Awaaz: Lending Assertive Voice to the Modern Women

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Sanchaari showcased various aspects of the modern women, in its two-day cultural meet. Here’s a report by Mariyam, exclusively for .

Sanchaari’s motive to revive the cultural heritage of Allahabad has tasted progress in a couple of years since its inception. The year 2017 marks the third successful year of the annual Sanskritik Parv.

The Sanskritik Parv 2017 ‘Awaaz’ held on November 4 and 5, 2017, at NCZCC, revolved around the theme of “Modern Woman”. The definition of womanhood in the modern lifestyle has changed dramatically from that of 50 years ago. Sanchaari aimed to celebrate this modern woman in all her flawed glory and Sapplaud her strengths and vulnerability. The event saw a turnout of teachers, , artists and even .

Day one kicked off with an inauguration by Dr. R. Bashir. Women from various fields of work came forward to perform and to talk about their success and struggles and the standards of society they are expected to live up to.

Nandini Verma, the pioneer of the Airplane Poetry Movement, performed and dedicated a few of her poems to the influential women of her life. Lalita Iyer, the author of The Whole Shebang, enthralled the audience with the witty and poignant account of her experiences as a writer, blogger and mother. RJ Bhumika set the stage on fire with her riveting persona and inspirational story. Anuja Chauhan, the author ofThe Zoya Factor and Those Pricey Thakur Girls, discussed her writing style with her signature audaciousness. Amaresh Misra, the author of Lucknow: Fire of Grace, talked about women of Allahabad of early 20th century, most notably about Jaddan Bai and Janki Bai, who were both women of exceptional strength and power.

A food discussion, joining the likes of Historian Rana Safvi, food blogger Hina Gujral and senior journalist Dhananjay Chopra, gave an insight to the history of various dishes and left the audience in splits with a number of hilarious anecdotes. A reading session, with the panel consisting of literary veterans like Neelum Saran Gour, Anita Gopesh, Saba Mahmood Bashir and Arnabi Banerjee, had excerpts read from books with strong women protagonists.

A health session, with consultant nutritionist Chaya Mishra, gynaecologist Dr Reema Sarkar, psychologist Dr Ruchika Verma, physical fitness expert Meeta Bhutani, orthopaedic surgeon Dr Pranay Pandey, discussed the urban women’s health issues in our fast-paced lifestyle. Another session focused on heartwarming and inspirational stories of single mothers with panellists Swati Srivastava and Sadaf Jafar.

In the midst of the programs, people kept thronging to the food and tea stalls. Who could blame them when the menu included biryani?

I got a chance to talk to a few people in the audience. Most women agreed that the health session had opened whole new gates of information for them. A group of young girls from Girls High School were all keen on reading The Whole Shebang after being won over by Lalita Iyer and her-all-too-relatable accounts of teenage angst and insecurities.

Other highlights included a heritage walk by Rana Safvi, Anandana Kapur’s film Jasoosni and a stand-up comedy act by Amit Mishra. A group of media students from the Allahabad University (who were also volunteers) appreciated Anandana’s film as a great learning .

We also made the best of our opportunity to honour our very own Ambrish Mishra and Dheeraj Yadav, exceptionally gifted painters from Allahabad, who have been previously honoured by the President.

Handloom and handicraft stalls showcasing Sanatkada, Aaraishh, Sudaksha, Rista, Madhubani, etc were a major attraction, especially among people who have a keen eye for authenticity.

Aaliya, a class VII student from School, shared how glad she was that she got to experience the event with her mother. But she’s disappointed that we couldn’t get a picture with Anuja Chauhan, she’s read all her books.

A musical evening by Rashmi Agarwal and a Kathak performance by Neelakshi Mishra Rai ended Day One and Day Two on a perfect note respectively.  People of all ages appreciated and applauded the performances.

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©Mariyam Zafar

Photos by Sanchaari

#Awaaz #Sanchaari #SanskritikParv #Allahabad #CulturalMeet #DifferentTruths

Mariyam Zafar

Mariyam Zafar

Mariyam Zafar is a blogger at mariyamz.com, where she shares short stories, incidents from her life and sometimes even lifestyle tips. A graduate in English Literature from Ewing Christian College, she completed her schooling from Bishop Johnson School where she was the president of the Editorial Board. She has worked with Lab Academia and Sanchaari on their various cultural events. In addition to literature and writing, her other interests include lifestyle, fashion and films.
Mariyam Zafar

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