/08/the-firebird-story-that-captured-our.html
Read my report of the discussion on Avik Chanda's latest novel Anchor in Being Bookworms - http://beingbookworms.blogspot.in/2015/08/readers-and-writers-club-initiates-avik.html
Read, vote, rate and comment on my poems at the Delhi Poetry Challenge here - http://www.readomania.com/author/amitss6
Friday, July 31, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
On 21st June 2015 (Sunday) a group of poets of Rhythm Divine visited A. J. C. Bose located St. Joseph’s Home. It was a novel experience to be among the elderly and the ailing and share with them poems. Poetry has a therapeutic aspect and this was explored during the visit. The inmates of the home loved the poems recited by the poets and enthusiastically interacted with the poets. Listening to people residing there also gave the visiting poets a new insight into the lives of the elderly living away from their near and dear ones. Sister Anne was kind enough to allow the visiting poets to take a tour of the home and have a look at the facilities. The poets who visited were Amit Shankar Saha, Sufia Khatoon, Anindita Bose, Payal Gupta, Niladri Mahajan and Satabdi. These poets formed a connection with the inmates of the home and were enriched by the experience while reciting their poems.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
* An Amazing Experience! Poetry has fascinating powers. It makes people do things unimaginable otherwise. Who would have thought that I would put aside my reservations and inhibitions and be on air one day? Yet, there I was on Friday, 8th May, 2015, at 94.3 FM Radio One Studio live with RJ Arvind on the programme Rhythm Divine - Poets on Air from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Encouraged by my fellow poets I let my verses resonate with the vibrations of the air waves caused by retro music of Radio One. Arvind made me feel relaxed during the hour-long programme. Sufia stayed by my side to keep my spirits up. Anindita trained me the previous day to put proper stress on syllables while reciting poems. Ananya advised me to pause and emote. Sharanya goaded me to go. And the best wishes of Chumki, Rahul, Saranya, Sana, Siddharth, Shruti, Radhika, Niladri, Junaid, Sam and other members of Rhythm Divine made my day. I cannot than all of them enough. Even though I may have failed to live up to their expectations, it was a truly amazing experience. Thank you Arvind for gifting me a memorable recitation of Gulzar and a memory to cherish. I am indebted to all who added a new dimension to my life.
|RJ Arvind and Me in the 94.3 Radio One Kolkata Studio|
Read my short story "Our Lost Friend" in the Journal of Bengali Studies Vol.4 No.1 Summer Issue 2015 on the theme of Bengali Music: Bengalis and Music, Pp. 104-109:
Monday, April 27, 2015
Legend has it that the
Amazonian women showed amazing prowess and did exceptional feats. If such a
characteristic is to be found among my friends then it is to be in Sufia Khatoon, the curator of Art Fair IV. But that is too short an
introduction for Sufia for she is much more - a poet, a painter, a quilling
artist, an anchor, a journalist, and many more. If the prefix “multi” is to
find a right home then it has to be in the description of Sufia for she is
always multi-tasking and is so multi-talented. Attending the inauguration of Art Fair IV at Chemould
Art Gallery in Park Street, I was floored by her organisational skills and
pleasing demeanour. From contacting new and upcoming artists and curating their
art work to inviting and hosting the guests and making the whole occasion a
success, she does everything single handed. The Art Fair is in its fourth
season and on from 26th April to 30th April. But that is not all. Each day of
the Art Fair is dedicated to other activities too. There are musical performances,
poetry adda, photography workshop, quilling workshop, etc.
The inauguration on the 26th of April was a grand affair with eminent
guests like film director and theatre
personality Ashoke Viswanathan,
percussionist and musician Tanmoy Bose and Associate
Director and PR Supreeta Singh gracing
the occasion. The opening day also included performances by bands like Kolkata Music Diary and members of Urotaar, an NGO
which specializes in performing street plays. There was an
impromptu poetry session too and the whole joie de vivre of the occasion
encapsulated the spirit of art and artist’s expression. Emerging artists like
Rahul Mall, Anindita Bose, Vasu Agarwal, Moumita Ghosh and not to forget Sufia
Khatoon herself as well as others get to display and market their paintings,
photographs and other art works. Sufia’s poetry group Rhythm Divine, which has a close association
with Poetry Couture, presents on
the 29th of April an open mic poetry adda at 3:30 p.m. at the gallery. Such
activities, not only enriches the Art Fair but the association of allied art
forms improves the culture of the society as well. In fact this very fact was
reiterated by Ashoke Viswanathan in
his opening speech.
So here I am wishing Art Fair 4 a resounding success and all the
artists a great time. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Sufia for all her
activities and hope her creative output overflows. Congratulations dear!
My poem "Incredible Woman" has been published in the Incredible Women of India Blog. Read here: