Being a literature lover, book launches and literature fests are something I always look forward to. When Mr. Anirban Saha of Kolkata Bloggers notified me of the Hindi Sahitya Utsav at Oxford Bookstore in Delhi, I couldn’t resist myself but instantly say a yes. I kept my hopes high and waited for 19th March 2017. At the Hindi Sahitya Utsav stalls had been set up; exhibitions were put up to encourage and showcase the handicrafts of people; books were beautifully stacked as per their genre and it aroused the enthusiasm of the audience.
The program began with a powerful speech of Mrinal Pandey. ‘’pedon ke hilne se aandhi aati hai yaa andhi ke aane se ped hilte hain’’(Does the dancing trees results in storm or does the storm shakes them?).
Is it society that created language or did language give rise to the formation of society? Hindi is a flexible language and thus a single change can transform the very essence upside down. A writer is addicted to words and thus his quench for searching and using them never ends. The word ‘’Buddhu’’ in hindi which means dumb was derived from ‘’Buddh’’. Similarly, ‘’Malang’’ was derived from Sanskrit which means ‘’away from worldly chaos’’ when returned from Arab was changed to ‘Mast Malang’. Mrinal ji believe Hindi to be a Matramukhi (Maternal) language. In today’s generation mothers get worried if child doesn’t know English, they consider it to be a sign of inferiority. The very next moment what she said she won my heart with it. Love when done excessively makes the child dumb, dependent and less confident and for now all we need to do is protect our beautiful language from the very situation. You see, politics is majorly based on language, the smarter you play, the wider you flourish and once you play it wrong; the game ends there itself. Just as language the society is also transforming with time, attitude and situation but the day we would get a hold on language, the world would become an easier place to understand and live in. 99% of the Hindi books have been translated to English, clearly shows the readership value of the latter.
One of the major highlights of the day was hearing Mrs Poonam Jamwal speak. Mrs Jamwal is the Founder-Vice Chairperson of Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust. The trust has been instituted in the memory of the renowned Dogri litterateur, editor, columnist and Sahitya Akademi Awardee Late Group Captain Randhir Singh, popularly known as ‘Kunwar Viyogi’ in the literary circles. This trust has always served to highlight the importance of art and culture in the regional language of Dogri. This language is also fading away in contemporary times just as the regional language of Hindi and thus, the members of this trust care deeply about reviving both the languages for the future generations.
Mrs Jamwal’s talk was a mix of women in society and the power of Hindi. The major concern she expressed was the diminishing use of Hindi language in contemporary times. She spoke about the troubles that Hindi as a language is facing to grow. In fact, the time is such that to keep the language going it is used mixed with English i.e, Hinglish. It is disappointing at some point to realize that the present generation, is attuned to a Western upbringing and is at times ashamed to use the rustic dialects of its mother-tongue. Thus, the birth of Hinglish which is considered to be quite ‘happening’ and ‘cool’. She also mentioned about how the women of the Society, despite all odds, have established themselves and voices their opinions in a strong way. Mrs Jamwal’s strong and bold personality has been expressed very well through her social work and concerns about preserving the mother tongue.
The next was a panel discussion with the eminent writers of hindi- Piyush Mishra, Vidya Shah, Urvashi and Maitreeji. I would like to acknowledge the commendable efforts by the moderator to cool down the heated discussion and also for putting up interesting questions. The first question was ‘’why do we choose certain things over the others and why do we have to choose at all?’’ Piyush Mishra’s reply to this was ‘confusion’. We all have messed up things in life, to clear it off we must do meditation and introspection. Close your eyes, take deep breath and concentrate. Keep striving hard for the reason you are here so that you can rest in peace later.
Further, to add beauty in the air we had Ayushman Jamwal. Ayushman Jamwal is a journalist with CNN News 18 and has recently written a book called “Chameleon Lights”. The poems in the book are very much relatable and catches human emotions as it has a moral which can connect with people well. He recited some of the beautiful, crisp and mesmerizing versus from his Grandfather’s poetry collection ‘Ghar’. His Grandfather believed that poetry is the closest way to reach God. He always held on to the value of humanity to sustain it. ”A poet is always inclined towards humanity” that’s the reason he choose to be one.
‘Ghar’ is Kunwar Viyogi’s Sahitya Award winning Poem, written in Dogri. The celebrated poet used ‘Ghar’ (Home) as a peg and stringed together 238 four- line verses embracing a wide variety of subjects and ideas and feelings into the poem. Thus the love for Hindi and preserving this ancient mother tongue and heritage has been in their blood since his grandfather’s era. He in this discussion has also tried to portray and tell how much important it is to preserve our literature and its roots.
To conclude I would say that it is actually an honor to know that there are people like Mrs Poonam Jamwal and Mr Ayushman Jamwal who are looking forward to preserving the roots of our traditions and embracing them with their touch of subtlety and eloquence. It’s the duty of the youth to preserve and carry forward our roots and heritage and preserve our language well. Both the Jamwals are active social workers and it is amazing to see them working for the society as well through the Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust.
Written By: Simran Kaur
Edited By: Progya Baul