The 15th book of the prolific writer Shakutala Hawoldar titled ‘Ah! The Light’ was launched last week at the Indira Gandhi’s Cultural Centre, Phoenix under the auspices of Mauritius Writers’ Association and in close collaboration with the Indian High Commission amid a selective audience.
In his welcoming address, Philip Li Ching Hum, the President of Mauritius Writers’ Association, recounted the history of the MWA. It was born on the 29th May 1999 and has weathered many a storm. Sixteen years of its existence is a long way in the life of an association but it is also ‘as if yesterday’. This year we are celebrating its sweet sixteenth birthday. Today the MWA is more than an institution. It is a big happy family with members hailing from different climes but united in a common cause for the upliftment of creative writing, the love of language and global literature. The MWA is an intellectual crucible.
The Chief Guest Dr Ameenah Gurib Fakim in her keynote address eulogized the author Shakuntala for her astounding literary feats and said that ’she is an amazing fountain of inspiration’, ‘Shakuntala has now moved to the vast reservoir of spirituality for inspiration’.
Shri Anup Kumar Mudgal the Indian High Commissioner was mesmerized by the deeply insightful content of the book and he delved into certain extracts to highlight the beauty of the thoughts of the author. It is a journey on the spiritual road. Farhad Khoyratty, senior lecturer of the University of Mauritius, made a critical review of the book .He also read out some extracts from the illuminating book..
Shakuntala Hawoldar thanked all those present for the launching ceremony. She felt deeply blessed to live in such a paradise island since her marriage and she philosophized: ‘This is a very rich country of a very poor people. We need the empowerment of people at all levels (socio-economic and political) but not fool them all the time. The importance of empowerment is to be emphasized at every level of our social fabric since human values form the core foundation of our society. If we do not look at the basic human values and if we do not look after these values in the school and family there will be an implosion and explosion at many levels. The institutions are non-sustainable because there is no accountability, integrity and transparency. Honesty is not just the best policy but it is a policy that will guide us in our quest for more light.’
She felt very grateful to President Ameenah Gurrib Fakim for her presence in our midst in the book-launching ceremony. She also thanked whole-heartedly Shri Anup Kumar Mudgal for his indefectible support and collaboration to make this function a resounding success. She was warmly applauded for her thought-provoking address.
* Published in print edition on 26 June 2015