"Launch of VAANI"

For the voice of Asian women writers and artists

Vaani, a sorority for Asian women writers and artists for last three years, formally launched itself in an event at Valentine Mansion, Gants Hill (London) on April 30th 2010. The event was a big draw with participation from Man Booker prize long listed author Nikita Lalwani, Hong Kong born poet Tammy Ho and Kia Abdullah who draws parallel with Monica Ali for her debut novel.

Lalwani read passages from her book "Gifted" and recounted her tale of coming to writing full-time: "I needed to leave my full-time job, a choice which many thought reckless, but now I know that it couldn't have happened otherwise".

Abdullah said: "I had to quit my career in IT to come to writing full-time and wrote about social problems in Tower Hamlets in my novel Life, Love and Assimilation which was denounced by my family and community. Undeterred, I was determined to carry on and not at any point thought about disengaging from writing". She also asked,"Why it was always expected from the writers from Asian origin to write about the cross-country experiences of an immigrant and cannot the writers be accepted on the subjects they want to put on a bigger realm".

Tammy Ho described her writing in English as a journey from her mother tongue Cantonese to English as a medium of instruction at secondary school level. "Currently I am drawing my writing inspiration from images I receive from many sources," she revealed.

A host of first-time published authors such as Hema Macherla (her novel "Breeze from the River Manjeera)" published by an independent publisher The Linen Press shared their trials and tribulations with the audience in attendance as part of Vaani showcase. "I see a merit working with small ticket publishers for they condescend to retain your originality and consult you for any small changes they intend to make during editing", said Macherla.

Smita Singh, the founder president of Vaani, said, "Vaani as a group is synonymous to its true Sanskrit meaning for voice that touches the heart, the deep senses and the vocal chords before flowing out in a stream of pearl-like words." "We upkeep this divinity of writing and encourage artists and writers from all walks of life to make Vaani a cult-like community".

The Redbridge Council, which hosts all Vanni's events, was the official partner for this event. The event's media partner was South Asian political and cultural magazine "U Asia", with which Vaani shares its editorial content and promotional campaign.

The photos will follow soon along with the video.
Our heartiest thanks goes to all the guest speakers for supporting us and for agreeing to become honorary members of VAANI. We also thanks the wonderful audience that graced us with their presence without them the event wasn't possible.

And a huge thank you and a pat on the back to all the members who were fantastic!

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