LINCOLN, MA— Artist Poppy Charnalia released her first book of poetry–Yeh Sach, Anvarat (This Relentless Truth)–on Saturday at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. The event was attended by approximately 170 people that included local artists, writers, musicians and community leaders.
About 120 copies of the book were sold during the evening. Half the proceeds from all art and book sales will go towards Autism Speaks. The issue of autism touches her family deeply as her son suffers from this. She supports autism related programs and funding for Stem Cell Treatment Research for autism in the United States.
Ms. Charnalia said more orders for her book are still pouring in with messages from poetry and art lovers and from parents, friends and relatives of children on the autism spectrum.
How does the first-time published author feel?
“I got a message from a friend who purchased my book and is taking it on a trip to read it. This simply thrills me,” said Ms. Charnalia, who lives in Lexington, MA with her husband Samir and seven-year old twins Sohum and Preanshi. “I am receiving screen prints from readers of pages they loved, poetry they completely immersed in. This is the greatest remuneration for a writer.”
Ms. Charnalia’s formative years were spent delving deeply into poetry, art and Hindustani Classical music with her family in Lucknow, India. Her name Poppy is inspired by her mother’s series of poppy paintings. She is ardently pursuing visual art, poetry in Hindi, Urdu and English and Indian classical music.
In an earlier interview with INDIA New England News, Ms. Charnalia has said that she believes everything dark or light leads to poetry.
The book launch evening on Saturday was designed to be simple and an integral whole.
“Everything connected to the poet and the poetry expressed in the book. The objective was also to raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks through the art and book sale,” said Ms. Charnalia.
Praveen Misra, Chandu Shah and late Dr. Saraswati Mathur selflessly and graciously aided the publication of her poetry book, Ms. Charnalia said. They were thanked and acknowledged on stage for their contribution.
Preanshi, Poppy’s daughter and Sohum’s twin, opened the program with a beautiful bhajan ‘Asato Maa Sadgamaya’ which means ‘take me from darkness to the light of knowledge’. Preanshi also created two art pieces to raise money for the cause which were sold at the event.
It was followed by an exquisite performance by Urvashi Batra who is a student of Gretchen Hayden, founder and director of Chhandika Chhandam Institute of Kathak Dance. Local singer Rajiv Gangurde sang two emotionally stirring songs, one of which was a tribute to Poppy as a mother.
Ms. Charnalia’s husband Samir Charnalia walked the audience through the daily life and challenges faced by her , the mother, the wife, the artist and the poet.
Donna Murray , Vice President of Clinical Programs and Head of Autism Treatment Network at Autism Speaks addressed the audience. She encapsulated Autism Speaks’ initiatives in the field of treatment research as well as the progress and challenges faced today in the sphere of gene therapy for autism.
Manisha Varma and Atul Varma who helped organize the event, delivered a speech about Ms. Charnalia’s poetry , art and autism related endeavors and urged the audience to share in this initiative.
The evening concluded with art and poetry book sale and signing of “Yeh Sach Anvarat.”