Monday, September 30, 2013

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan launches Mittra’s novel

Pakistan News & Features Services

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan launched author Vipul Mittra's novel 'The Dream Chasers' in Mumbai on September 26.

The Bollywood legend, who has been entertaining the audience for more than four decades, has figured out that it’s tough to be an actor. 

“I am having a tough time being an actor and do not have the capacity to take up non-film works like penning a book,” he remarked while speaking at the book launch. 

"I do not have the capacity to write a book. I am having a tough time being an actor. To start another profession would be very difficult for me" the megastar candidly replied when asked about what kind of book he would like to write. 
Talking about the book, he said memories of college and school days remain etched in mind forever and life becomes tough once a person enters the professional life.

"We get into life and face all the struggles. I may forget what happened with me yesterday or today but I will never forget college and school days, teachers, girlfriends, restaurants as these moments make our life enchanting," Amitabh Bachchan, also referred to as the Big B, observed. 

He disclosed his plan to be a part of the team that would be restoring legendary actor Charlie Chaplin's 'Floor Walker' at MAMI festival this year. 

"There is a group of people in Switzerland who have decided to reinvent many works of Charlie Chaplin that the world does not know. This is my attempt to bring those films up, to reprint them and bring them to the people," he revealed. 

He said that many film personalities, mainly from the West, want to contribute to the restoration exercise. "There are prominent film personalities who are contributing funds to restore these films. I have made a small contribution and chosen this film," he added.

Chandigarh Book Fair to be held after 18 years

Pakistan News & Features Services

After nearly 18 years, the Chandigarh Book Fair will be held from November 13 to 18 later this year. Preparations are on in full swing for the event, which will be organized by the Chandigarh administration, in collaboration with National Book Trust, New Delhi. 

The Deputy Commissioner, Mohammed Shayin, recently attended a meeting to finalize details of the event for which a facebook page has already been created. 

More than 100 publishers from across the country will participate in the fair. Events like kavi darbar, symposia, lecture by eminent author, discussion with author, meet the author and calligraphy workshop will also be part of the Chandigarh Book Fair whose committee is trying to tie up with eminent authors of national and international repute. 

 There will a separate corner for children and plays will be staged side by side. NSS volunteers from schools and colleges will help senior citizens and children take a round of the fair. A common pool of old books will be created to inculcate the habit of reading among poor children. The general public will be invited to donate old books to needy children.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Season for book sales kicks off in UK

Pakistan News & Features Services

A total of 1,657 books were published on September 26 in the UK, marking the first in what have now become a pair of so-called Super Thursdays, the days when publishers bring out their lead titles for the Christmas season. A further 1,569 are due to hit the shops on October 10. 

The season for book sales has kicked off officially with publication of some of the biggest titles of the year from authors including William Boyd, Robert Harris and David Walliams. 

"It's undoubtedly a big week for major titles, but the industry has moved away from the 'everything comes out on one day' phenomenon of a few years ago, with the publishing schedule now more sensibly spread over the autumn," Jon Howells, a Waterstones spokesman, reckoned. 

The big-budget launch of Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd at London's Dorchester Hotel in London, quite an occasion. 

New thrillers published on September 26 includes Robert Harris's novel An Officer and a Spy, about political scandal the Dreyfus Affair; The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth, which tells of a top-secret list of names held at the highest level by the US government; and the seventh in Susan Hill's series featuring detective chief super Simon Serrailler. 

Howells added that Damian McBride's Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin, which was published on September 25, had got the week off to a buzzing start. 

"The blanket coverage the book has received because of its content, and timing the launch to coincide with the Labour Party conference has obviously worked. Now we're looking forward to Matthew Dancona's In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government. That's out next week." 

"In terms of the number of books being published, these are just a small number, but they account for a huge chunk of sales. It's the tip of the iceberg, but they are a great way to encourage customers to come in and look at the huge range of books coming out,” Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles booksellers remarked.

Collaboration termed key in publishing industry with new and old roles

Pakistan News & Features Services

A panel of industry experts gathered to discuss the state of publishing’s ever-changing jobs market at a Publishers Weekly Discussion Series on September 25, at Random House’s offices in midtown Manhattan. 

The evolution of publishing teams and the creation of new, innovative positions at traditional houses, as well as the integration of other media fields into the book publishing landscape, were themes of the morning’s talk.  
The panelists included David Bronstein, Chief Talent Officer at Perseus Books Group; Lorraine Shanley, President of Market Partners International; Susan Gordon, President of Lynne Palmer Executive Recruitment; and Anne Converse Willkomm, Director of Graduate Publishing at Rosemont College School of Graduate Studies with Jim Milliot, co-editorial Director of Publishers Weekly, being the moderator. 

To illustrate the transformation of organizational structures at publishers, as well as the creation of new roles to keep up with the expansion of digital publishing, Gordon pointed to changes taking place within key departments at some houses. 

Gordon also showed how other divisions, like editorial and sales, have splintered and developed in recent years. In the past, an editorial director would establish editorial guidelines and unify the group, while acquisitions editors bought content. There are several sectors of the industry with noticeable growth in the past few years, according to Gordon, who remarked that while recruiting, she has noticed an expansion in children’s and young adult, religious, and genre publishing in the domestic market. 

“Information technology is one of the key areas where it’s very easy to pull someone from another media company, and he or she doesn’t need to have traditional book publishing background,” Gordon added. 

Shanley also highlighted ‘cross-pollination’ of different divisions across the media industry. “Until about five years ago, you could be in publishing, your friends could be in publishing, your touch points could be in publishing, and you’d never know about the other industries. That has all changed dramatically. The influx of social media experts from other fields, such as the television and music industries, has given publishing professionals broader exposure to increasingly important digital skills,” she noted. 

As digital and print continue to cohabitate, specific roles in editorial, marketing, and publicity are becoming less defined and more cross-functional, according to Bronstein, who stressed the need for collaboration among employees in different groups. 

“There’s a lot of continuity, and a lot of change as well. It’s not black and white, it’s not digital versus physical and it’s not this or that. Publishing is, above all, a trendsetting industry, and always has been. To make way for new jobs, positions have been cut across the board,” Bronstein noted, pointing areas like production and sales. 

Willkomm’s presentation shifted the conversation from the change in the industry to helping the next generation of publishing professionals land jobs in a notoriously difficult market. The panelists agreed that while publishers are searching for employees with specialized skills, there is still a hunt for those with adaptability and a hunger to learn.

EPIC opens registration for Publishing and Marketing Workshop

Pakistan News & Features Services

EPIC Group Writers is hosting a Publishing and Marketing Workshop on November 16, featuring award-winning authors Waverly Fitzgerald, Josephine Ensign, Judith Gille, Cynthia Hartwig, and Mary Oak. The registration for the upcoming event, which is limited, has been opened recently.

“EPIC’s goal is to keep the spirit of Write on the Sound (WOTS) going throughout the year,” Janette Turner, President, EPIC Group Writers, observed. 

 “WOTS is just one weekend, so EPIC fills in the rest of the year with frequent events to support writers around Edmonds. The Nov. 16 workshop is one of our biggest events yet and is a great value at $35,” Janette Turner, a teacher, writer and writing coach by profession, added. 

The speakers at this year’s EPIC Publishing and Marketing Workshop include Judith Gille, who was recently featured in the New York Times, hybrid-published author Mary Oak, traditionally-published authors Waverly Fitzgerald and Josephine Ensine, and marketing expert Cynthia Hartwig, whose clients include Microsoft. Speakers will offer tips on getting published and promoting work through social media and traditional news sources.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Unicorn Gallery organize Pakistan's first-ever art book fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Unicorn Gallery in Karachi organized the first art book fair of Pakistan on September 21 with the objective of encouraging dialogue and debate between critics, artists and readers besides creating awareness about the art history of the country. The art books remained on display at the gallery’s bookstore throughout the week.

The annual art book fair included a panel discussion on ‘Critical Issues in Art Writing in Pakistan’ while the fair featured book launches, documentary screenings, author readings and a book exhibition with limited and out-of-print books. 

The discussion was moderated by Niilofur Farrukh, Editor of Nukta Art and President of the Pakistan section for International Art Critics Association. 

The panelists included art critic, editor of ArtNow and faculty member at National College of Arts, Quddus Mirza, geometric artist, arts educator and faculty fine arts at Karachi University, KSA, Rizwanullah Khan and curator and arts professor at Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Taimur Suri. They closely examined the topic through the lens of their experience and with focus on possible solutions. 

The fair is one of the gallery’s most popular events, enjoying wide popularity in Pakistan and abroad. It is open to all, and attended by arts and non-arts professionals who interact with a panel of art experts. It is a scholarly event aimed to give back to the community and create a better understanding and awareness of Pakistani art.

Shivahari Sellamuttu’s Before it's all forgotten launched in Sri Lanka

Pakistan News & Features Services

Shivahari Sellamuttu’s book titled ‘Before it's all forgotten’ was launched recently by Prof. Dr Gnana Kulendran, her teacher from Vembadi Girls High School Jaffna. The ceremony was organized at the Community Centre in Epping and was well-attended.

The spread of food prepared by Shivahari for her guests from her recipe book was absolutely delicious.

There were various types of cakes, Pan rolls, various sandwiches,Vaddai, Potato Bonda, Cutlets, pastries, Ice coffee and Cocktail Juice. 

Sellamuttu is an alumni of St Bridget's' Convent, Colombo and of Vembadi Girls High School Jaffna. On the back cover of the book there is a photograph of the author seated at the so called round steps of Vembadi. 

Prof Dr Gnana Kulendran is a well-known Sri Lankan in the academic world. She has won international recognition for her research findings and is an author of 13 research books. She is a recipient of several international awards relating to professional women. The professor gave a very erudite talk about the merits in the book and encouraged all to use the recipes therein for it contained the very authentic way of food preparation in the days of our parents.

Makosi Musambasi celebrates birthday by launching Self Love: The Ultimate Choice

Pakistan News & Features Services

Makosi Musambasi, the former UK cardiac nurse turned Big Brother contestant, celebrated her 33rd birthday on September 24 by releasing her long-awaited first book titled ‘Self Love: The Ultimate Choice.’

“My book is an inspirational coffee table book. Its 200 pages of nuggets that help build self-esteem. I am reluctant to say it will change your life because only God can change her life,” she observed in a radio interview. 

In the book she said that she had drawn from her Big Brother journey and other ‘nuggets’ as she called them on hard work.; The book will be available in bookshops and will also be online on platforms like Amazon and Konga. 

Big Brother 2005, also known as Big Brother 6, was the sixth series of the British reality television series Big Brother, in which a number of contestants lived in an isolated house trying to avoid being evicted by the public with the aim of winning a large cash prize at the end of the run. The series launched on Channel 4 on May 27 and ending August 12 August lasted eleven weeks, which was the longest the programme at that time. 

Makosi Musambasi, whose mother is South African and her father being Mozambiquan, had returned in 2009 to compete in a task for a few hours while she was a contestant in Ultimate Big Brother the following year. She was born in Zimbabwe on September 24, 1980.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Raymond Weil rewards top authors

Pakistan News & Features Services

The prolific authors, Shobha De and Amish Tripathi, were rewarded for their literary prowess by Raymond Weil’s boutique at Palladium in Mumbai on September 24.

Olivier Bernheim, CEO and President, and Elie Bernheim, Director of Raymond Weil, felicitated the authors for their literary achievements and contributions. 

Shobha De was presented with a watch from the Freelancer collection while Amish Tripathi was awarded one from the Parsifal collection with Independence is a State of Mind’ being the tag line. 

Music being the centre of the Raymond Weil production, every other sub-brand is named after music, art and culture. But the Freelancer collection is the only one connected with the tag line of independence. 

Being one of the few independent Swiss family-run businesses, the Bernheims desired to encourage people who have an independent character of excellence and have independently made themselves great.

Huma Qureshi launches Vibhor Tikiya’s maiden book

Pakistan News & Features Services

Popular Bollywood actress, Huma Qureshi, launched debutant Vibhor Tikiya’s book ‘Dada’ which is based on the author’s life changing experiences at a couple of India’s prestigious institutes in Ahmedabad and Bangalore. Top advertising professionals, Prahlad Kakkar and Sanjeev Gupta, also attended the grand ceremony held at the Title Waves Book Store in Bandra, Mumbai.

The book is a story about the rebellious guy who never followed principles and rules in college and suddenly his life changes when he meets his other friends. It highlights the significance of relationships. 

It’s also the documented journey of a persona that evolves at every turning page. When a rebel makes it big, it makes for interesting story telling. 

“I read the first copy of the book and I truly appreciate his style of writing. It’s very engaging and an inspiration for me”, Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director, Global Advertisers, was quoted as saying. 

During the launching ceremony, Prahlad Kakar read the excerpts from the book, garnering the interest of not only the audience but also actress Huma Qureshi who was interested to know further about the book. This led to a rationally thought provoking and interactive session between the crowd and the author Vibhor Tikiya.

“It’s the journey of a survivor trying to find his idiom. It’s a little bit of our lives and you will definitely find yourself in this book,” Prahlad Kakkar added. 

“It’s always great to see young Indian authors making their mark in the literary world. Vibhor Tikiya’s book is a reflection of urban sociology evolved with a thought, and is in sync with today’s generation. Dada drew me closer to my old college days and reminded me of my experiences, friendships and learning’s," Huma Qureshi observed. 

"The story of Dada grabs you with each turning page and somewhere along the way; I started empathizing with the character. Dada could be the story of you or me or anyone you might even know,” the charming Bollywood actress added with a smile on her face.
“Dada is not my story and yet in many ways it is. Everyone who has read the book has come back with one comment that this is my story. I guess everyone has a Dada in them. The rebel needs a bit of guidance from someone who understands him. Dada is the man one would talk about on a random dinner conversation, the boy who made it purely by his street-smartness and negotiation skills," author Vibhor Tikiya shared. 

"A boy who starts off a street-smart ruffian and traverses a path that takes him to a place he never imagined possible because of the people he meets and is influenced by along the way. There is one central theme running through the story that relationships transform lives,” the author explained. 

Dada is Vibhor Tikiya’s first book but he has authored 14 research publications in top notch journals and conferences. He is also credited to have authored a patent in Signal Processing. He is mentioned in the Who’s Who of Telecommunications.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

PLISJ keeps pace with time by adding new features

Pakistan News & Features Services

The July-September 2013 issue (Volume 44, Number 3) of the Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), a quarterly publication of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, has seen the light of the day.

The printing of additional pages in four-colour, besides the graceful title, is a welcome step taken by the management of the LPB. The PLISJ team, published prominently, has also been reinforced with the induction of a three-member media coordination committee and a four-member secretarial set-up. 

The LPB President, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, who is also the Chief Editor of the PLISJ, has made a point to keep pace with the changing times. He continues to lead by example for others to follow. 

In his editorial, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari has expressed deepest gratitude and felicitation to the Department of Library and Information Science, University of Bahawalpur, for having established Prof Dr Abdul Moid Memorial Library, which was inaugurated by Dr Razia Musarrat, Dean, Faculty of Arts, on May 30, 2013. 

He has lauded the leadership of the Pakistan Library Association (PLA) for having waged an arduous struggle which resulted in the revised service structure for the professional librarians. He has urged the PLA to activate its provincial branches to exert for the similar service structure and grades as the ones approved by the Government of Punjab. 

The research articles having been published in the latest issue of PLISJ include Digitalization capabilities of University Libraries of Pakistan (Prof Dr Kanwal Amin and Dr Mohammad Rafiq), Reading habits of faculty members of Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education (Mohammad Wasim Zia and Naima Samreen), Heuristics adoption in decision-making and its implication in information profession (Asad Khan and Hamid Rahman), Health sciences library resources at King Saud bin Abdul Aziz University (Shakil Ahmed Khalil and Ellener Smith) and Impact of internet’s misuse on morality of youth (Dr Mamnoon Khan Khattak). 

In the English book review section, Maria Sabzwari has reviewed ‘From Cradle to Grave’ while Prof Dr Nasim Fatima has reviewed ‘A Guide to Library & Information Science: Questions & Answers’ and the Chief Editor himself has reviewed ‘The Spectacle of death including glimpses of life beyond the grave’ authored by Mohammad Islam. 

Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Editor of the Urdu section of the PLISJ, has conducted a detailed personality interview of Huma Mannan Butt, who has now been promoted as the Chief Librarian of the Pakistan Navy Central Library, Karachi. Dr Amna Khatoon and Ikram-ul-Haq has also contributed articles in Urdu.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Poet Khumar Farooqui passes away

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Noted poet and writer, Masroor Alam Farooqui, famously known as Khumar Farooqui, passed away in Karachi after a brief illness. He was 71. He has left behind a widow, two sons and two daughters besides grandsons and granddaughters to mourn his death.

Khumar Farooqui was born at Agra, British India, in 1942. Upon migration to Pakistan, he did his MA and LL.B from Rawalpindi. He joined government service at the Federal Bureau of Statistics from where he retired as the Chief Statistical Officer. 

A born poet, Khumar Farooqui joined the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, as a consultant and worked in its Literary and Cultural Forum headed by Late Brig (Rtd) Qamarussalam after whose death he became the convener of the forum. 

He used to attend mushairas at national and international levels. His poetry was widely acclaimed in the poetic and literary circles. He wrote over a dozen books on various topics including autobiographies, hamd, naat, nohas and marsias. 

He was compiling the history of the Aligarh Muslim University which, however, remained incomplete because of his sudden death. He also wrote his own biography and helped a large section of people in writing poetry. 

At the Sir Syed University, he immensely contributed in organizing a score of literary functions and his last such function was held on the eve of the Independence Day on August 14, 2013. 

Meanwhile the Chancellor SSUET, Engr Adil Usman and Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, have expressed their profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Khumar Farooqui and paid homage to him for his contribution towards literary and poetic activities held at the University. They prayed to Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant fortitude to bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss.