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Sparrow Literary Awards

Literary Award 2015

The SPARROW Literary Award Event on 12th December 2015, was a warm event with friends and well-wishers who came to demonstrate their appreciation for all that we do. And to give away the awards this year we had our own Neela Bhagwat, the well-known Gwalior gharana musician, whose music has kept many of us going in the last several years of struggle and celebration.

This Literary Award has been instituted by Mr. R Thyagarajan, co-founder, Shriram Group. This year we had a few more friends who came forward to support additional expenses. SPARROW trustees Dr Divya Pandey, Dr Usha Thakkar and friend and supporter from the US, Aravindan Kannaiyan and our well-wishers from Chennai, Bharathi Chandru and Chandru contributed to the event. The panel of juries this year were the same as last year: Publisher of the literary magazine Kalachuvadu, Mr. Kannan Sundaram, poet and editor of Kalachuvadu, Mr. N Sukumaran, and Dr C S Lakshmi (Ambai). The event was held in collaboration with the Research Centre for Women's Studies, SNDT University.

The awardees this year are writers we admire a great deal.

Anandh is a psychotherapist and is a writer whose poetry has inspired many and whose poetry has given a new dimension to contemporary Tamil poetry.

Anar, comes from the Eastern province of Sri Lanka and writes about what it is to be a Muslim woman in a war-torn country and her poetry is about how a language can alter life.

Vimmi Sadarangani is one of us and we tend to take her for granted but we also know about the great work she is doing as a writer and lover of Sindhi language and we respect and love her for that. She is a poet who keeps Sindhi language alive and whom Sindhi poetry has kept alive.

The acceptance speeches of all the three writers traced their writing careers and spoke about how close poetry was to their everyday life and its happenings. Awards have come their way but much more than that, poetry has kept them going through the highs and lows of life.

SPARROW had arranged for them to stay at a service apartment and the writers and their partners Sashi Anand and Mohammed Azeem and Vimmi's sister Bharti had enough time and space to interact. Vimmi, as usual, took over the task of taking them around and Bharti was clicking away with her mobile phone almost every occasion and every movement of all of them. They enjoyed a film together and got introduced to pav bhaji, chole bhature, sev puri, kesar falooda and the famous sev barfi of Chandru's. Unfortunately they went to the Versova beach in the morning when the slum colony there uses it as an open air toilet! Other than that they had lot of fun.

The event ended with the soulful music of Neela Bhagwat who explained and sang the poems of Soyarabai, Muktabai, and Kanhopatra saint poets of Maharashtra. The venue then shifted to Dr C S Lakshmi's small flat with the awardees and a few friends. Anar and her husband had to leave

Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat. SPARROW Family!!! Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani  

Literary Award 2014

On 27 December, 2014 we started Literary Award event to become an annual event of SPARROW. SPARROW Literary Award was instituted by R Thyagarajan of Shriram Groups. The jury members were Ambai, N Sukumaran and Kannan Sundaram.
Su Thamizhselvi, K N Senthil and Meghana Pethe honoured us by accepting the 2014 SPARROW Literary Award. Well-known writer, Shanta Gokhale, gave away the awards and spoke warmly about her relationship with SPARROW.

In her acceptance speech, Su Thamizhselvi introduced herself as a young scion who has come in the tradition of women writers like Avvaiyar, Velliveethiyar, Vennikuyathiyar, Nachellaiyar, Karaikal Ammayar and Andal. She spoke about the rural background she comes from and how it has made her familiar with the pain, poverty and hard work that is part of a woman's life. "As a woman, I can clearly feel the pain experienced by women. As someone who has held in her palms the tears of women, I am sensitive enough to understand the intensity and heat of those tears," she said. Describing her literary journey as one involving "search, reaching and perplexity," she said that the award and the occasion will remain one of the greatest moments of her life.

In his acceptance speech, K N Senthil remembered with warmth Sundara Ramasamy and N Sukumaran, two writers he considers his teachers. Speaking of writing and the award, he said, "Writing is made possible through continuous practice but it is a bird that does not obey its master. It wants to measure the entire sky with its small wings…. I believe that the reward of writing is reaching somewhere. An award is its recognised form. There are many new generation writers in Tamil who are working hard and are leaving their imprints on literature. I am happy to receive this award as one of them, on their behalf."

In her acceptance speech Meghana Pethe said that she was happy to receive the SPARROW award because she was the first recipient of this award. She added that the joy of receiving the award was "almost equivalent to being the first love of a worthy lover" and that the "honour of being the first has a sanctity which holds good even today, although some other sanctities have been rightly questioned and declared debatable as of now by women all over the world." She spoke of writing being a lonely and painful journey and how often the process of writing is excruciatingly boring. Accepting an award from a panel of writers, she said, made the award all the more valuable. She ended by saying that this award would prove to be a trigger for her second cycle as a writer which was "likely to commence anytime now."

C S Lakshmi, K N Senthil, Meghana Pethe, Shanta Gokhale and Su Thamizhselvi
Meghana Pethe
C S Lakshmi, K N Senthil, Meghana Pethe, Shanta Gokhale and Su Thamizhselvi Meghana Pethe  
Su Thamizhselvi
K N Senthil
Su Thamizhselvi K N Senthil