Archive for the ‘Sepia Leaves’ Category

7
May

Sepia Leaves: a Podcast

   Posted by: aman

Dear Friends,

It has been 15 years since ‘Sepia Leaves’ was published. The book remains in circulation. Each year, many request copies. I keep sending them far and wide.

A few days back, a new mental health platform MyndStories conducted an interview with me on the book. If I can say this myself: it came out very well.

The podcast is in English – 55 minutes, 55 seconds. I think worth your time. Do listen. We talk about the book, care giving and self care. Thank you Ankit Narasimhan and Smitha Murthy.

Dear Friends,

a few days back Prerna Shah from The Good Story Project got in touch and we did this interview around mental health, writing and Sepia Leaves.

Please read here…

Dear Friends,

late in October, Preeti Gill invited me to participate on a session on Mental Health and Illness titled Let the Light In.  Nirupama Dutt, Gayatri Gill and me discuss mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ravi Singh, Speaking Tiger Books.

Please listen here …

Dear Friends,

thank you for all your wishes for the translation of ‘Sepia Leaves’. As I said in that post, every few weeks there is a new friend reading, talking, commenting, sharing about the book. I feel very satisfied that the book continues to resonate with us.

Here is a new blog I accidentally tumbled upon. Reader Smitha Murthy says, ‘Simple prose, haunting images, and relentless in its portrayal of the author’s beautiful family, ‘Sepia Leaves,’ reminded me of all the sepia-tainted memories of my life. The people, shadows, ghosts, thoughts, scars, words – all brought up in vivid technicolor. This book isn’t perfect. Just like us. And that’s perfect.’

Thank you Smitha.

Please read here …

Dear Friends,

Humbled that we keep talking about Sepia Leaves 13 years after it first appeared. Also, A Book of Light in which the updated Epilogue to Sepia Leaves appeared. In fact, humbled we continue to talk about all these books.

Thank you!

Please read here …

I was pleasantly satisfied by this post on Facebook by my friend, poet Rachana Kulshrestha.

20
May

Sepia Leaves: Reader Comments

   Posted by: aman Tags:

Dear Friends,

on Mother’s Day this year, Jaya Nigam posted her comments on Sepia Leaves. As I said earlier, even 13 years after the book was published, every few weeks I get one or more messages about the book. The book evokes personal memories. It continues to live in the readers’ hearts.

I love it that Jaya has written in a language other than English – the language in which the book is written. Thank you Jaya! My respect to Jaya’s Mausi. May she find peace.

Click image to enlarge.

Dear Friends,

Ms Saba Bashir from Books etc recently invited me to speak on Sepia Leaves. I posted the video on Facebook. It is short, 7.25 minutes long.

Please click here to see …

Dear Friends,

last evening, I made a post on social media on how I feel returning from Bhubaneshwar/Odisha after attending the SOA Literary Festival.

I am thankful to The Samikhsya and Kedar Mishra for carrying my yesterday’s post on my experience. Odisha continues to shower its love upon me. Grateful!

Bahut Bahut Dhonyobaad!

Please read more here …

Dear Friends,

my friend Hema Gopinathan has assessed my book Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines in the context of my earlier works Sepia Leaves and Roll of Honour.

It is interesting to me, as a friend of the author, that Amandeep Sandhu’s latest book is a non-fictional account of the whys of Panjab. His earlier works were autobiographical fiction of his childhood through the lens of mental health and his formative years as a student in a boarding school during the violent insurgency days.

This one, Panjab – Journeys Through Fault Lines, though seemingly a travelogue/ reportage of the ground reality of Panjab, feels like the third part of a trilogy of self-examination as the canvas broadens and the author goes deeper within himself. While the earlier two dug deep into the private, personal surface, it is only logical that the author would not find the encompassing truth in the inner landscape of memories and would have to make the journey to the outer, the land of his foremothers and forefathers.

The book begins with the haunting line, ‘If you want to understand Punjab, be ready to count it’s corpses’. A few millenia ago another man, Vikramaditya went looking to retrieve a corpse, but that was only possible once he answered the corpse’s twenty-four questions. Our wholeness is dependent on the acceptance and integration of all our parts, not just the good but also the dead, decaying bits.

Panjab… examines 16, Satt, Berukhi, Rosh, Rog, Astha, Mardangi, Dawa, Paani, Zameen, Karza, Jaat, Patit, Bardr, Sikhya, Lashaan, Janamdin. The solah anna that make up the kadwa sach of Panjab today.

It’s a searing often disturbing narrative, the author keen on neither sparing himself nor us the readers as he dissects the complex 16 layered wound, each exposing the next.

There is something to be said about the clear dispassionate eye of the critic, standing tall, giving us a sweeping view of all that they think is wrong with the system and how to fix it. The way the British ran a sharp knife right across body of Punjab with the cool eye of a surgeon, in what they thought was the least painful way to bisect a nation, a people.

But this is not that book, for Amandeep is not that writer. While he writes with the clarity of the outsider, he also writes with the longing of a long-lost son returning home to embrace his slightly dented, damaged mother. It is in many ways more a pilgrimage than a travelogue.

The rips and tears across fabric of Punjab match the ones that were etched on his soul by the inter-generational trauma of his ancestors and you watch as he carefully examines and matches the two seams hoping to find answers that would if not heal, provide a voice for himself and a people whose suffering has been ignored from time immemorial.