Veena Shringi – A multi-faceted personality
Veena Shringi, hailing from Sindh and settled in Delhi, India, is a multi-faceted personality – a poetess, writer, broadcaster, and social worker.
Belonging to a well-known Zamindar family, and the Hussaini Brahman dynasty, Veena was born on February 16, 1948 at Shahdadkot. Her father Gopi Kirshan Maharaj didn’t migrate to India at the time of partition in 1947 as he opposed to leaving Sindh motherland and the ancestral abode.
Veena, who graduated from University of Sindh, however migrated to Delhi after 1971. Her progressive outlook rebelled against the age old bondage of orthodoxy and joined All India Radio in the Sindhi Service of External Services Division, in 1976 where she served as the Producer, Translator and Announcer of programs in Sindhi. She also performed in radio dramas besides the first Sindhi play telecasted by Delhi Satellite TV.
Veena Shringi has so far authored 31 books in Sindhi language. Besides, she has also edited many books in Sindhi and Hindi. Her articles and poems have been published from different forums.
Ms. Veena Shringi also remained active as the General Secretary of ‘Maruee’ a social, cultural and literary organization of Sindhi women. She was also the member of National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language, Government of India for several years. Currently, she produces YouTube programs under the title ‘Nao Niyapo’.
From her early days she took keen interest in Sindhi language and literature for which she was inspired by her Mumbai University graduate father Gopi Kirshan Maharaj (Author of history of Shahdadkot) and Karachi-born talented mother Sati Gopi Krishan, a popular writer in Sindhi and renowned social worker of her times. Ms. Sati Gopi Krishan was daughter of a rich businessman of Karachi – Pandit Sahajram Jetley.
During her job at All India Radio, Veena also met Sain G. M. Syed when he visited Delhi to meet Khan Abdul Gafar Khan when latter was admitted for treatment.
“I invited Sain G. M. Syed on behalf of All India Radio External Services New Delhi for interview. Mr. K. R .Malkani Interviewed Sain G. M. Syed,” she told in an interview.
Veena has visited several countries and attended international seminars, cultural and literary events. In 1999 she was invited to the sixth Sindhi Sammelan in USA. She also had been attending such events being held across India.
Veena Shringi’s first book “Kian Visariyan Verheechan’ (Memoirs of Sindh) was published in 1984 and won her an award from Central Hindi Directorate (CHD) Education Department, Union Ministry of Education. This book was later included in the exhibits of the Indian Book Fair at Moscow by the National Book Trust of India. Second edition of this book was published in Sindh by Nari Publications. Her second work “Mohinje Peshe-Ja-Gul Ain Khar” was published in 1985 and received a vide acclaiming. Her third book is “Pakha Ain Panwahar Dithe Mun Deehan Thaiya” (A Travelogue on Sindh).
Veena has been honored with several awards including Ishwar Bai Buxani Woman of the Year – 1994; Sadarangani Gold Medal by All India Sindhu Cultural Society Jaipur in 1995, Saeen G. M. Syed Memorial Award in 2012 by World Sindhi Congress and other awards for her literary and cultural services and also for bridging the gap between the Sindhi living around the world.
Veena’s first book ‘Kian Visariyan Verheechan’ has now been translated by Mr. Ram Daryani, who is son of renowned Sindhi poet Dada Hari Daryani Dilgeer. The book is under publication in India however Sindh Courier is publishing some of the chapters from the book with consent of the author. Veena has also agreed to allow if any publisher in Sindh desires to publish English version of her biography.
Here is the Foreword of the book.
From the Author
While writing the book “Remembering my Roots”, I had never imagined that after writing the book, my name will be alongside the name of well-known writers and authors. Writing this book is a strange coincidence. There had been a demand for writing small stories and features upon various subjects for the radio. But, there are only a few lucky radio announcers who had the opportunity of writing. I happen to be the only female announcer and I am lucky to be counted amongst the few who were involved with the production, editing scripts and planning and translating, especially at All India Radio Delhi. At times, when the engineers were absent I had the privilege to transmit the program and save the program from breakdown. As a hobby, I have kept myself abreast with almost all the techniques involved in transmitting radio programs. I am fully satisfied with my profession and my hobby.
After all, why did I develop a longing for writing a book? I may call it keeping the record of facts that have actually happened. I am aware that several writers and intellectuals will not accept a woman as a writer and entry of a woman in the arena of literature may be treated as an insult. Some literature, out of courtesy, may say “Well done Veena! Now you have become a writer.” But I say with confidence that neither I am interested in getting the brand of a writer, nor will I indulge in the arrogance of standing alongside the recognized and known writers.
However, I must say that I have witnessed the changing nature of human beings, I have seen the subtle smiles, I have experienced the hype of recognized and so-called leaders and I have truthfully described these facts and situations.
From time to time I have been in touch with intellectuals, poets, writers, social and political personalities. But, more than that, I have been in constant contact with radio listeners who had the madness of hearing their name on the radio and meeting the radio announcers. The radio listeners comprised of old and young, men and women, Hindu and Muslim, Sikh and Christians and almost all type of people. I have been in the profession of being a radio announcer not just to earn money but strictly as a hobby which is my passion.
Writing a book was neither my passion nor was it my desire. In March, I saw a dream. I saw that a girl was being violated by three persons. I challenged them. Those men turned towards me. Then I realized my weakness of being a woman. I shouted “thief … thief”. That girl also shouted “thief … thief”, and I woke up with a fright. At once, I took out my diary and wrote down the incidence. I would like the dream to be the subconscious effort related to my security. When I was only twenty-one days old, a plan was hatched by our servant to kidnap me. Fortunately, it did not succeed. I am always concerned about the fear of my security and being a woman.
In the book, I have expressed my feelings and penned down my memories. How will I be judged; I am not aware. But; I am aware that I am offering only what I have seen and experienced in my life. I am an ordinary person just like you. It is likely that you also might have experienced similar situations. So, you are the judge.
FIRST CHAPTER OF THE BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED ON TUESDAY MARCH 9, 2021