POETRY FESTIVAL OF BOTH PUNJABS CHANDIGARH, SHIMLA,NALDERA,AMRITSAR,OVTOBER 5-10-2007

In October 2007, FOSWAL organised a major POERTY FESTIWAL of POETS FROM BOTH INDIAN AND PAKISTANI PUNJABS. it was a mega event, spread over seven days, in four cities and resorts, with thousands of people enjoying poetry and the ambience of friendship. In andShimla andNaldera andAmritsar.

Ms. Ajeet Cour lighting the inaguration lamp of the Poetry Festival of Both Punjabs. Also in the picture : H.E. Dr. A.R. Kidwai, Dr. R.C. Sobti, Mr. K.L. Zakir, Mr. Deepak Manmohan Singh, Prof. Jagjit Singh

From Pakistani Punjab poets writing in Punjabi, Urdu, and Multani (Saraiki) participated, and from Indian Punjab poets writing in Punjabi, Urdu, and Hindi participated. Prof. Deepak Manmohan Singh was the Chief Coordinator in Chandigarh, Mr. Manmohan Singh Mitwa was the Chief Coordinator in Naldera and Shimla, where he managed a Reception for the poets from the illustrious Institute of Advanced Studies also. In Amritsar, Guru Nanak Dev University organized the Poetry Festival.

On 6th morning, four sessions of ‘Meet the Poets’in roo-baroowere organised with the faculty and students of Punjab University. An exclusive session with the print and visual media of Chandigarh was also organised. Ms. Ajeet Courthe renowned Punjabi writer interacted with the students of Punjabi Language Department of Punjab University, Chandigarh.

On 6th evening, Indo-Pak Mushairawith 35 poets from both sides of Punjab, India and Pakistan, was organised in the Law Department Auditorium, Punjab University, from 7 pm to Midnight. The Haryana

Hall packed with enthralled and spellbound audience

Governor H.E. Dr. A.R. Kidwai, who is an avid scholar, was the Chief Guest. He sat through the Mushaira proceedings almost till the end. The poets drew repeated spontaneous applause. The Auditorium reverberated with exclamations of wah-wahs and mukarrars. Ajeet Cour, the President of FOSWAL and H.E. Dr. A.R. Kidwai presented SAARC LIFETIME LITERARY AWARD to Dr. Syed Akhtar Hussain Akhtar, eminent Punjabi scholar and poet and Chief Editor of ‘Lehran’, the first and the only Punjabi literary magazine brought out by him in Pakistan, against all odds. The award carried a cash prize of Rs. 51,000, citation and ceremonial shawl of honour. The rapport of the shayars with spell-bound audience of about 1500 persons, was indeed vibrant and intimate. Dr. K.L. Zakir compered the mushaira proceedings.

On 7th, an informal Mushaira evening in Naldera, organised by FOSWALs Advisor Mr. Manmohan Singh Mitwah, was a tremendous success. Door Darshan Shimla and AIR Shimla recorded the proceedings for subsequent broadcasts and telecasts. An atmosphere of intimate Bon-Homie prevailed during the shairo-shayari for more than five hours, lasting almost upto midnight. Free flow of the Elixir of Life added to the Spirits of the Happy Evening !

In the Audience : Mr. Manmohan Singh Mitwah, Ms. Ajeet Cour, H.E. Dr. A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana and Dr. R.C. Sobti, Vice Chancellor, Punjab University

On the 8th, the poets left for the sight seeing/shopping spree at the historic Mall of Shimla, after which they were taken to the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vice Regal Lodge, for a special hour and a half of conducted tour through the corridors of the Institute. Close look-in walks through the photo gallery showing pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and many sahibs of the British Raj, stirred old, historical memories. Mr. Ashok Sharma, Chief Protocol Officer of the Institute offered High-Tea to the special guests.

On 9th, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, organised the Poetry Festival. Hundreds of audience and local poets participated.The poets left for Lahore and Islamabad on the 10th.