Online book launch event “Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry”

A virtual book launch event was held to launch a book named "Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry" written by Dr. Shailja Sharma, alumna of Department of Psychology, Panjab University.

Online book launch event “Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry”

Chandigarh, April 24, 2022: On the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day, Panjab University Alumni Association in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, Panjab University organised a virtual book launch event to launch a book named "Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry" written by Dr. Shailja Sharma, alumna of Department of Psychology, Panjab University. Prof. Sudhir Kumar, Dean of Research, PU was the Chief Guest for the event. The event was also attended by the Chairperson of the Dept. of Psychology, Dr. Roshan Lal, senior faculty members from Department of Psychology, author of the book, Dr Shailja Sharma, one of the reviewer of the book, Dr. Meenakshi Mohan and over 50 professors and students from university departments.

“Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry” is a book which depicts secret tear flowing from an immigrant’s heart. It’s the tear that is hidden from mama for many years while settling in a land away from home. It feels better when it finally flows. These poems depict lacks and memories, struggles and hardships, as well as hopes, promises, potential, and empowerment. 

By giving a brief introduction of the book, Prof. Anupama Sharma, Dean of Alumni Relations, Panjab University started the event and welcomed all the attendees and chief guests. She introduced the genesis of of the Book and Copyright day and apprised the audience that UNESCO celebrates the day to pay honour to three major sectors of the publishing industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries. She further said that during most parts of the last two years when most countries have seen periods of confinement and people have had to limit their time spent outside, books have proven to be powerful tools to combat isolation, reinforced ties between people, while stimulating our minds and creativity. Through reading and assimilation, we can open ourselves to others despite distance, and we can travel thanks to our figments of imagination.

The Chief Guest of the event, Prof. Sudhir Kumar, Dean Research, Panjab University congratulated Dr. Shailja for her book launch and exquisitely summarised the book elucidating its title. He said that through such book launch events, we not only launch a book but also launch an author who will gift us more amazing books in future. According to Prof. Sudhir, Shabad (word) is Pradhan (important). Everyone in this world has access to words but only a few know how to get energy & enlightenment from these words. Prof. Sudhir Kumar further emphasised that there are 2 primary sources of emotions, love and compassion and Pravaas (Immigration) in Indian tradition is a source of grief. This grief is important to create a new imaginary home. At the end of his address, Prof. Sudhir launched the book “Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry” and appreciated the efforts of Dr. Shailja.

The author of the book, Dr. Shailja Sharma gave an emotional address with a thankful note. She shared her thoughts behind writing this book and said that many people don't have time to listen to their emotions. This book is a compilation of emotions from her heart and she is overwhelmed by the feedback received from people. Dr. Shailja got emotional at the end of her address while reading a few verses from her book.

Dr. Meenakshi Mohan, one of the reviewer of the book also read some verses from the book and said that this book resonates with her own experience. Dr Meenakshi applauds the imagination of the author and said that this is a positive message of hope that parents give to their children. This book is a collection of poems which accurately depicts the mindset of immigrants who, despite having embraced a new identity, are always reminiscing on their early lives.

Chairperson of Department of Psychology, Panjab University, Dr. Roshan Lal also congratulated his department's alumnus, Dr. Shailja and encouraged her to come up with such more amazing works. He said that through his or her imagination only, a poet an reach anywhere anytime.

In the end, Prof. Anupama Sharma, Dean Alumni Relations, Panjab University presented the vote of thanks and thanked Dr. Shalija for choosing the platform of Panjab University of Alumni Association for her book launch.