IHC Director’s Note

Nov 26, 2011 Comments Off by



The India Habitat Centre was conceived to provide a physical environment which would serve as a catalyst for a synergetic relationship between individuals and institutions working in diverse habitat related areas and, therefore, maximise their total effectiveness. To facilitate this interaction, the Centre provides a range of facilities.

Website: http://www.indiahabitat.org/



‘Samanvay’ – a gathering at a place and time – is India Habitat Centre’s initiative in the ‘world of letters’, in partnership with Delhi Press and Pratilipi. The initiative has been taken as a celebration of writings in select Indian languages, in which authors connect with the audience of readers in vibrant conversations, to explore their own experiences: the writer who crosses his boundaries of consciousness and the reader who discovers his own identity. Our country has a variety of languages and, naturally, the expression of thoughts and experiences takes many hues and inflections, many rhythms and varied resonances, as well as converging the local and global aspirations of characters placed in regional settings.

We have all largely remained fixated with our mother tongue and the language of our education, and rarely have an opportunity to engage with the beauty and nuances of another language except through translation. Given that all works are not translated for various reasons, ‘Samanvay’ – this gathering in the IHC – seeks also to bring together authors in Assamese, Punjabi, Malayalam, Urdu, Tamil, Bengali, Hindi and English, to engage with each other and knowledgeable audiences in prose and verse, and enchant the senses.

In a way it is important for us at the IHC to build this platform into an enduring one because the intrusion of SMS-es have morphed languages into something the inventor of the Morse Code would have been proud of. While the SMS transmits the immediate, the inventiveness of the phrase – its mere intonation conveying the spaces of the mind, sometimes to marvel and sometimes to emote pithily – can only be done in serious contemplation. The author says it and the reader reflects. It is our hope that the cultural contexts which are so evocatively brought out and often set the stage for the vernacular spaces in writing and speaking will enhance our understanding of our own country and bind the intellectual community in a lasting relationship.

Raj Liberhan
Director, India Habitat Centre

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