It is said that the human civilization began when a person exchanged the stone in his hands for reason and logic. This is the heirloom that has been passed onto us collectively as a species. The thoughts thought, words written, verses composed, songs sung and the stories told; all these have led to all our discoveries and achievements today . The conscious gift of thinking is and should be the most celebrated of our existence.
We find historical mentions of an ancient literary fair held in India where erudition, arts and culture was not only welcome but celebrated and revered. Indian philosophers and cultural proponents like Mahirshi Vatsayan emphasised on the importance of the presence of the arts , aesthetics and developed thought processes in one’s life. He dedicates the fifth day of the month to these fairs which were held in the temples of Goddess Saraswati- The Patron of Arts and Sciences. These fairs were called Saraswati Mela.
My labour of love, this project is a modern day fair where everything from varying facets which has added meaning and beauty to human lives is discovered, mentioned and celebrated. A highly personal journey,I have always found the greatest of my strengths and lessons from the world of literature . All my loves and admiration for the things I love have sprung forth from literature. I find it a place of enchantment, magic and awe.
It is this pleasure and joy which I want to share by curating things which help us understand this mystic and majestic thing called life. To just open our eyes to the beauty and wonder that lays hidden in forgotten crevices , paths untrodden and pages unturned.
The pieces of Saraswati Mela are sourced from various sources as distant and varied as the classical Indian poetics and drama to scientific biographies to modern day lyrics to philosophy and psychology to the world of design.The pieces are accompanied by writings of my own which provide a subjective context to them.
The quest of beauty and meaning knows no bound . The logo of Saraswati Mela captures this underlying belief. A beautifully adorned Saraswati stands as a Patron Goddess of Culture and Arts , with five heads signifying the thirst for knowledge as well as its multi-faceted and multi-sourced nature. Juxtaposed with Her is the most famous adage of Rene Descartes , the Father of Modern Western Philosophy. He defined existence with – cogito ergo sum meaning I think therefore I am . I think this is the greatest homage we could pay to the essence of humanity.
The first one is dedicated to the journey of creativity and the people undertaking it. It was G. B Shaw who said that Áll poems are conversations a poet has with himself. The world just happens to overhear. Aatmsamvad or Çonversations with Oneself houses my personal attempts at poetry.
Along with Saraswati Mela ,I hope that as you go through them , you find things that are worthwhile, enriching and stimulating within these pages .
– Shubhangie Mishra
Logo & Background Design– Ajitaaditya
Thank you for beautifully capturing and translating my thoughts onto paper .
Special thanks to Pitamber Kaushik for his innovative design inputs on the background in all of Saraswati Mela’s publications and works.