- This event is over. However, time travel possible through our Audio & Video!
Khaleel Mamoon is a Bangalore based Urdu poet. His poetry stands out for its animated use of everyday images, sometimes shocking metaphors and use of wit that lay bare mundane experiences. His poetic sensibilities are steeped into the sufi-mystical traditions of Indo-Persianate culture. He has experimented in the genres of both classical ghazal and azad nazam.
He has published two collections of ghazals Neshat-e-Gham (2004) and Saanson ke paar (2013). He has been most prolific in the genre of nazm which he thinks is suited to articulate the changing experiences of contemporary times. His collection of nazm Afaaq ki taraf (2010) was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award. Jism-o-Jaan se door (2008), Banbas ka Jhoot (2009), Saraswati ke Kinare (2011) and La Ilah (2018) are some of his other collections. He is a prominent nurturer of the Urdu literary production in Karnataka in last 30 years.
He was one of the editors of Suaghat, the Bangalore based Urdu literary journal when it came out for the third and last time in the mid-90s. He has collaborated to translate Unnees lilhai nazmein, a collection of naat (a genre eulogising Prophet Mohammed) by Sherhzade Rikhye (1990) and published a critical text Kashmiri Sufi Shayeri (2005).
He has edited Kannada Adab (1994), an anthology of Kannada poetry and fiction translated into Urdu. He served as the President of Karnataka Urdu Academy in 2008-10. During his tenure, he also edited the literary organ of the Karnataka Urdu Academy Azkaar. He currently edits the literary journal ‘Naya Adab’. An edited translation of his poetry is about to be published in Kannada. He started his career as a resident artist at All India Radio, Delhi (1965-75) and was Assistant Editor of Salar (1975-77), the Bangalore based Urdu daily. In 1977 he joined the police service and served as IPS officer in Karnataka before retiring as Inspector General in 2008.
Author of 9 books of poems, 15 plays and 3 critical works in Kannada, which are widely discussed, performed and translated into several Indian languages and into English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish and Turkish.
Winner of several best book prizes from Karnataka Literary Akademi for books of poems, translations and plays. Academic areas of interest include theatre/literary history, Indian theatre, Medival Studies, Comparative Literature, translation and folklore. Winner of the prestigious Rajyotsava Award from Karnataka State (2006) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from National Theatre Akademi (1997) and Sahitya Akademi (2012) Participated in International Writing Program in School of Letters, University of Iowa, USA (2000). Former Editor, Indian Literature, the journal of National Akademi of Letters. Former Dean, SAA, JNU.Former Director, The Tagore Centre, Berlin, Germany
Has travelled, lectured and read poetry in various countries in Europe, Asia and Americas.
Important English publications include I Keep Vigil of Rudra ( Penguin Classics, 2009), Traditional India Theatre (New Delhi, 2006), Indian Theatre 2000 (edited) (New Delhi, 2011).
Ajai Kumar Singh
Dr Ajai Kumar Singh has Masters degrees in Political Science and Hindi. He holds a PhD and DLitt in Hindi. An IPS (Indian Police Service) Officer of the 1974 batch (Karnataka Cadre), Dr Singh has held various posts over three decades of service – Superintendent of Police in Shivamogga and Mandya districts; DCP Crime, DCP Traffic, Additional Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City; IG, State Intelligence; Additional DGP, Recruitment and Training; DGP, CID. Dr Singh retired as Head of the Police Department, Karnataka State.
After retirement, Dr Singh has served on a Commission appointed by the Supreme Court of India.
He has worked with a number of NGOs for Helplines (Women, Child, Elders) operated by the Police. His PhD thesis was published as a book. He also has two books of poems in Hindi and has translated many Kannada poets into Hindi, including those of H S Shivaprakash.
Dr Singh has trekked extensively in the upper Himalayas and has visited museums and galleries around the world. He and his wife Tara walked with Sri M throughout India as part of the Walk of Hope in 2015-16. Dr. Singh also did the Hindi translation of Sri M’s book ‘Apprentice to a Himalayan Master’.