Tribune press service
Amritsar, June 26
The Majha House hosted an event where renowned writers were invited to read excerpts from their memoirs. The event moderated by Preeti Gill, founder of Majha House, invited prominent names like renowned scholar and music exponent Madan Gopal Singh, renowned writer and psychiatrist Anirudh Kala, author Pratyaksha, Madiha Arsalan, the Award-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh and city poet Sarbjot Singh Behl.
“We all love to read memoirs because they offer a glimpse into the lives of people we love and admire. It is a window to a fascinating world. That’s why we thought we were offering our audience a little piece of the lives of our beloved writers, ”said Preeti Gill.
The first reader of the event was Madan Gopal Singh, a Sufi representative, who shared his childhood years in Amritsar. “My maternal grandmother’s house was a musical house. When we came down the stairs, our footsteps created a rhythm, a beat, a sense of music. And then, of course, there was real music. Hindi movie songs were playing in our house all day. The music slowly crept into me without my knowledge. I think it was then that the seeds of music were slowly, rhythmically sown in my soul. It is only natural that I devote my life to music, ”he read. The second writer was award-winning writer Pratyaksha, who read her diary which she wrote and kept during the lockdown period.
Renowned psychiatrist Anirudh Kala, founder of the Indo-Pak Punjab Psychiatric Society and a proponent of cross-border collaboration between mental health experts, recounted memories of his diary that he kept after the score while busy of patients suffering from the trauma of the partition. He shared memories of his encounters with a French nurse called Nicole whom he met in Ranchi. “She was once a patient there, but by then she was healthy enough to help other patients. When she asked me what I thought about her case and her schizophrenia, I told her that if she was schizophrenic, then I was Chinese. He also shared the stories of several patients he treated for post-score trauma.
In one of the session’s most moving readings, Gurvinder Singh, award-winning national writer and director of films like “Chauthi Koot” and “Anhe Ghode Da Daan,” read a short excerpt from the newspaper article titled “Displacements : past and present ‘which he had written after the death of his father. He spoke about three examples of displacement while reading his article. “My father, nicknamed ‘baghi’ because of his revolting nature, passed away in May of this year. As a child he was rescued from their burning house by his mother and together they sought refuge in the Golden Temple while thousands were killed in cold blood in 1947. He returned to his neighborhood on next day to find it set on fire. In the post-Operation Blue Star period in 1984, when I was a child, I heard people whisper that these Sikhs needed to be taught a lesson. I have seen Sikhs being burnt alive; I saw them dragged out of their homes and murdered mercilessly. Displacement multiplied once again as Sikhs left Punjab and northern India for refuge and home elsewhere. He ended with an account of the displacements caused by the Covid-19 and the migrant crisis.
The last speaker of the session was Sarbjot Behl who recited his moving poem ‘Main Gujranwala Chhod Aaya’.