Meeting cancellation

Due to popular demand the upcoming (28th May 2011 this Saturday of the long weekend) creative writing meeting has been postponed to the next week Saturday 4th June 2011.

Please pencil in the next date in your dairies and we hope that you have lots of fun and sun shine during the holidays.



Event Update

Priya Basil, and Chan Ling Yap graced VAANI members with their presence last evening, it was a magical experience!

We are immensely proud of our very special member Zahara Hussain who attends our regular sessions as part of SENSE a project specifically focused upon Asian Women with learning disabilities. Her poem "My Dream" was so touching that many had tears in their eyes! She said she was inspired by the published authors who came to give a talk at VAANI's event and said she wanted to be just like Priya Basil. We wish the best for her and hope her dream of 'being free' comes true soon.

Chan Ling Yap's historical story Sweet offerings gelled quiet well with the Valentine Mansion's own historical back ground. Valentine Mansion used to be the trade center of East India Company. Some say that the root to all corruption started here!
Priya's readings from her novel Ishque and Mushque resonated the era gone by. She also read from her recent novel The obscure logic of the heart which filled the room with love.

The audience grilled them with numerous questions from publishing to writing and they answered each one with patience. Someone in the audience asked Priya if she's written anything for children and she said that her most recent novella 16:02 was something that would interest the young audience.

The best advice given out by Priya for all who write was:
"Reading a how-to-write-a book is not going to help much but writing and writing a lot would definitely help you finding your own voice and your own style."

We are proud of all our members who read last evening. Thanks to Anand Nair, Sunita Pattani, Rupam Shrivastava, and Hema Macherla for reading their work and helping to make the evening a success.

Our heartiest thanks to  Dipika Verma for her presence and support and also for providing tasty sandwiches for the event.

Special thanks to Manjit K Jootle for her generous gift bags from Aunelle handed out to all our guests as well as audience and to Smita Singh and VAANI for organising such wonderful event.



Sweet Offerings - A Book Review

Sweet Offerings by Chan Ling Yap is a novel published by Pen Press. This is one of those novels which doesn't say much to the readers by its humble cover but the moment they start reading it, it takes over them. It is a hard to put down novel with exquisite intricate details of cultural life in Malaya.

The story is basically about emancipation of the main character Mei Yin during the times in 1930s but the author has deftly taken this simple storyline to the next level by including an interesting trip through the history of Malaysia from colonialism, through the second World War, independence and up to the late sixties. 
Written from the point of view of various female members of an ethnic Chinese family living in Malaysia, it covers the transition from a poverty struck and traditional way of life to the formation of a modern state. 

Through the events happening within one family over three decades, the author takes the readers into a different world, the world that is now Malaysia that adapted to change and the way it was affected by world events.  The readers find out how difficult it was for women to have any control over their lives and how often they were treated as assets or bargaining counters.
An example of the kind of poverty could be seen in these lines where a mother bargains to get her daughter a play mate, "I mean, if the girl's get on well, I would like them to attend school together. I will pay Mei Yin's fees." 

Although the author highlights the evil traditions that a female in those days had to face in Malaya, in some ways the main character Mei Yin defies all that. So on one hand the readers learn about the horrid things happening to various female characters, on the other hand they learn to appreciate the silent strength of Mei Yin.
The novel is also about the enduring love story of two main characters Ming Kong and Mei Yin and it proves that love prevails even when the situations are impossible.

Some interesting excerpts,
"That's because the British made cricket popular in India. What's fashionable there still influences Indians here. Anyway, the Chinese are not interested in games, only gambling ones,"
"The British had only ships in these waters and the Japanese sank both of them," " Remember the British have the Germans to contend with. They are fighting many fronts, not only in Malaya. We should pray for all those who have lost their lives."

There are a few obvious editorial glitches in the book but the story pulls the readers away from them and takes them into its own world. Overall a much enjoyable read and would recommend it to everyone.

By Smita Singh

Copyright (c) VAANI etc.

Copyright © VAANI. The written piece of work is the property of the individual writers who belong to the group called Vaani. Copying or abuse of any material here is strictly prohibited. Permission of the writer is required to use their work somewhere else. For such matters, Please contact us here .