SOAS, London University, played host to a unique cultural event. Sangeeta Bahadur’s Vikraal, the second book of the Kaal Trilogy, was launched with an array of events – A review by Shaheena Khan, Author’s conversation with Seema Anand, Dramatised readings by the author with Tejinder Sharma and Abhinaya performance by Arunima Kumar….reports Asian Lite News
Reminiscent of India in the post-Vedic era, Vikraal is set in an imaginary Universe, the main protagonist is Arihant a Super Hero who is presented as an evolved entity with super powers as well as some endearing human qualities.
His main role is to destroy Aushij, the Lord of Maya, who has his own problems as his siblings have tricked him into a prison of dreams centuries ago. The underlying theme of the book is to explore the idea of self: who am I what am I why am I. Sangeeta has given her own version of this quest to find the self.
After a brief welcome address by Mahamid Ahmed, President of The Asio-European Cultural Exchange Society (ACES), the programme was introduced and compèred by Divya Mathur, Founder President of Vatayan: Poetry on South Bank.
The programme began with a recitation of a ghazal, hum aap ke hi kehlaate hain, by Dr Nikhil Kaushik, poet, ratio presenter and an ophthaomic surgeon by profession. Ms Shruti Nada Poddar, the Founder of Shruti Foundation and Founder President of Wellness Council of India, who is Internationally known as a mentor, educationist and cultural expert, global exponent of indigenous knowledge systems and wellness sciences, was invited to launch Sangeeta Bahadur’s book, Vikraal.
In a very interesting and amusing conversation with Sangeeta Bahadur was Seema Anand, a passionate and inspiring story teller, who asked some poignant questions. A taste of novel’s delicious text was presented through dramatized readings by Sangeeta Bahadur with Tejinder Sharma, General Secretary of Katha-UK, an established and award winning storywriter, who has written episodes of the famous TV serial ‘Shanti’ and has also performed in TV serials.
A review was presented by Shaheena Khan, Professor of Communication & Media, Founder President of PSRSAcademy, a well known poet who is visiting London now on her way back to Delhi. She remarked that the book is full of ‘spiritual energy’ flowing through its author and is not for the simple reader, it requires the reader to be engrossed completely.
The next was a fascinating piece of abhinaya on a passage from Vikraal by Arunima Kumar, one of the leading Kuchipudi dancers and choreographers of her generation. Sangeeta read a passage on seven deadly sins; each is a form of idolatry-of-self wherein the subjective reigns over the objective.
The audience included a number of eminent authors, scholars, media personnel, poets and artists.