Avid Learning presents a book launch and panel discussion around the culture, traditions, food and architecture of Lucknow, the city once known as the City of Nawabs. This is in celebration of the Mumbai launch of The Lucknow Cookbook. The old-world charm of Lucknow is still very much alive in the region and beyond with its Mughal-inspired food and recipes, courtly mannerisms and language, traditions of poetry, music and dance and aesthetics of architecture and embroidery. The book paints a portrait of the city and its storied history while celebrating the exquisite Lucknowi cuisine and the Tehzeeb (culture) and nazaakat (elegance) of the city. Poet, Lyricist and Screenwriter Javed Akhtar will officially launch the book and recite original couplets inspired by the great city and then be joined by Co-authors of the Book Sunita Kohli and Chand Sur and Documentary Filmmaker and Author Nita Khanna in conversation with Interior Designer Pavitra Rajaram. These speakers share a unique passion for Lucknow and each will elucidate various aspects of the city’s graceful heritage.
Join us for a delightful evening and a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Lucknowi Tradition right here in Mumbai.
Padmabhushan Javed Akhtar, belongs to a family lineage that can be traced back to seven generations of writers. He started writing Urdu poetry in 1980. His first collection of Nazms and Ghazals entitled, TARKASH' had a very successful release in 1995 in both Hindi and Urdu. His second collections of poems LAVA was published in 2011. A respected social commentator and activist, he has written a large number of poems against communalism, social injustice, National Integration and for Women Rights. His poetry reflects both his political awareness and his literary concerns. He had addressed many Universities in India and abroad. Javed Akhtar has been Nominated to Rajya Sabha as Member of Parliament by President of India 2010. He was the leading force behind the recently passed Copyright Amendment bill that restores dignity to lyrics and music composers and gives them what is rightfully theirs in terms of royalty. The weekly magazine, India Today, has included him in the list of 50 Most Powerful people in the Country.Read more
SUNITA KOHLI, the President of K2India, is a research-based interior designer, a leader in historical interior architectural restoration and a manufacturer of fine contemporary and classical furniture since 1971. She has worked on hotels and public buildings in India and several other countries, notably in Egypt, Bhutan and England. Her design projects include the British Council Building in New Delhi and the Parliament House in Bhutan, hotels, resorts and luxury hotel boats in Egypt and forts, palaces, heritage properties, aircrafts, corporate offices and private residences in India. In New Delhi, Sunita Kohli has restored and decorated many British period buildings –notably Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Prime Minister’s Office and Hyderabad House. She has also restored the Official Residence of the Prime Minister and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum, among other official bungalows. Sunita Kohli has lectured on ‘Lutyens and New Delhi’ at principally Harvard and Emory Universities, at the National Building Museum in Washington DC and in the UK. She has been the Chairperson of the School of Architecture in Bhopal. She is deeply involved with two NGOs – Satyagyan, an affiliate of ‘World Literacy of Canada’, an organization that works with women and children in 400 slum communities in Varanasi and its environs; and is the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of ‘Save-a-Mother’, an NGO which is dedicated to decreasing maternal and infant mortality rates in 1200 districts in India. In 1992, Sunita Kohli was conferred the Padmashri, by the President of India, “for contribution to national life by excellence in the field of Interior Design and Architectural Restoration”. Whilst she has contributed many chapters in various books on design and architecture, 'The Lucknow Cookbook', co-authored with her mother Chand Sur, is her first book. She has been commissioned, by the Aleph Book Company, to write her next book, 'The India Cookbook- From the Table of my Friends'. 'The Lucknow Cookbook' within a few weeks went into a second edition and is trending at No. 2 in the Non-fiction Bestseller List.Read more
Chand Sur was born in 1925 and is from Quetta in Balochistan. She was married in 1945 and lived in Lahore, in Undivided India, with her husband, Inder Prakash Sur, an aesthete and a gentleman. After the Partition of India in 1947, she moved with her family to Lucknow. Their second home is in Mussoorie where she had also schooled and now spends half a year there. Chand Sur is a legendary cook. Her first book, published by Roli Books, titled ‘Continental Cuisine for the Indian Palate’, was an instant success and almost immediately went into its second edition. Its USP was that all the recipes were simple, nutritious and delicious and used simple easily found ingredients. 'The Lucknow Cookbook' is her second book and is on "the everyday food cooked in her home and the homes of their various friends. It is co-authored with her daughter, Sunita Kohli. Apart from writing cook books, Chand Sur is a voracious reader. She is a very competent bridge player. In Musssorie, her bridge and high teas have been legendary. Chand Sur is widely travelled. She takes a keen interest in other cultures such as those of Bhutan, Egypt and Uzbekistan where she travelled widely in 2016, particularly visiting all their four World Heritage sites.Read more
Pavitra Rajaram is the Lead Designer of the luxury retail brand Good Earth. She is also responsible for the Visual Merchandising of the brand and Content Creation for digital media. Since 2004, Pavitra has run her own bespoke design firm, Pavitra Rajaram Design for graphic design, interior design & styling. Of late, PRD has focused on projects that involve the restoration of heritage spaces and crafts and most recently has partnered with the Sarmaya Foundation, a not for profit museum archive committed to bringing awareness of India’s vast repository of historic and cultural art & craft traditions to a diverse audience through a digital presence, innovative programming, and outreach. Pavitra is also the Décor Custodian for Asian Paints, India’s market leader in the paints and wall coverings industry. Pavitra is the recipient of the INTACH Urban Heritage Award, the EDIDA award for Product Design and a winner of AD100, awarded annually to the 100 most influential designers in the Indian subcontinent In her free time Pavitra is passionate about books, textiles and gardens. Pavitra has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Art History received magna cum laude from Smith College, Massachusetts, USA.Read more
Nita Khanna is an Indo Canadian, with an academic background in English Literature, Journalism, pre-doctoral studies in Literary Criticism and Critical Theory at Bombay University and Oxford, U.K, and Film Critiquing at The Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. She has been an advertising audio-visual and film producer in Mumbai, Dubai and Toronto through the eighties and nineties, and currently serves as Director on the Board of "Cinestan North America Inc.", a Toronto based Canadian media company. She keeps a keen interest in cultural studies, poetry, art, technology and the impact of a rapidly shrinking world on identity and one’s sense of self. She is currently working on her first book on Gond Art, which seeks to explore culture and identity displacement and it’s continuation through abstracted artistic expression. These days she divides her time between Toronto, Delhi, Hyderabad and her ancestral home in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, where she retreats to write, and anchor a Foundation promoting STEM based education for rural children, work which keeps her imagination tethered to the ground realities of the land of her birth.Read more